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Parents, grandparents of missing Kentucky 8-month-old arrested as police search woods for baby

Kentucky State Police on Tuesday used cadaver dogs to search a wooded area near the home of missing 8-month-old Miya Tucker but reported no discoveries as nightfall approached.

“We have no evidence she’s deceased,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King told NBC affiliate WFIE of nearby Evansville, Indiana. “But we have no evidence she’s alive, either.”

The girl’s parents, Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30; grandparents Billie J. Smith, 49, and Ricky J. Smith, 56; and a fifth person, identified as Timothy L. Roach, have been arrested by authorities working on the case.


Miya Tucker, 8 months old.Kentucky State Police via Facebook

All are from the Reynolds Station area except for Roach, who is from Owensboro, police said.

It’s not clear if the suspects have retained legal counsel. The public defender for the area did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Some of the five were in court Monday, but it wasn’t clear what transpired. More court appearances in the case were scheduled for Wednesday.

State police announced the arrests of Miya’s parents as well as Miya’s grandfather on Thursday. All three were booked on allegations of child abandonment and fentanyl-related charges.

Trooper King told WFIE that the parents were contacted at a Motel 6 in Kentucky, in a room where drugs, including fentanyl pills and methamphetamine, were “in plain sight.”

Miya was not there, he said.

State police announced Sunday that Miya’s grandmother had also been arrested — they discovered she had an active domestic violence warrant on file — when they went to her residence to look for the girl.

Additionally, they said, while at the grandmother’s residence they saw a man, identified as Roach, toss “unprescribed” drugs under his vehicle, leading to his arrest for allegedly having a controlled substance.

It’s not clear what relationship Roach has to the family, if any.

King told WFIE that a family member said Miya hadn’t been seen since late April. Otherwise, he lamented that those closest to Miya had the least information for authorities searching for her.

He said when the girl was born in October, her umbilical cord tested positive for methamphetamine. King said Miya has three older siblings who had been removed from her household by state authorities who cited alleged drug issues.

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services intended to remove Miya from the household as well, King said.

Her parents told authorities the girl had already been taken by the cabinet, but King said that is not true.

The trooper, a spokesperson for state police in the Reynolds Station area, about 90 miles southwest of Louisville, said investigators still have hope that Miya might be found alive.

But he cautioned: “The longer this goes, the more grim of an outcome this will be.”

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