Missing infant found decomposed underneath debris at family’s home

Posted at 4:55 PM, June 14, 2024

REYNOLDS STATION, Ky. (Court TV) — The search for a missing baby in Kentucky came to an end on Friday when investigators found the remains of a child hidden inside the family’s home.

Investigators told WFIE they believe the decomposed remains found concealed in the home belong to 8-month-old Miya Rudd. Kentucky State Police announced last week they were searching for the child, who had not been seen since late April.

Photo of baby Miya Rudd

Miya Rudd was reported missing on June 6, but family members said they hadn’t seen her since April. (Kentucky State Police)

State police said in a news release that they were unable to find Miya on June 6 when they did a welfare check at her home and arrested her parents, Tesla Tucker and Cage Rudd, on drug charges as well as abandonment of a minor. The same day, Ricky Smith, Miya’s grandfather, was also arrested on similar charges. On June 9, Miya’s grandmother, Billie (Rudd) Smith, was arrested for unrelated charges when officers discovered she had an outstanding warrant during their search for the infant.

On June 12, Tesla Tucker’s parents, Taletha and David Tucker, were both taken into custody on unrelated warrants. When officers searched their home, they seized electronics but offered no further information about any possible connection to their search for Miya.

Two other men have been arrested in connection with the case: Timothy Roach, who was allegedly seen throwing unprescribed suboxone under his vehicle in the driveway of Smith’s home, and Brodie Payne, who was allegedly living in the Rudd household for the last six months.

Trooper Corey King, speaking to WFIE at the scene after remains were found, said that the discovery was important not only for the investigation but also for the people involved. “I think for the family, as well as the community at large, this is the closure that they need,” King said. “This is what we as an investigative body need as well to move forward.”

“Under a pile of debris is where we, unfortunately, located the baby’s body,” King said.

King said that when officers went inside the house, they encountered “dangerous conditions” and had to sterilize areas contaminated by residue and drugs in order to search thoroughly.

Because the child’s body was decomposed, King said the medical examiner would need to determine the cause of death.