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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andrea Cavallier

Police scour woods for missing Kentucky 8-month-old as her parents and grandparents are arrested

Kentucky State Police

A massive search continues in rural Kentucky for a missing baby whose parents and grandparents have since been arrested in connection to her disappearance.

Miya Tucker, who is just 8 months old, has not been seen since late April, a family member told police. She was reported missing last week from a home in Reynolds Station, Kentucky.

Kentucky State Police said cadaver dogs and drones searched the woods near Miya’s home on Tuesday, but there is still no sign of the baby, according to NBC affiliate WFIE.

“We have no evidence she’s deceased,” State Police Trooper Corey King told WFIE. “But we have no evidence she’s alive, either.”

Miya’s parents, Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30, along with her grandfather, Ricky Smith, 56, were arrested on Friday and booked on child abandonment and drug-related charges.

Miya’s mom, Tesla Tucker, 29, was arrested on child abandonment charges (Kentucky State Police)

Following Smith’s arrest, police went to the grandmother’s home looking for the baby, and arrested Billie Smith, 49, on an outstanding warrant for second-degree assault — domestic violence. The charge is unrelated to Miya’s disappearance.

A fifth person, identified as Timothy Roach, was arrested after police saw the man toss “unprescribed” drugs under his vehicle, while at the grandmother’s house during her arrest.

He was charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance and first-degree prescription controlled substance not in a proper container. It’s not clear what Roach’s relationship is to the family.

The search for Miya began after family members contacted police for a welfare check in May when they became worried they had not seen the baby since April.

Miya’s father, Cage Rudd, 30, was also arrested in connection to her disappearance (Kentucky State Police)

Trooper King told WFIE that Miya’s parents were found in a Motel 6 room in Owensboro, Kentucky, on Friday, where drugs, including fentanyl pills and methamphetamine, were “in plain sight.”

But Miya was not there.

According to KSP, the family already had three children taken from their home last month by the Kentucky Child Protection Branch, which cited alleged drug issues.

King said the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services intended to remove Miya from the home as well after her umbilical cord tested positive for methamphetamine when she was born in October.

Her parents told police they had already taken her, but King said that was not true. He added that none of the family arrested has cooperated with law enforcement in any way.

Miya’s parents and grandfather will be in Daviess County court today for their preliminary hearings on drug charges.

“Someone knows what happened to this baby,” Trooper King said Tuesday.

He said they still have hope to find Miya alive and well, but cautioned: “The longer this goes, the more grim of an outcome this will be.”

Kentucky State Police are urging anyone with information regarding the missing child to contact police at 270-826-3312.

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