Logan Lynn Tucker was born April 10, 1996, to his mother Katherine. Katherine has been married multiple times and may be referred to by any of her married names including Rutan and Pollard. Logan also had a younger brother named Justin Daggett, who was born in 1998.
Logan, his mother, Katherine L. Rutan, and his four-year-old brother, Justin Daggett, moved in with a roommate, Melody Lennington, in June 2002. Rutan’s photos are posted below this case summary. She has been married five times and may be referred to by one of her married names in the media.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) took custody of Logan and Justin in April of that year after Rutan called a crisis hotline and said she was afraid she was going to hurt the children, particularly Logan. However, the children were returned to her care within a few days.
Logan, according to Rutan, was “dangerous,” and she was afraid he would hurt his younger brother. She told several witnesses that he had a history of starting fires and that if Logan started another fire, she would “be forced to do something to Logan that I don’t want to do” to protect Justin.
Rutan requested DHS assistance once more regarding Logan’s alleged fire-starting behavior. A DHS employee Rutan spoke with agreed to admit Logan to a children’s psychiatric hospital for a battery of tests, but the facility didn’t have an opening for four days. Rutan became enraged when she learned Logan would not be placed right away.
Despite his mother’s description of Logan as “a child murderer and a house burner,” the DHS employee who spoke with Rutan and Logan thought he was acting normally and was friendly and well-mannered.
Logan was last seen by Lennington on June 22, when she put him and his brother to bed. Lennington awoke between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. to the sound of Logan screaming and crying. She returned to sleep.
When Lennington got up to go to work at 6:00 a.m., she asked Rutan what had happened to Logan. Rutan responded that Logan was sick and that she had confined him to the basement. When asked about Logan later that day, Rutan informed her boyfriend and Lennington that DHS had taken him and would place him with his biological father. She had a bruise on her arm, which she claimed Logan had caused when he was kidnapped.
Logan had not been taken by the DHS; he was not scheduled to be taken until the following day. According to witnesses, Rutan appeared relieved that Logan had left and attempted to give away his clothing and belongings. “Logan won’t be home anymore,” Justin told a visitor.
Logan’s maternal grandparents reported his disappearance on July 7, after attempting to contact him and receiving evasive responses from his mother about his whereabouts. She informed his grandparents that he was in a residential facility, and they offered to take custody of him, but she refused to reveal the location of the facility.
When the police arrived to question Rutan, she stated that Logan was with her brother and that her brother was traveling for work and that she did not have his contact information. Logan’s uncle, on the other hand, hadn’t seen the child in over a year. The uncle has cooperated with authorities and is not being held responsible for his nephew’s disappearance.
When police searched Rutan and Lennington’s home, they discovered candle wax, bloodstains, and masking tape with hairs stuck to it in the basement. Logan’s blood was tested for DNA and proved to be his. In Rutan’s car, investigators discovered rope, drain cleaner, and a large amount of plastic sheeting. Investigators later discovered that Rutan had borrowed the plastic and a shovel from her boyfriend, claiming she wanted to plant wildflowers but never did.
Logan was not enrolled in any of the facilities Rutan claimed she had placed him in, nor with any of the people she claimed were caring for him, according to police. Furthermore, Rutan asked a male acquaintance to pretend to be Rutan’s brother and to have Logan.
When authorities interviewed Justin, he told them about driving out into the country with Logan and Rutan. Logan’s skin was white, and he was motionless. Rutan was wearing a shovel and some plastic.
Logan, the shovel, and the plastic were removed from the car by Justin’s mother. She warned Justin not to get out of the car because there were snakes in the area. When she returned hours later, she was alone, and when Justin inquired about Logan’s whereabouts, Rutan allegedly replied, “He went to where the bad boys go, and if you ever do anything like he did, you’ll end up in the same place.”
Rutan, who left Woodward in September 2002, never called the police to inquire about her son’s missing person case. In September 2002, she was arrested on bad check charges, incarcerated for a time, and then released. She retained counsel and refused to cooperate with the investigation or submit to a polygraph test.
Prior to Logan’s disappearance, Rutan had told many people that she didn’t want him in her life, that he was a hindrance, and that she wanted him gone. She allegedly treated Justin well and affectionately, but she abused and neglected Logan. She blamed Logan for starting the fire after her fourth husband’s trailer burned down, but there was never any proof that Logan was to blame.
Several witnesses saw her severely beating the boy and attempting to abandon him, and one of her boyfriends claimed Rutan told him in 1999 that she wished she could kill her children and get away with it. Rutan had asked her parents to take Logan earlier in 2002, but they were unable to do so.
Rutan was charged with first-degree murder in Logan’s case in February 2006. Prosecutors claim she used “unreasonable force” on her son, resulting in “mortal wounds.” The evidence against Rutan was primarily circumstantial. Justin, as well as several of Rutan’s former boyfriends, testified for the prosecution.
A sanitation worker also testified that on the day Logan was last seen, he saw a blue suitcase wrapped in plastic and tied with rope out for trash pickup on Rutan’s block. He said the suitcase smelled like death and weighed forty to sixty pounds, and a woman stood nearby watching him load it into the garbage truck. At around the same time, Lennington’s blue suitcase vanished.
In August 2007, Rutan was found guilty of murder. Before reaching a decision, the jury deliberated for only two hours. They recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Foul play is suspected in Logan’s case due to the circumstances involved.
- Woodward County Sheriff’s Office 580-256-3264