Developing: Police Utilize Cadaver Dogs in Search of Missing 8-Month-Old Kentucky Baby

Miya Rudd is born in October 2023 to parents Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30.

Routine tests show that Miya’s umbilical cord has traces of methamphetamine in it–grounds for removal from her parents’ care. By the time Kentucky’s Social Services  made arrangements for Miya to be placed with her 3 older siblings, Tucker and Rudd left the hospital with the baby. For the next six months, the family bounces from home to home, avoiding contact from social services.

In late May, a family member realizes they have not seen baby Miya Rudd in nearly a month. The family member contacts law enforcement, reporting they last saw Miya in April. Social services cannot locate the family, so Kentucky State Police Troopers are sent to perform a welfare check. On June 6, Tesla Tucker and Cage Rudd are tracked down to an Owensboro Super 8 motel.

Inside Tucker and Rudd’s hotel room, Kentucky State police find large amounts of crystal meth, and what is believed to be fentanyl, but no sign of baby Miya Rudd. Placed under arrest for drug violations, Tesla Tucker and Cage Rudd insist that social services removed Miya from their care on May 1st, but social services has no record of a pickup.

The parents suggest Miya may be with her maternal grandparents, who also has custody of her three older siblings, but do not cooperate further with the investigation.

Kentucky State Police head to parents’ Tesla Tucker and Cage Rudd’s last known address in nearby Reynold’s Station, hopeful they will locate Miya Rudd there. Conditions inside the home are deplorable. The home is filthy, and troopers uncover more meth and fentanyl.

Cage Rudd’s father, Ricky Smith, is believed to be operating a drug trafficking scheme out of the home, and is arrested on several drug and weapons charges. There is zero indication that Miya Rudd is living in the Deanfield Church Road home.

With all of Miya Rudd’s direct family members ruled out as having the infant in their care, police turn to a physical search near her parents’ home. While a team cleans the home’s interior of drug residue to protect searchers, cadaver dogs comb through the surrounding woods and several debris-filled ditches. The dogs’ behavior leads investigators to believe they have reason to continue searching nearby.   When Rudd’s home is finally safe for investigators and K9s to enter,

Kentucky State Police thoroughly search the building, picking through trash and debris. Under a pile of trash, cops make a grim discovery. An infants’ decomposing body is found wrapped in plastic bags and a blanket. The remains are confirmed to be those of Miya Rudd.


Fran Longwell – Former Deputy State’s Attorney (Calvert County, MD), Former Assistant State’s Attorney (Prince George’s County, MD) specializing in child abuse, sex offenses and homicides
Dr. Jeff Kieliszewski– Forensic Psychologist, Author: “Dark Sides”
Robin Dreeke – Behavior Expert & Retired FBI Special Agent / Chief of the FBI Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program; Author: “Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agents Manual for Behavior Prediction;” X: @rdreekeke
Dr. Michelle Dupre – Forensic Pathologist and former Medical Examiner, Author: “Homicide Investigation Field Guide” & “Investigating Child Abuse Field Guide”, Ret. Police Detective Lexington County Sheriff’s Department

Additional Guest

  • Mitch Carter – Reporter, WFIE 14 News, Indiana

“Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” is also a national radio show heard on SiriusXM channel 111 airing for two hours daily starting at 12 p.m. EST. You can also subscribe and download the daily podcasts at iHeart Podcasts.

[Feature Photo: Miya Tucker/Kentucky State Police]

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