Sheriff, deputy return from Minnesota as Leckie murder investigation continues
Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed and Chief Deputy Winston Collins returned to Ozark County Wednesday, Sept. 27, after spending three days in Minnesota talking with friends, relatives and acquaintances of 16-year-old Savannah Leckie, whose burned remains were found Aug. 4 on her mother’s Theodosia-area farm.
Reed and Collins worked closely with Wright County ( Minnesota) Sheriff Joe Hagerty and his officers and staff, conducting interviews with several individuals. Reed said Monday he isn’t able to release any new information to the public after the visit but continues to work on the case every day.
Savannah was born to Rebecca Ruud and a few months later was adopted by Tamile Leckie-Montague and her husband at the time, David Leckie. Savannah lived with Tamile from birth until she was 15, and in August 2016 she moved to her biological mother’s farm in Ozark County. Savannah was acquainted with her biological mother, family members say.
On the same day Savannah’s charred remains were found on Ruud’s farm, Ruud married Robert Peat Jr.; both are now charged with Savannah’s murder.
Online court records indicate that the Supreme Court of Missouri has entered an order to temporarily transfer Ruud’s case from the 44th Circuit Judge Craig Carter to 37th Circuit Judge David Evans after a change of judge motion was sustained. The 37th circuit includes Carter, Howell, Oregon and Shannon counties. A motion hearing for Ruud is scheduled for Oct. 19 in the Ozark County Courthouse.
Peat’s attorney has also filed a motion for a change of judge and change of venue; however, no action on the motion has been taken as of press time Tuesday. Peat is scheduled to appear before Carter Nov. 8 at the Ozark County Courthouse.