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Legal and Investigative Strategies for a “No Body” Homicide

Chris L. Ross

Abstract: In June 2002, six-year-old Logan Tucker disappeared in Woodward, Oklahoma. It was fourteen days before law enforcement learned of his disappearance. His mother, Katherine Rutan, told various stories to neighbors, relatives, and law enforcement. Although she was a suspect, authorities were reluctant to charge her without a body. In October 2005, the Woodward County District Attorney’s office contacted me for my opinion on the case. They then asked me to lead the prosecution. In 2006, Rutan was charged with First Degree Murder. In 2007, following a nine-day jury trial, she was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. This article discusses the facts of the Logan Tucker case along with the legal and investigatory aspects of a “no body” murder investigation and prosecution.


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