SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Greene County judge ruled Ozark County Woman, Rebecca Ruud, is not guilty of murdering her 16-year-old daughter.
Judge Calvin Holden has only found Ruud guilty of abandonment of a corpse, in the death of Savannah Leckie.
OzarksFirst spent the afternoon in Theodosia, where Ruud lived, gauging people’s response to the decision.
Everyone we spoke with said they don’t agree with the judge.
“I think it’s a crying shame,” said Trude Corless, who lives in Theodosia. “I think she’s definitely guilty. Unless they’re privy to some kind of facts I don’t know, I think she’s guilty.”
Corless said the case was shocking in the first place.
“Seems like a big thing to happen here in a small town,” said Corless. “Coming from St. Louis, it’s an everyday occurrence. All kinds of murders and killings. Down here, it’s really peaceful and, unfortunately, this happened.”
Nicole Lang, who also lives in Theodosia, said the news was hard to believe.
“No, I don’t agree with this decision. It’s very heartbreaking. It’s really kind of surprising for this area. This is a very God-fearing community. Everybody is pretty close.”
Sentencing for Ruud will take place on Sept. 15.