“20/20” ran a program entitled “Footprints in the Snow” about the disappearance in April 2013 of Samantha and Gianna Rucki; Did they tell the whole story.
WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 – A recent ABC “20/20” report on a bitter custody battle that led to the disappearance of two Lakeville, Minnesota girls for more than two years may have ignored critical facts.
On April 8, 2016, “20/20” ran a program entitled “Footprints in the Snow” about the disappearance in April 2013 of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who ran away from home during a bitter custody dispute, leaving nothing but footprints in the snow.
The show hinged on claims by the parents. The mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, said she was abused by her ex-husband, David Rucki. David Rucki, on the other hand, said she made up the allegations and brainwashed their children into believing her, which he called parental alienation.
In the critical scene of the program, Elizabeth Vargas, the show’s host, asked Sandra to provide proof of abuse during their marriage saying: “I’m asking for any of the documentation you assured us existed and we can find none of it.”
Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, went back to her office, where producers rummaged through several thousand papers and then proclaimed, “In more than 20 boxes we didn’t find a single piece of paper or photo to provide that any physical abuse existed.”
But this appears to twist what MacDonald provided them.
According to a 42-page document provided by MacDonald to “20/20,” there was a litany of evidence of abuse including an affidavit, criminal charges and convictions, and numerous incident reports made by Sandra.