Solved with no body: The case of Logan Tucker



About a week and a half ago, those of us in the United States celebrated Mother’s Day. Most mothers would never dream of hurting their children and even risk or give their own lives to keep their kids safe. But there are plenty of stories out there of mothers doing the exact opposite. Let’s talk about Logan Tucker, who has been missing for almost twenty years.



early life



Logan Lynn Tucker was born on April 10, 1996 to Katherine Rutan. Katherine has been married several times and is listed in some sources as Katherine Pollard; I don’t think Rutan was her name at the time of Logan’s birth, but that’s what I’ll refer to her as since that’s what most sources called her.


I found very little information on Logan’s father; I believe he’s a man named Robert Tucker. Katherine and Robert only dated for a few months before she got pregnant with twins; she’d initially told him that she had cervical cancer and couldn’t get pregnant. Sadly, Logan’s twin sister died at birth, and Robert Tucker wasn’t all that involved in his son’s life. Logan was later joined by a younger brother named Justin Daggett; I assume he has a different father.



From all accounts I’ve looked into, family life for Logan wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Katherine claimed Logan was a pyromaniac and even blamed him for starting a fire that destroyed one of her ex-boyfriends’ homes. There’s no proof Logan was involved in that particular incident, but Katherine was convinced her son was dangerous. She thought he might hurt Justin, even implying at one point that she might have to hurt Logan to protect Justin.


According to witnesses, Katherine treated Justin relatively well but physically abused Logan and said on more than one occasion that she no longer wanted him. At one point, she reportedly told her boyfriend at the time that she wanted to kill her kids and be able to get away with it. In April 2002, Logan, who would have just been turning six, begged Katherine’s parents (his maternal grandparents) to let him live with them in Florida, but Katherine wouldn’t let him.


A couple of months later, in June of 2002, Katherine, along with 6-year-old Logan and 4-year-old Justin, moved in with a roommate named Melody Lennington. At some point that month, Katherine called a crisis hotline and said she was afraid she was going to hurt one of her kids. The kids were taken away for a few days, but went back into her care after that.


On June 19, 2002, Melody Lennington reportedly caught Logan and Justin playing with matches. That day, Katherine contacted the Department of Human Services (or DHS) with concerns about Logan’s behavior. A DHS worker said they could put Logan in a psychiatric hospital, but there wasn’t an opening for another few days. The DHS worker said Logan acted normally during the visit and that Katherine had expressed a desire to terminate her parental rights for both her sons.



disappearance



Logan Tucker was last seen by Melody Lennginton on the night of June 22, 2002, the day before he was scheduled to go to the psychiatric hospital. Melody put the kids to bed and went to sleep herself. Between 3 and 4 am, she woke up and heard Logan screaming and crying, but then went back to sleep.


When she woke up again around 6 am, she asked Katherine what had happened the night before. Katherine said Logan was sick and she’d put him in the basement. By the time Melody left for work around noon, there was still no sign of Logan. Later on that day, Katherine told her boyfriend as well as Melody that Logan had been taken by DHS and was going to live with his dad.


And her stories didn’t stop there. On June 25, Katherine told her parents that she was scheduled to have her parental rights terminated later that week. A few days later, she told a DHS worker that Logan was camping with his uncle in Vermont and that he’d been enrolled in school in Oklahoma. That worker called the school Katherine said Logan was enrolled in, but they had no idea who he was. Katherine also told an acquaintance named Diana Koehn that Logan was with the DHS and she was now going to view him as being dead like his sister.


Three days after Logan was last seen, Katherine tried to enroll Justin in a day care and told workers that Logan was in a mental hospital. In early July, she told one of her co-workers that she only had one 4-year-old son (which was the age Justin was at the time).



investigation/aftermath

Logan was reported missing by his grandparents on July 7. They’d been trying to contact him but Katherine kept giving vague excuses as to why they couldn’t talk to him. When police talked to her, Katherine told them Logan had gone to live with his uncle in West Virginia, but this particular uncle said he hadn’t seen his nephew in over a year and didn’t even live in West Virginia. Police also learned that Katherine had recently borrowed a shovel from her boyfriend, telling him she wanted to plant flowers. A search of the house’s basement turned up rope, drain cleaner, plastic sheets, tape with hairs stuck to it and blood stains. The blood was later proven to be Logan’s.



And 4-year-old Justin told police a story that definitely didn’t help his mom’s case. According to him, Katherine had driven the boys out into the country, but Logan was pale and unmoving the whole time. At some point, Katherine stopped the car, took a shovel, plastic wrap and Logan out of the car and went out of Justin’s sight. When she came back, Justin didn’t see his brother anywhere. When he asked his mom where Logan was, she said "He went to where the bad boys go, and if you ever do anything like he did, you’ll end up in the same place."


A sanitation worker later told another story. He said the day Logan was last seen, he saw a blue suitcase tied up with rope on the curb with the trash outside Katherine’s house. It smelled like death and was very heavy; according to this worker, Katherine struggled as she put it in the back of a truck, presumably the garbage truck.


These stories are a bit different, but I don’t think that’s too crazy; one or both of them could easily be remembering things wrong.


A major landfill in the area was searched a few days later, along with nearby woods and lakes. These searches lasted several months and nothing was found.


Katherine reportedly never contacted police to ask for information or updates on Logan’s case. Later that year, she told an undercover officer she believed “in her heart” that Logan was dead. In September of that year, she was arrested for writing bad checks, and her car was later set on fire while she was in a meeting with her lawyer. There was also a suspicious fire at her lawyer’s house later that year. That lawyer was removed from the case for having an “inappropriate relationship” with Katherine; I assume this relationship was sexual in nature, but I don’t know for sure.



trial/conviction



In February 2006, Katherine Rutan was charged with first degree murder. Prosecutors initially wanted the death penalty, but dropped it hoping that it would incentivize Katherine to tell them where Logan was buried — but she never did. As late as September 2007, she claimed in a court document that Logan was with his uncle.


At trial, prosecutors claimed Katherine saw her kids as inconvenient and that they got in the way of her relationship with her then-boyfriend, who had told her they couldn’t live with him because of Logan’s behavior. They claimed Katherine killed Logan in the early morning hours of June 23. Over 100 witnesses were called to the stand, including Melody Lennington, several of Katherine’s exes, DHS workers and Logan’s younger brother, Justin.


On August 31, 2007, Katherine Rutan (who was Katherine Pollard at this time) was convicted of first degree murder. In October of that year, she was sentenced to life in prison without parole, where she remains today.



where is Logan?



But even though his killer is behind bars, where is Logan and will we ever find his remains? Investigators think Logan is buried somewhere in Woodward County, where he lived. Logan’s paternal grandparents, Don and Connie Henson don’t think Katherine will ever tell anyone where their grandson is buried, though I’m not sure of their exact reasoning. When district attorney investigator Butch Hutchens was asked if he thought Katherine would ever reveal where she buried Logan, he said the following:

"I don't know. Her mother told us once that she would tell us where he was if it could benefit her and only if it could benefit her.”

In 2010, bones were found in Oklahoma that were thought to be Logan’s. I never found an actual article confirming or denying this. There are a few old forum postings that seem to have mentioned or reposted older articles; these articles said the bones turned out to be animal bones. I know this isn’t exactly the most reliable source, but it’s all I could find — and if the bones had turned out to be Logan’s, I’m sure that information would be easily accessible.



final details



Logan Lynn Tucker was six years old when he was last seen at his home in Woodward, Oklahoma. He is classified as endangered missing.


At the time of his disappearance, Logan was 3 feet 6 inches tall and 42 pounds. He has blue eyes, blonde or strawberry blonde hair, and would be 25 years old if alive today.



conclusion

This case is a lot more straightforward than most other missing persons cases I cover. The only real mystery here is where Logan’s body is. Since he’s thought to be buried somewhere in the county, hopefully that narrows the search quite a bit and one day he can be found.

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