During June of 2002, six-year-old Logan Lynn Tucker was living with his mother, Katherine Rutan, his four-year-old brother Justin and a roommate named Melody Lennington in Woodward, Oklahoma. Logan's father has not had contact with him since he was a baby.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (or DHS) had previously taken custody of Logan and his brother after Katherine threatened to hurt them. The boys were later returned to Katherine's care within a few days.
Shortly before his disappearance, Logan was caught playing with matches and Katherine stated that he was "dangerous" & afraid that he would hurt his little brother. Katherine requested help from local officials, stating that Logan burned down one of their previous residences.
Three days before Logan disappeared, Katherine told DHS that she wanted to give up her parental rights towards both her sons. DHS offered to place Logan in residential treatment, but didn't have an opening at a treatment center for several days. Katherine reacted angrily when she learned that Logan wouldn't be placed immediately.
Melody last saw Logan on the evening of June 22, 2002 when she put him and his younger brother to bed. Between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning, Melody woke up to the sound of Logan screaming and crying & went back to sleep. At 6:00 a.m. when Melody got up to go to work, she asked Katherine what happened to Logan. Katherine said that Logan was sick and she had put him in the basement.
Later that day, when asked about Logan's whereabouts, Katherine made various statements saying that DHS took Logan away and she wouldn't be allowed to see him until he was grown, Logan was with his father and that Logan was in a psychiatric hospital.
DHS hadn't taken Logan and they weren't scheduled to do so until the next day. Witnesses stated that Katherine appeared relieved that Logan was gone and she attempted to give away his clothing & belongings which were left behind when Logan went missing.
Katherine has told several conflicting stories about where Logan was after he disappeared: she told DHS that he had been put in another facility or that he was camping with her brother and she told others that he was with various different relatives.
On the early morning of June 24, 2002, Katherine borrowed a shovel from her boyfriend and didn't return it to him until after dark on that same day.
Logan's grandparents reported his disappearance on July 7, 2002 after trying to contact him and getting evasive answers from Katherine as to his whereabouts. Katherine told his grandparents that Logan was in a residential facility and they offered to take custody of him, but Katherine refused to tell them what facility he was in.
When the police went to question Katherine, she told them that Logan was with her brother, however Logan's uncle claimed he had not seen him in over a year. The uncle has cooperated with police and is not considered a suspect in his Logan's disappearance.
When authorities searched Katherine and Melody's residence, they found bloodstains and masking tape with hairs stuck to it in the basement of the residence. The blood was tested for DNA and was proven to be Logan's blood.
Investigators also found plastic sheeting, cotton rope and drain cleaner in Katherine's car and they determined that Logan wasn't enrolled at any of the facilities that Katherine claimed she had placed him in or with any of the people she had claimed were caring for him.
In addition, Katherine asked male acquaintances of hers to call police and claim to be her brother and say they had Logan.
When authorities interviewed Logan's younger brother, he told a story of how he, Logan and Katherine had driven out into the country and Katherine had a shovel. She carried Logan and the shovel away from the car and she later returned by herself.
Katherine (who had moved away from Woodward in September of 2002) never called the police to inquire as to the status of her son's missing person case. She was arrested on bad check charges in September of 2002 and was incarcerated for a time and then released. Katherine hired an attorney and refused to cooperate with the investigation of Logan's disappearance and to take a polygraph test. Katherine's boyfriend was questioned as a possible suspect in his case and was cleared.
In February of 2006, Katherine was charged with first-degree murder in Logan's case. Prosecutors allege that she used "unreasonable force" which caused "mortal wounds" to Logan. The case against Katherine was mainly circumstantial; Logan's younger brother testified for the prosecution.
In August of 2007 (after two hours of jury delibration), Katherine was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Due to the circumstances involved, foul play is suspected in Logan's case and he is believed to have been buried in the woods or fields of Woodward County or possibly dumped in Fort Supply Lake.