The Logan Tucker Case: Buried And Never Found
Logan Tucker (6) was living in a home with his brother Justin (4), his mother Katherine Rutan, and Katherine’s roommate, Melody Lennington who they had moved in with in 2002. Logan never had contact with his biological father.
In April of 2002, Katherine called a crisis hotline and explained that she was worried that she was going to hurt her sons, particularly Logan. She blamed Logan for being dangerous and feared he would hurt his younger brother. Katherine explained that Logan would constantly play with matches, unlit cigarettes, and try to start fires. She was worried for Justin’s safety and said she would “be forced to do something to Logan that she didn’t want to do” in order to protect her younger son. After the crisis phone call, Logan and Justin were taken by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. However, the two young boys were given back just a few days later.
In June of 2002, Katherine called for help again in regards to Logan’s out of control behavior with fire. A DHS worker confirmed to Katherine that they would place Logan in a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation, but there was not another opening for another four days. Katherine became agitated and impatient when she learned that she could not get rid of Logan as soon as possible. When a DHS worker came to speak to Logan before he was admitted, he was described as friendly and well mannered. Katherine shouted at them, “you people never listen to me. He’s a child murderer and a house burner, and you won’t do anything.”
Lennington told police that the last day she saw Logan alive was June 22nd, 2002 when he was being put to bed.
At around 3:00am or 4:00am in the morning, Lennington woke up to little Logan screaming and crying, but she drifted off back to sleep after Katherine reassured her that he was just “sick.” The next morning, Katherine explained that Logan’s crying was due to DHS taking him a day earlier than planned. She had a visible bruise on her arm that she said came from Logan’s temper tantrum as he was being taken from her arms. Lennington also noticed that one of her blue suitcases was missing.
On June 24th, 2002, Katherine asked her boyfriend to borrow a shovel so she could plant some wildflowers. She didn’t return the shovel to him until late that night. Eventually, Logan was reported missing on July 7th, 2002 by his maternal parents when they realized Katherine was unusually evasive as to where Logan was.
When confronted by police, Katherine provided several different stories as to where Logan was such as he was at a facility, DHS had him, and he was given to her brother. To further the story about Logan being with his uncle, she approached a random man and asked him to call her phone saying Logan was okay and acting like his uncle. A search of the home revealed a plethora of suspicious evidence such as blood stains, masking tape with hairs stuck in it, rope, drain cleaner, and a large amount of plastic sheeting in Katherine’s car. The blood stains were confirmed to be Logan’s.
The most shocking piece of evidence ended up being the words of Logan’s little brother, Justin.
He told police that his mother loaded Logan and himself into the car. Logan’s body was hunched, pale, and he wasn’t talking or crying. He had fallen silent after she stuffed food in his throat and then taped his mouth and eyes. Katherine drove out into a country area with the plastic sheeting and shovel in the trunk. When they got to a stranded area, Katherine scooped Logan out of the car, along with the shovel and sheeting. Justin was told to stay in the car because there were snakes. When Katherine returned, she was alone and explained that Logan went to where the bad boys go. “If you ever do anything like he did, you’ll end up in the same place”, she said to Justin.
It took 4 years to charge Katherine with Logan Tucker’s murder. However, police believe the weight of people’s testimonies was enough to charge her with first degree murder. In 2007, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Another theory as to where Logan’s body is began with a sanitation worker who was making his trash route around neighborhoods. He noticed a bulky blue suitcase that was thickly wrapped in plastic and had a rope around it sitting near the residence of Katherine and her roommate. It weighed around 40 to 60 pounds. When dumping the suitcase into his truck, he explained that a smell hit him that resembled a dead animal. After receiving this tip, police rushed to the local landfill, but at this point there was over 4 years of trash piled up. They combed through the trash carefully using a trackhoe type system and a core drilling machine, but Logan’s body was never found.
Melody Lennington was confirmed to be completely innocent, as was Katharine’s boyfriend who gave her the shovel.