Search widens for missing boy

Wednesday, July 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) _ The search for a 6-year-old boy missing for three weeks widened Tuesday as authorities continued to look for suspects in his disappearance.

Hundreds of volunteers converged on Woodward County to comb a 90-square-mile area. But there were no reported sightings of Logan Lynn Tucker, who hasn't been seen since June 23.

For the second time in less than a week, teams of volunteers fanned out across the northwest part of Woodward County, searching from all-terrain vehicles, horses and airplanes for any sign of the boy.

The search concentrated on the area surrounding Fort Supply Lake and the adjacent 16,000-acre Cooper Wildlife Management Area.

The sheriff's department said searchers will look for evidence that would indicate human remains or a recently dug grave site.

Organizers of the search said the west side of Fort Supply Lake would receive special attention by law enforcement search teams. Woodward County deputies said a tracking dog had been brought in to work an area along Wolf Creek west of the Woodward airport.

The boy's mother, Katherine Rutan, 27, has allegedly given authorities conflicting stories on her son's whereabouts.

Rutan's mother, Connie Henson, who arrived from Bixby Tuesday to stand vigil during the search for her grandson, said she hasn't talked to her estranged daughter in more than three years and only found out about Logan's disappearance after her son called from West Virginia to inform her.

Henson said Rutan, Logan and his 4-year-old brother were living with Henson until Henson said she had to kick her daughter out for what Henson claims was a lifestyle dominated by men and drugs.

Henson said she tried to keep her grandsons but was forced by police to return the boys to Rutan.

Logan's brother has been placed in the custody of the state Department of Human Services.

According to authorities, Rutan insists her brother drove to Oklahoma and picked up Logan on June 23 and took him back to West Virginia, a claim both the sheriff's department and Henson reject.

Woodward County Sheriff Les Morton also says Henson's son has been checked out and cleared in Logan's disappearance, which leads both investigators and Henson to question Rutan's story.