Details of Disappearance During June 2002, Logan was living with his mother, Katherine L. Rutan (sometimes referred to as as Katherine Gougler, Katherine Pollard or Catherine Daggett); his four-year-old brother, Justin Daggett; and a roommate, Melody Lennington.
Photographs of Rutan are posted below this case summary. Logan also had a twin sister, but she had died when they were born. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) had previously taken custody of Logan and Justin after Rutan threatened to harm them. The children were returned to her care within a few days, however.
Logan had been caught playing with matches shortly before his disappearance, and Rutan had stated Logan was "dangerous" and she was afraid he would hurt his younger brother. She requested help for Logan from local officials, stating he had burned down one of their previous residences. She also claimed he had stabbed Justin
Three days before Logan's given date of disappearance, she had told the DHS she wanted to relinquish her parental rights towards both children. A DHS worker Rutan spoke to agreed to place Logan in a children's psychiatric hospital, but they didn't have an opening for several days.
Rutan reacted angrily when she learned Logan would not be placed immediately. In spite of his mother's characterization of Logan as "a child murderer and a house burner," the DHS worker thought he was behaving normally and appeared friendly and well-mannered.
Lennington last saw Logan on the evening of June 22, when she put the child and his brother to bed. Between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., Lennington woke up to the sound of Logan screaming and crying. She went back to sleep. At 6:00 a.m. when Lennington got up to go work, she asked Rutan what had happened with Logan.
Rutan replied that Logan was sick and she had put him in the basement. Later that day, when asked about Logan, Rutan variously stated the DHS had taken him away and she would not be allowed to see him until he was grown, that Logan was with his father, and that Logan was in a psychiatric hospital.
The DHS had not taken Logan; they were not scheduled to do so until the following day. Witnesses stated Rutan appeared relieved that Logan was gone and attempted to give away his clothing and belongings.
Rutan told several conflicting stories about where Logan was after he disappeared; she told the DHS that he had been put in another facility or that he was camping with her brother, and told others that he was with various different relatives, including his father, who lived on the East Coast and had not in fact had contact with him since he was a baby.
On the early morning of June 24, Rutan borrowed a shovel from her boyfriend and did not return it to him until after dark that same day.
Logan's maternal grandparents reported his disappearance on July 7, after trying to contact Logan and getting evasive answers from his mother as to his whereabouts. She told his grandparents that he was in a residential facility, and they offered to take custody of him, but she refused to tell them what facility he was in.
When the police went to question Rutan, she told them Logan was with her brother. Logan's uncle, however, had not seen the child in over a year. The uncle has cooperated with police and is not considered a suspect in his nephew's disappearance.
When authorities searched Rutan and Lennington's home, 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. Investigators also found plastic sheeting, cotton rope and drain cleaner in Rutan's car.
They determined that Logan was not enrolled at any of the facilities Rutan had claimed she had placed him in, or with any of the people she had claimed were caring for him. In addition, Rutan asked male acquaintances to call police and claim to be Rutan's brother and say they had Logan.
When authorities interviewed Justin, he told a story of how he, Logan and Rutan had driven out into the country. Logan's eyes and mouth were taped. and Rutan had a shovel and some plastic. Justin said he asked his mother what the plastic was for and she answered, "To bury Logan." Justin's mother took Logan, the shovel and the plastic away from the car and later returned alone.
Rutan. who moved away from Woodward in September 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 2002 and was incarcerated for a time and then released. She hired an attorney and refused to cooperate with the investigation or take a polygraph test.
Prior to Logan's disappearance, Rutan had repeatedly said to many people that she didn't want him in her life, saw him as a hindrance and wanted him gone. She reportedly treated Justin well, but abused and neglected Logan.
Various witnesses saw her beat the boy severely and attempt to abandon him, and one of her boyfriends said Rutan once told him she wished there was some way she could kill her children and get away with it. Earlier in 2002, Rutan had asked her parents to take Logan, but they were unable to do so.
In February 2006, Rutan was charged with first-degree murder in Logan's case. Prosecutors allege she used "unreasonable force" which caused "mortal wounds" to her son. The case against Rutan was mainly circumstantial. Justin testified for the prosecution, as did several of Rutan's former boyfriends.
She was convicted of murder in August 2007. The jury deliberated only two hours before reaching a verdict. They recommended a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Foul play is suspected in Logan's case due to the circumstances involved. He is believed to be buried in the woods or fields of Woodward County, or possibly dumped in Fort Supply Lake.
- Woodward County Sheriff's Office
Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 21, 2013; age-progression updated.