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Suspect in Minnesota girl’s death released from Missouri prison

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Robert Peat Jr.

HOUSTON, Mo. – A suspect in the death of a Minnesota girl who was living in Missouri has been released from prison but will remain on a tracking monitor.

The Springfield News-Leader reports special prosecutor Steven Kretzer said Thursday 31-year-old Robert Peat Jr. will be released while the state investigates new developments in the 2017 death of 16-year-old Savannah Leckie.

Fragments of the girl’s bones were found in a burn pile at a home in Ozark County in southwest Missouri where she was living with Peat and Rebecca Ruud.

Ruud was Peat’s biological mother but gave her up for adoption to a Minnesota couple when the girl was born.

Peat and Ruud are charged with first-degree murder in the girl’s death.

Kretzer and Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed declined to elaborate on the new developments in the case.

Information from: Springfield News-Leader,

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