The family of the woman Nicholas Rucker is accused of murdering said they were relieved when they learned he had been captured early last Thursday.
Rucker has been on the run since May 22 after he allegedly shot and killed Vicki S. Conner at a residence on Ky. 1064 in Woodbine.
“My kids are no longer worried about being safe,” said Ashley Burke, Conner’s daughter.
As to what she would say if she could speak with Rucker, Burke said she would ask a simple question.
“Why? Why did you do it,” Burke said. “Why this, after everything she has done for you?”
Burke said while it has been a difficult time for all of the family, Conner’s mother, Emily Burke, has been hit the hardest as she has buried her only child.
“She doesn’t have the words to describe it,” Burke said of her grandmother. “She lost her husband of 63 years during Christmas 2017, and now her only daughter.”
“This is what she has been praying for,” Burke said of her grandmother and Rucker’s capture.
Burke said the family has been able to keep going through Conner’s death and the search for Rucker because of the community.
“We appreciate all of the love and support,” she said.
As to what led Conner to remain in the relationship with Rucker, Burke said it was her mother’s nature to try to help those in need, especially those with nowhere else to turn.
“My mother, despite her faults, she wanted to help everybody,” Burke said.
In addition, Burke said Conner was going through a really difficult time in her life and Rucker filled a need.
She was lonely and she could not handle being alone,” Burke said of Conner. “She was about ready to give up and he was there.”
Burke described Rucker as withdrawn, but said he could also be very charming.
“Most of the time kept to himself and was into whatever electronics he was involved with,” Burke said. “He had a whole other side where he flattered mom and made her feel good. There were days you would be around where he would do things and be this nice guy.”
However, Burke said the relationship drove Conner away from her family, especially they learned of his previous conviction and sentence for killing a child in Laurel County.
“We went from seeing and talking to mom every day to where I hadn’t spoken to her in four days.”
Burke said there is something the family wants Rucker to understand.
“It wasn’t just his girlfriend that he shot. She meant the world to us, to her grandbabies,” Burke said. “We are still trying to figure out how to navigate day by day without her.”
“She was mama and grammy to me and my sister and our children.”