The FBI released a statement on April 1 confirming that the remains discovered in a Northeast Washington, D.C. park yesterday during the search for missing eight-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd are those of her suspected abductor, 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum.
According to the FBI, the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington confirmed that Tatum’s dead body was found “in the area of the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens.”
Authorities suspect that Tatum died from an apparent suicide.
Investigators were actually searching that park for the missing Rudd after a tip came in on March 26 that Tatum had been spotted in the area of the park after he purchased “a carton of 43-gallon self-tying black trash bags,” according to FOX News in Washington.
Police are still searching the park for the missing 8-year-old.
During the preliminary search for the missing child after Tatum made off with her from the Washington, D.C. homeless shelter where Rudd was staying with her mother and stepfather, police discovered the body of Tatum’s murdered wife, Andrea Tatum, in a Maryland hotel room on March 20. Soon after discovering his wife’s body, an Amber Alert was issued for the missing Rudd, and an arrest warrant and murder charge issued for Tatum.
On March 26, Tatum was added to the FBI's Most Wanted List.
Washington’s Police Chief Cathy Lanier described the search in the park for Rudd as a “recovery mission,” but doesn't want to rule anything out until the child is found.
"We have not given up hope that we may still find Relisha alive," Lanier said last week.
The FBI has offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to Rudd’s location and return.
If you have any information regarding the case or Relisha Rudd’s whereabouts, you are asked to call local law enforcement, dial 911, or contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
For more on the discovery of Kahlil Tatum's body and the continued desperate search for missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, see the video accompanying this article.
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