Every child is priceless. All the children of the world, red, yellow, black, and white are precious. The disappearance of one child in the District of Columbia has now reached its fourth month. The FBI is offering $25,000 to anyone with information leading to finding Relisha Rudd.
Mayor Vincent Gray has been deeply troubled over the missing child. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has lamented the time lost from the child’s last sighting at the homeless shelter until the time she was reported missing.
The death of the man believed to have taken the child is another major complication in finding the child. There have been cases where a child has been given to someone, taken across state lines, given a new name, and remained hidden from a parent for years.
Relisha Rudd is still out there somewhere. The FBI is not giving up on finding the child. The District of Columbia is not giving up on finding the child. The FBI reports the story of how a missing child was located using the FBI missing child app.
The agency reports that when a 6-year-old boy was abducted in Puerto Rico in October 2012, local media outlets issued conflicting details about the boy’s age; some said he was 7, others said he was 4. Eager to put out an accurate, detailed description to expedite the search, the FBI in San Juan interviewed the missing boy’s parents and asked about his particulars—name, age, and what he was wearing when he was abducted.
“The mother was hysterical,” recalls Diana Rosa, a community outreach specialist in our San Juan Field Office who with the assistance of a special agent was able to question the boy’s parents. The family didn’t have a recent picture of the boy handy, so there was little to work with.
The agency said Rosa pulled up the FBI Child ID app she had installed six months earlier on her smartphone. The free mobile application, available on iPhone and Android operating systems, is a way for parents to store up-to-date pictures and detailed information about their children in the event they go missing. Rosa, whose job includes talking to community members about subjects like safety, had the app on her own phone because she has a young daughter.
The agency said that while on the phone with the case agent who was interviewing the boy’s parents, Rosa referred to a series of queries on the app that helped guide the agent’s questions and collect more identifying characteristics about the missing boy. The probing prompted the boy’s father to recall a very unique characteristic about one of his son’s front teeth.
Because of the FBI Child ID app the FBI San Juan office issued a detailed press release containing the new information. Within hours, the boy was released by his captors in a busy office park, where a woman who recognized him from the media reports immediately got help. The boy was reunited with his family the same day.
The FBI released the app for iPhones in 2011 and for Android systems in 2012. While the app wasn’t used quite as intended in this case, Rosa said it was very helpful as a way to collect key information during an emotionally charged moment and showed just how useful the app could be. Now when she meets with parents in the community she passes her phone around and shows them the Child ID app, encouraging them to download it so that they will have everything at hand if they ever need it
“As a mom, I know if my child goes missing I won’t remember what she was wearing that day,” said Rosa, who uploads new photos to the app every time her daughter gets a haircut. “Just knowing it’s a click away on my phone in a matter of seconds is a relief.”
The FBI found the missing boy as their report states in the story here because the community helped the FBI. The mentality that helping to locate an innocent child is somehow being an FBI informant is both ludicrous and detrimental to finding a little girl.
A District of Columbia resident, who asked not to be identified, said many District of Columbia residents are afraid of helping the FBI find Relisha Rudd because they are afraid of being labeled a snitch. When asked why this mentality exists the resident said that there was a history of being afraid of the FBI because of reports of surveillance and probing into the lives of private citizens dating back to the Black Power Movement and the Counter Intelligence program by the FBI.
The present writer pointed out that there is an African-American president of the United States. There is an African American Attorney General of the United States. There are thousands of African-American FBI agents across the nation. Any person who refuses to help the FBI find a missing child because of FBI surveillance programs 50 years ago is missing an opportunity to save a child.
The FBI is a government agency. The mission of every United States government agency is to protect and serve the people of the United States of America. If you have information that can help the FBI find Relisha Rudd call the FBI at 202-278-2000.