The search party for the missing girl, Relisha Rudd, 8, who was last seen on March 1 with her abductor, Kahlil Tatum; ended in Kenilworth Park on Thursday. Washington, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is disappointed the young girl could not be found.
In the Washington Post article on April 2 titled “Body identified as suspect in girl’s disappearance,“ Lanier stated the following: “The investigation will not end when the search (in the park) ends,” Lanier said. “This is one component of the investigation.”
On Monday volunteers in the community helped law enforcement continue the search. The body of Kahlil Tatum was found and identified; with a self-inflicted gunshot wound that was an apparent suicide. Tatum was also responsible for killing his wife, Andrea, who was found dead in an Oxen Hill, Md. motel on March 20.
One of the volunteers in the search was Derrick Butler, a member of the Board of Directors in the Maryland-based Black and Missing Foundation. Butler can relate about a missing relative; the Washington Post added Butler’s sister Pamela disappeared in Northwest Washington in 2009 and was never found. In searching for evidence in the 700-acre park, the group Butler was in found nothing.
The District’s Police Department recently released a video of a man coming off an escalator who may have known Tatum, described by news sources as a “person of interest.” The video is below.
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Relisha’s aunt, Tiffany Young, said she thinks that Relisha is dead. And finding her niece will be even harder now that the search at the park turned up empty. “If they searched the whole thing and still didn’t come up, there’s nothing else that they can do,” she said.
Lanier said it was unfortunate that there had been a 22-day delay in getting police involved. She said that “the hope is that a child that young” would be noticed missing earlier. “It led us to a very late start,” the chief said. “It was very difficult to catch up.”
Contact the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099 on tips relating to the missing girl Relisha Rudd.