[Update] New Developments in Case of Missing 8-Year-Old Relisha Rudd

WASHINGTON, DC - MAR 22: Melinda Wheeler, cousin of missing Relisha Rudd, at a vigil outside the Homeless Children's Playtime Project for missing Relisha Rudd, March 22, 2014 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

[Update] New Developments in Case of Missing 8-Year-Old Relisha Rudd

The little girl disappeared two years ago.

Published April 7, 2016

Police in Washington, D.C., are honing in on a new location in the search for Relisha Rudd, who disappeared two years ago with a janitor of a District homeless shelter.

After previously searching several areas in D.C. like Kenilworth Park, the Aquatic Gardens and a 15-acre construction site near the hotel where the 8-year-old was last seen, police are now focusing on the grounds of the National Arboretum in Northeast D.C.

The search, which began Wednesday and will continue through Thursday, involves divers in areas of water around the arboretum, as well as K-9 units.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier said the investigation to find Rudd will continue until all leads had been looked into.

Kahlil Malik Tatum, a janitor at the old D.C. General Hospital’s homeless shelter, was the last person seen with Relisha after she vanished in February 2014. Tatum and the little girl were seen walking down a hallway of a Holiday Inn Express on Feb. 26 and was she was last seen on March 1.

While the previous search in March 2014 at Kenilworth Park was unsuccessful in finding Relisha, Tatum, the lead suspect in the case, was found dead from an apparent suicide.

I still have hope and faith that she’ll return one day,” Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, said although authorities have categorized further searches for the little girl as a recovery mission, they’ve all but declared her dead after the March 2014 search. 

(Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

Written by Zayda Rivera


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