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Relisha Rudd’s Mother Speaks About Her Disappearance

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Relisha Rudd
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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ)—The search continues for the whereabouts of Relisha Rudd, an 8-year-old who disappeared from a Washington, D.C. homeless shelter more than a month ago.

Rochelle Ritchie reports D.C. Police now say they may never find her.

The hopes of finding missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd are now fading, and her family is asking where, why and how could she have just vanished.

“She didn’t go missing from the shelter,” said Shamika Young, Rudd’s mother.

While Young is willing to blame the government and her daughter’s school for her disappearance, she is not blaming 51-year-old Khalil Tatum–the man police say abducted her daughter.

When asked if she blamed Tatum at all, Young responded: “I choose not to answer those questions.”

Young won’t express her anger toward Tatum but expresses her outrage with the media.

“They just switches my words up. They don’t let me be heard. They don’t let my voice be heard out there,” Young said.

When asked what she wanted to say, Young replied: “Honestly, I don’t know what I want to say.”

Rudd was last seen on March 1 with Tatum. Young, who lived in a homeless shelter with her children, didn’t report her missing for almost a month.

“What really hurt us was not becoming aware of her missing until almost three full weeks after the last time she was seen. That’s a killer,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The case took an unbelievable turn after Tatum’s body was found dead by suicide.

Now the hopes of finding Rudd are fading.

“I hate to say that. We are going to continue looking, but it is possible,” Lanier said.

Young says she is holding on to hope.

“I always have strong hopes,” Young said. “You can’t ever let your hopes down.”

On March 20, Tatum’s wife was found dead in a hotel room in Oxon Hill.

Police say anyone involved in the little girl’s disappearance will be charged. A $25,000 reward is being offered for Rudd’s safe return.

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