Policy Changes Recommended 6 Months After Relisha Rudd’s Disappearance
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Vanished without a trace. More than six months ago, eight-year-old Relisha Rudd disappeared. Now authorities have released a review of the actions taken during the child’s disappearance—this, as her family speaks out.
Meghan McCorkell has more on what they’re saying now.
Rudd’s mother says she thinks authorities should be doing more to find her daughter.
The last known images of Rudd show her walking down the hallway of a D.C. motel with Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where she lived. The video is dated March 1. Rudd would not be reported missing until March 19. A new report says Rudd’s mother told school officials her daughter was sick.
Shamika Young now says she didn’t know Relisha wasn’t in class.
“If she missed all them schools, why you all didn’t call our phone? That is y’all job requirement. At the end of a school, if a child misses a school, it is required for the automated system call the parents,” she said.
As the investigation starts, police focused on Tatum, who was asked to watch the little girl by her parents. On March 20, police tracked down Tatum’s car to a Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill. Inside his hotel room, they found his wife, Andrea, shot to death–no sign of Relisha.
“We cannot ignore the possibility that he may have killed her,” said DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
Reports that Tatum was spotted in the area led police on a massive search of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
On March 31, Tatum’s body was found in a shed, killed from a self-inflicted gunshot wound using the same gun that killed his wife. From there, the search for Relisha went cold.
“I haven’t heard anything. I just feel like they need to do more questioning,” Young said.
Six months later, the little girl is still lost.
Invesitgators say Tatum was spotted buying industrial-sized trash bags the day after Relisha went missing.
The D.C. government report finds that city agencies could not have done anything to prevent Relisha’s disappearance.
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