D.C. Police Reinvigorate Search for Relisha Rudd

A photo of the front entrance at DC General Family Shelter.

Johnathan Comer

D.C. police launched a new search for the remains of 8 year old Relisha Rudd on April 13, the Washington Post reported. Relisha was last seen on March 1, 2014, with Khalil Tatum, a janitor who worked at D.C. General where Relisha and her family lived. The bodies of Tatum and his wife were found later in the month, which has given the situation an especially grim outlook.

The April 13 search took place near the National Arboretum, several blocks from the Holiday Inn Express where Relisha and Tatum were seen together. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told reporters that the search would include the efforts of sixty people, included members of the D.C. police, the FBI, and the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children. Lanier also stated that divers would be searching a murky pond and police dogs would be searching the surrounding area.

Lanier declined to give specifics about what led to the Police Department’s interest in the area surrounding the Arboretum. “We continue to follow up on any information we receive that may lead us to a different search area or different people we need to talk to,” she stated. “We get new information in the case that has led us to search areas, and this is one of those areas.”

The last full-scale search for Relisha occurred in December at a construction site near the hotel where Rudd and Tatum were seen together. That search did not yield new evidence or information.

“We need to find her,” said Brenda Brown, a friend of Relisha’s family. “We just can’t let this go unresolved. It was just so foul, and no one has been held accountable.”

Coloring book portrait of Elisha Speller, 3/4 colored in.
Illustration by Elisha Speller

Issues |Youth

Region |Washington DC

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