2 Years Later: Search for Relisha Rudd Continues

Washington, D.C. police are searching the National Arboretum as part of a renewed effort to find an 8-year-old girl who vanished from a city homeless shelter more than two years ago.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said search teams will spend Wednesday combing through the arboretum as well as a body of water in Northeast Washington for clues leading to the discovery of Relisha Rudd.

“It’s not a large body of water, but it will take the divers some time to get through it,” she explained.

Rudd was last seen Mar. 1, 2014 at a D.C. motel with 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at the shelter where she lived with her mother and three brothers.

According to NBC Washington, Rudd’s family had allowed her to spend time with Tatum before she disappeared. She had been missing for weeks before officials realized she was gone.

Rudd, who was a second-grader at Payne Elementary School, had not been seen there since the month before her disappearance.

The day after a missing persons report was filed, Tatum’s wife, Andrea Denise Tatum, was found dead in a Maryland hotel. A few days later, Tatum took his own life. Police say he purchased a shovel, lime and contractor-sized garbage bags and spent a significant amount of time at Kenilworth Park around the time when Rudd was last seen.

The last search for Rudd took place in Dec. 2015 when dozens of members of law enforcement and police dogs scoured a construction site in Northeast Washington.

During the seven-hour search, nothing significant was found. No one has been charged in Rudd’s disappearance.