Washington, DC

Where is Relisha Rudd? Part 1

Tawana K Watson

swinging chair outdoor photoPhoto byAaronBurden/UnsplashonUnsplash

Relisha Rudd was an 8-year-old African American female living at a homeless shelter (the D.C. General Shelter) in Northeast D.C. she was last seen on March 1, 2014, with a janitor (Khalil Tatum) who worked at the shelter. Shamika Young, Relisha’s mother, per D.C. police knew that Relisha was with Tatum, but did not report her missing. Between March 1, 2014, through March 18, 2014, no Amber Alert was issued and no national alert went out for Relisha. According to the D.C. police, Shamika Young allowed Relisha to spend time with Tatum and accept gifts from him.

A timeline of events, in this case, shows suspect activities surrounding Relisha's disappearance however it does not show or tell where Relisha is now.

On February 26, 2014, surveillance video at the Holiday Inn Express in Northeast D.C. shows Relisha and Tatum together.

On March 1, 2014 (the last sighting of Relisha) police reported that Relisha was again with Tatum at the Days Inn on New York Avenue Northeast.

On March 2, 2014, Khalil Tatum is on surveillance video purchasing 42-gallon, self-tie contractor trash bags, a shovel, and lime. He was seen again around Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

On March 13, 2014, Relisha's absences in school reaches 10 unexcused, from Payne Elementary School. The unexcused absences prompted the school to notify D.C.’s Child and Family Services Agency.

On March 19, 2014, a social worker for Relisha’s school visits the shelter and discovered that the “Dr. Tatum,” written on the school excuses was not a doctor but the janitor of the shelter. Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, and her stepfather, Antonio, were questioned in the conference room of the shelter. The D.C. police later went to Relisha’s aunt, Ashley’s, house, where they located Relisha’s grandmother, Melissa, who was also questioned. On this day it is reported that Khalil Tatum and his wife, Andrea, checked into the Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill, Maryland, with no sign of Relisha.

On March 20, 2014, the D.C. police holds a public press conference about Relisha’s disappearance asking for public information. The FBI along with the D.C. police offered rewards for the location and return of Relisha, along with information about Khalil Tatum. At this point, an Amber Alert for Relisha is finally issued. In Oxon Hill, however, the body of Tatum’s wife, Andrea, is found dead from a gunshot at the Red Roof Inn.

On March 27, 2014, D.C. Police Chief Lanier, change the search for Relisha to a recovery mission.

On April 1, 2014, the body of Khalil Tatum was found in Kenilworth Park, per the police reports Tatum had a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The bullet recovered from Tatum’s body came from the same gun that killed his wife Andrea. Still, there was no sign of Relisha.

According to the D.C. police, the search for Relisha Rudd is still ongoing, however, many questions remain concerning her disappearance and why individuals that were supposed to protect her failed to.

If you know anything about this case please contact the FBI at 202-278-3519






If you would like me to look into a case or missing person please email me at tawanwatson@outlook.com

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a self-proclaimed journalist writing about past and present true crime, mental health, and things going on in Cleveland.

Cleveland, OH

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