Girl's Suspected Kidnapper Found Dead in DC Park

No sign of missing 8-year-old after apparent suicide

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 1, 2014 2:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police searching a park in Washington, DC, for the body of an 8-year-old girl kidnapped a month ago have instead found the body of the suspected kidnapper. Khalil Tatum, 51, was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in the 700-acre Kenilworth Park, reports the New York Daily News. Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where missing girl Relisha Rudd lived with her family, is also believed to have murdered his wife before he disappeared.

Relisha was last seen with Tatum a month ago but police didn't get involved with the case until weeks afterward. Her mother has told police that she never reported her missing because she feared her other three children would be taken away, the Washington Post reports. Scores of police officers are continuing to search the park, where Tatum was spotted on March 2 after buying supplies investigators believe were used to bury the girl's body. "I'm kind of mad he’s dead because I want to know where my granddaughter is," Relisha's grandfather told reporters.

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Kahlil Malik Tatum.
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Kahlil Malik Tatum.   (AP Photo/FBI)
This handout photo provided by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department shows eight-year old Relisha Tenau Rudd.
This handout photo provided by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department shows eight-year old Relisha Tenau Rudd.   (AP Photo/Washington Metropolitan Police Department)
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Relisha Tenau Rudd.
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Relisha Tenau Rudd.   (AP Photo/FBI)
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