One Year Later, Still No Sign of Relisha Rudd

The man she was last seen with has since killed his wife and himself
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2015 9:53 AM CST
One Year Later, Still No Sign of Relisha Rudd
Relisha Rudd was last seen a year ago on a hotel surveillance camera.   (Courtesy of Shamika Young)

It's been a year since 8-year-old Relisha Rudd was last seen on hotel surveillance video and reported missing, and while there has been a lot of peripheral drama surrounding the case, no clear steps have been made toward finding the girl. At the time, Relisha had been living in a room with her mother, Shamika Young, her mother's longtime boyfriend, Antonio Wheeler, and her three brothers at DC General, a homeless shelter in Washington, DC. Relisha apparently disliked the shelter so much that she was allowed to stay with relatives and even a shelter janitor, Kahlil Tatum, who was the last person to see her alive and who weeks later took his own life, reports Al Jazeera.

Still, detectives have found no trace of Relisha, and no evidence linking Tatum to her disappearance, though court documents show he may have been posing as a doctor to excuse her repeatedly from school. And while some have blamed the police for not doing enough to find her, or Young for raising her daughter in the environment she did, others say it's time to refocus on finding Relisha. One of Young's ardent supporters, Brenda Brown, organized a church service yesterday to "do a revival for this girl," reports the Washington Post. "People are focusing on the wrong things," she says. "People are focusing on the innocence or guilt of the mother. Let's take that energy and focus on finding that child." (Tatum shot himself in the head in a park a month after Relisha's disappearance.)

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