Volunteer Task Force Returns to D.C. Park to Search for Relisha Rudd

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    Volunteers are searching a D.C. park for Relisha Rudd. (Published Friday, May 9, 2014)

    Members of a volunteer task force returned to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Friday morning to search for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, who was last seen more than two months ago.

    The task force resumed their search earlier this week after a psychic told them to look in the park. The group found some bones, but D.C. Police said those turned out to belong to an animal.

    "A tarot card reading told us that this is the area that we should be in," volunteer Keith Warren explained Friday. "...[W]e were told that she's not really buried, but she's under something, hidden, and she's somewhere where notmal people would just pass over."

    The group of volunteers never met Relisha Rudd, but they say they won't give up until she is found.

    The last confirmed sighting of Relisha was March 1, when she was seen at a motel on New York Avenue in the company of 51-year-old Khalil Tatum.

    Police say Tatum -- who was a janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha and her family lived -- purchased a shovel, lime and contractor-sized trashbags at a Home Depot, and spent a significant amount of time at nearby Kenilworth Park on March 2.

    Tatum was found dead in the park later in March, as police and volunteers searched for signs of Relisha. Police believe he committed suicide.

    Authorities were looking into the possibility that Tatum had killed Relisha and buried her body in the park.

    Tatum was also wanted in the death of his wife, Andrea. Her body was found at a Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill March 20 during the search for Relisha.

    Several searches of the area have yet to produce anything, but volunteers are not giving up hope.

    "I'm a mother, so that's why I'm out here supporting, because if [there's] anything I want to stand for, I want to stand for something positive," said volunteer Lexi Forbes, who showed up to search the park Friday.

    Warren added he knows what is feels like to have someone disappear without a trace.

    "My cousin has been missing since 2010, and we're still looking for her," he said.

    Members of the task force say once a conclusion is reached in Relisha's case, they plan to focus on other missing person's cases in the area.

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