Relisha Rudd Still Missing as 13th Birthday Arrives

What to Know

  • Monday marks what would be Relisha Rudd's 13th birthday.
  • She was last seen on March 1, 2014 at a Northeast D.C. motel with Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where she lived.
  • Tatum, 51, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No one has been charged in her disappearance.

It's been more than four years since Relisha Rudd went missing. Now that little girl would be a teenager.

Monday marks what would be Relisha's 13th birthday.

"We will never stop searching for Relisha," said a post from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Monday. "If you have information, please call 1-800-THE-LOST."

The group shared an age progression image of Relisha that was first released by D.C. police in July, showing how Relisha may look at age 12

The little girl was last seen with a janitor who worked at the D.C. homeless shelter where she lived. She appeared to have been missing for weeks before officials had realized she was gone. Relisha hadn't been seen at Payne Elementary School since the month before her disappearance.

She was last seen on March 1, 2014 at a Northeast D.C. motel with Kahlil Tatum. He was a janitor at D.C. General, the homeless shelter where Relisha lived with her mother and siblings.

The little girl's family had allowed her to spend time with Tatum. 

Investigators said Tatum posed as a doctor March 10, 2014, telling city officials who were concerned for her safety that Relisha was sick with a neurological disorder and was undergoing treatment. When they asked for documents, "Dr. Tatum" said he would leave them at the shelter where Relisha and her family lived.

When officials went to the shelter nine days later to pick up the paperwork, they couldn't find "Dr. Tatum" or Relisha. Shortly after, a missing persons report was filed with D.C. Police.

Police say Tatum purchased a shovel, lime and contractor-sized trashbags and that he spent a significant amount of time at Kenilworth Park around the time Relisha was last seen. Authorities were looking into the possibility that Tatum killed her and buried her body in the park.

After Relisha was reported missing, the body of Tatum's wife was found in a motel, and Tatum, 51, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Kenilworth Park.

No one has been charged in Relisha's disappearance.

This January, crews undertook another search, looking for Relisha along the Anacostia River, after new information led police to an area near the homeless shelter where she lived, multiple sources told News4.

But Relisha still has not been found.

In the months following her disappearance, D.C. officials took a second look at how they handled her case. The report found the District couldn't have prevented the little girl's disappearance, citing, in part, the misleading information provided by Relisha's family.

However, the report did suggest more than two dozen recommended policy changes on matters including how schools deal with unexcused absences, background checks for homeless shelter employees, and fraternization between families and shelter staff.

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