D.C. Child and Family Services Had Contact With Missing Girl's Family

8-year-old Relisha Rudd last seen Feb. 26; Amber Alert issued this week

News4 has learned Child and Family Services have been in touch with the family of a missing 8-year-old D.C. girl several times during the past seven years.

Relisha Tenau Rudd was last seen Feb. 26 at the D.C. Shelter for Families on the grounds of the old D.C. General Hospital in Southeast.

Police issued an Amber Alert for her Thursday, saying she was believed to be in the company of 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum. Tatum works as a janitor at the shelter where Relisha, her three siblings and her 28-year-old mother had lived for 18 months.

While Relisha hadn't been seen at Payne Elementary School since last month, sources say all three of her younger brothers had been attending classes.

D.C. Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) had an active case working when Relisha went missing, along with three prior cases dating back to 2007, sources told News4. The previous cases included lack of food, insufficient shelter, medical neglect, inadequate supervision and at least one report of the mother hitting one of her children.

"This family was under the supervision of Child and Family Services," D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells said. "This child should not have gone missing. This is an 8-year-old girl. This is absolutely unacceptable."

Despite these reports, which span the course of seven years, authorities never removed the four children from their mother's custody until the Amber Alert Thursday -- Relisha's siblings were placed in the care of CFSA that day.

Four local agencies have had contact with Relisha's family -- CFSA, Department of Human Services, D.C. Public Schools and now, D.C. Police.

None of those four agencies have released any statements regarding the case, despite repeated requests from News4 reporters. Sources tell News4 "red flags" regarding Relisha's family have been properly followed, though it's unclear when notifications to social services agencies were made.

Relisha is four feet tall and weighs 70 to 80 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion. Police said she may be in need of medication. 

If you've seen Relisha Rudd, call police at 202-727-9099 or 911.

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