D.C. Council to Examine Homeless Shelter Safety After Girl's Disappearance

The D.C. Council is examining safety procedures at the city's family homeless shelter following the disappearance of an 8-year-old girl who was living there with her mother and brothers.

Police say Relisha Rudd was last seen March 1. She was believed to be in the company of a janitor at the shelter, Kahlil Tatum. Police have charged Tatum with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his wife, whose body was found in a Maryland motel room the morning after authorities started searching for Relisha.

Police searched for Relisha in a park in northeast Washington on Thursday, calling it a "recovery operation.''

"We cannot ignore the possibility that [Tatum] may have killed her," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said during a press conference. "Given the circumstances right now, we are fearful of leaving any stones unturned."

Investigators say Tatum was seen purchasing a shovel, trash bags and lime earlier this month. The search within Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens -- a heavily wooded area -- could take weeks, police said.

Friday's D.C. Council hearing is meant to review procedures to ensure the safety of residents at the homeless shelter, especially children.

A $70,000 reward is being offered by the FBI and Prince George's County Police for information leading to Relisha and Tatum. Call 911 if you have seen either of them.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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