Authorities search Arboretum for Relisha Rudd
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A new search started at the US arboretum on Wednesday more than two years after the eight-year-old Relisha Rudd disappeared.
The New York Avenue entrance to the Arboretum in NE DC has been closed during the investigation, as dozens of crews fan out for what will no doubt be an extensive and difficult search.
A team of about 60 people including K9's, divers, D.C. Police, representatives with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, are all assisting in the search Wednesday.
Wednesday's search is thanks to a tip. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier would not go into specifics, but says new information coming out, even 25 months after Rudd's disappearance, isn't unusual.
"It's not uncommon for people to provide information that they've had for long periods of time that they didn't provide initially," says Chief Lanier.
It's been more than two years since Rudd disappeared from from DC General Homeless Shelter where she and her family were living. She was 8-years-old at the time. Rudd's alleged abductor, Kahlil Tatum, was the janitor at the shelter. Tatum was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a park a month later.
Since then, crews have been searching throughout the city, Kenilworth Park, the Botanical Gardens and most recently a construction site in Northeast, D.C. in December. Now, less than a half a mile away from their last search location there is a new hope for finding Rudd.
Rudd's family was not at the search, because only officials are allowed to participate.
Rudd's grandmother tells WUSA9's Nikki Burdine she is hoping for good news. She is hoping that crews will find her grand-baby and bring her home. She also say she believes Rudd is still alive and she's trying to remain positive.
Police say they hope the public will continue to send in tips to help find Rudd.