6 months since Relisha Rudd was seen in DC

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Six months later, D.C. police are still looking for Relisha Rudd. She was last seen on March 1.

Relisha Rudd was last seen in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Avenue, SE. Police described her as an 8-year-old, black female, 4 feet tall, with black hair and brown eyes, and a medium complexion, weighing approximately 70 to 80 pounds.

The disappearance of the girl led to a manhunt and a massive search of a park, raised questions about Amber Alert procedures, and uncovered a family feud. Rudd's disappearance also prompted WUSA 9 to launch its Bring Them Home campaign.

BRING THEM HOME CAMPAIGN: http://on.wusa9.com/1hV2JQs


Her suspected abductor, Khalil Tatum, killed his wife before killing himself in April. Tatum was a janitor at the homeless shelter where Rudd was living with her family. Police released surveillance video of Tatum with Rudd at a local hotel as part of their investigation. Tatum was later found dead in wooded area of Kenilworth Park where police had been searching for Rudd.

Some people believe Rudd may be dead.

"We cannot ignore the possibility that he may have killed her," stated Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier during a search of Kenilworth Park in late March.

Others, including The Black and Missing Foundation, say the girl could be anywhere. The missing persons organization said that she could have been sold into a human trafficking network.

WAS RELISHA RUDD SOLD?: http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2014/04/02/relisha-sold/7237501/

In the days after Relisha Rudd was last seen alive, her mother Shamika Young and her boyfriend, Antonio Wheeler, posted pictures to Facebook featuring wads of money. The photos included Young and Wheeler holding big rolls of $50 bills, and photos of Air Jordan sneakers bought for Relisha's three brothers.

PHOTOS OF RUDD'S MOTHER, BOYFRIEND WITH WADS OF CASH: http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2014/04/03/relisha-rudd-missing-amber-alert/7272765/

Relisha's grandmother, Melissa Young, claimed the money came from cashing two checks. One check she described as a Social Security disability check. Shamika Young said the other check was a tax refund and that money she received was from a car accident.

MOTHER, GRANDMOTHER EXPLAIN MONEY PHOTOS: http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2014/04/04/relisha-rudd-cash-facebook/7319811/

In June, Relisha Rudd's parents were denied custody of her brothers. Her three brothers were fathered by two different men. A judge ruled that neither of the fathers nor the mother would get custody and that Relisha's brothers would remain in foster care. One of the fathers was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Relisha's half-sister.

The judge said she would reconsider giving custody of all three boys to Shamika Young and the father of two of the brothers, Antonio Wheeler, in a year if they attended drug testing, therapy, and parenting classes.

A judge also issued a year-long civil protection order against Shamika Young. There was already a temporary order against Relisha's mother, based upon claims of assault filed by Relisha's grandmother, Melissa Young. Shamika Young cannot get within 100 feet of her mother, Relisha's grandmother.

RELISHA RUDD FAMILY IN COURT FOR CUSTODY OF BROTHERS: http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/investigations/russ-ptacek/2014/06/04/relisha-rudd-brothers-foster/9981461/

The missing persons case also raised questions about the Amber Alert system. D.C. police only have the authority to issue an Amber Alert within the District, which meant even when police claimed they had issued Amber Alerts all over East Coast, there wasn't an Amber Alert for Relisha Rudd in Virginia or Maryland where the suspect's wife was found murdered (http://on.wusa9.com/Y6b820). A massive Amber Alert that eventually blanketed the eastern seaboard.

The FBI joined the search for Relisha Rudd. It is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the location and return of Relisha Rudd. If you see Relisha Rudd, then you can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also call D.C. police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department's TEXT TIP LINE to 50411.

CATCH UP ON THE RELISHA RUDD CASE: http://search.wusa9.com/default.aspx?ct=r&q=rudd


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