Amber Alert not issued for Relisha in Va, Md, others

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) - Despite what DC's police chief said yesterday in a news conference, there are no Amber Alerts for Relisha Rudd in other states according to police we checked with across the country, including Virginia and Maryland.

This comes after the four-and-a-half hour cell phone alert delay WUSA9 reported last week after officials declared an Amber Alert within the District.

Tuesday night, the FBI released surveillance video showing 8-year-old Relisha being led into a DC motel room by murder suspect Kahlil Malik Tatum Feb. 26.

VIDEO: FBI Surveillance Footage of Missing Girl & Suspect

"That is not true," Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said yesterday about Amber Alerts not being issued in other states. "Actually I looked into that when I got the allegation. The Amber Alert was issued as far north as Pennsylvania and Delaware and as far south as Florida."

Thursday, WUSA9 asked state police in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida – where officials in each state identified by Lanier said no Amber Alerts for the 8-year-old were issued there.

WUSA9 also contacted police in North Carolina, South Carolina, and New York. They also said their state Amber Alert system was never activated to find Relisha.

Both Maryland and Virginia police said they had contacted Washington police offering additional resources.

"State police also reached out to Metro Police to offer any assistance we could provide in relation their search efforts, to include activation of a Virginia Alert," said Virginia State Police Spokeswoman Corinne N. Geller.

Both states say DC never requested activation of their Amber Alert systems.

According to officials at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, cellular providers don't send out text alerts and digital billboards don't automatically populate missing posters outside the boundaries of where the Amber Alert is active.

"To the best of my knowledge there are no Amber Alerts outside DC (for Relisha)," said NCMEC Amber Alert Coordinator Robert Hoever. "I believe there might be a misunderstanding about what an Amber Alert is."

Hoever said Monday, five days after police issued the Amber Alert, MPD did contact his agency asking for assistance in getting digital billboards activated in other jurisdictions.

A spokeswoman for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America said Monday the FBI had coordinated activation of some digital billboards in Maryland and on WMATA bus stop digital signs.

The District Department of Transportation said Friday it had activated signs, but declined to answer when asked at what time police contacted them or when the signs went up.


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