Citizens reach out to help find Relisha Rudd

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The disappearance of Relisha Rudd is hitting a lot of people hard, they're frustrated and they want to do something to help find her. Now, a grassroots effort is underway to search for her and they are asking for the public's help.

"You have to keep hope alive, you have to have hope in a situation like this especially for the family," Trayon White says, a community activist who is starting a group search for Relisha on Sunday. "We are going to knock on doors, go to restaurants, leave fliers all over the community, just to show we care about Relisha."

As the days pass with no sign of Relisha, the confusion surrounding her disappearance only grows. The search of Kenilworth Park for Relisha turned up the body of Khalil Tatum, the man police believe first abducted Relisha, but no sign of the little girl. Now, police are looking for a man picture in a YouTube video, who they say might know where she is.

More questions, too, about Relisha's mother, Shamicka Young, and her role in her daughter's disappearance.

Wads of cash flaunted in Facebook pictures by Relisha's stepfather raised red flags for investigators. However Young and her grandmother told WUSA9 the money came from settlement checks from an accident and a social security check. Attorneys for Young have not returned phone calls to WUSA9.

So while police continue their investigation, outsiders do what they can to save Relisha.

"I would encourage people to come out because one day this could be your child. You would want someone to do the same thing," White says. He describes Relisha as a sweet girl who loved giving hugs, and even though White knew her, he says the community as a whole has a responsibility to her.

"I believe in a quote by Dr. King, he said, 'Bad things happen when good people do nothing,' so this is our opportunity to do something," White says.

If you'd like to help search for Relisha on Sunday, just show up at the parking lot across the street from the Holiday Inn on Bladensburg Road NE.

Groups will be separated into several different routes: New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, Pennsylvania Avenue and Minnesota Avenue, Benning Road area and Kenilworth Avenue area.

For more information you can contact Trayon White at 202-270-7271.


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