WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- DC Mayor Vince Gray thinks the city did everything it could to protect Relisha Rudd, the 8-year-old girl who police now believe has been taken by a killer.
"We're deeply concerned about her," says Mayor Gray. He says the city has been worried about Relisha for months as she lived in a homeless shelter with her mother. "At the end of the day," says Gray, "A mother has to make decisions about her children, that's the right she has."
On Tuesday, Police released surveillance video from a Holiday Inn Express located at 1917 Bladensburg Road N.E. In the video, you can see Tatum and Relisha Rudd walking in the hallway. The video is from Feb. 26. Rudd is wearing a pair of pink boots and a purple Helly Hansen brand jacket with white stripes.
VIDEO: FBI AMBER Alert Surveillance Footage
The FBI is now offering $25,000 for information that leads to Relisha. And Prince George's County Police are offering $25,000 for information that leads to the Khalil Tatum, the janitor at the homeless shelter who is now accused of murdering his wife at a hotel in Oxon Hill.
Sources tell WUSA9 that the stories Relisha Rudd's mother, Shamika Young, was telling social workers earlier this month, kept changing. The Children and Family Services Agency become so concerned about the little girl missing school for weeks, that it was social workers who finally went to police to ask them to start searching for her -- even as the mother continued to insist she was okay.
"She had indicated that her daughter was sick, that that was why she wasn't at school," says the Mayor. "There isn't a whole lot more you can do with that,
unless you can substantiate something is amiss."
Police believe Tatum has had Relisha since the end of February. When police went searching for Tatum and Relisha, they instead found Tatum's wife beaten to death. And no sign of him, or the little girl.
Sources say when Relisha's mother refused to sign papers reporting the little girl missing, Children and Family Services went to court and took custody of the child so the search could begin. "From what I read and what I know, they really worked hard to try and protect this child," says the Mayor.
Police and the FBI say no tip is too small as they hunt for the girl and they hope the now $50,000 reward will help them find her.
Several mothers at the shelter have said Tatum acted inappropriately toward their young daughters.