The whereabouts of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd remain unknown after D.C. police cleared a "person of interest" Wednesday in the girl’s disappearance.
The man, who was not named, voluntarily agreed to an interview with District of Columbia police after authorities posted surveillance video of him Friday on YouTube, the Washington Post reported. But he didn’t have anything to add about the case of Relisha, who went missing in February and was suspected of being abducted by Kahlil Malik Tatum, the janitor at the homeless shelter where the 8-year-old lived with her mother. Tatum was found dead last month in Kenilworth Park of what authorities believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was found during a search for Relisha, but there were no signs if the missing girl.
“We knew there was some contact” between the person of interest and Tatum, Police Chief Cathy Lanier told radio station WTOP, according to the Post. “We wanted to find out what that contact was and what he knew.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Vincent Gray ordered a review of district agencies, including Child and Family Services and the school system, that would have had contact with Relisha, who hasn’t been seen since Feb. 26.
“We will focus on this piece of it at this stage as law enforcement continues to do its work to try to find Relisha and settle this horrific situation that occurred,” the mayor said.
Gray told ABC affiliate WJLA that two deputy mayors will be reviewing the homeless shelter where Relisha was staying. He also put some of the blame on the lack of progress on the case on Relisha’s family, including her mother, who didn’t report her missing.
"Remember, parents have a responsibility also, and the parents -- the mother and the grandmother -- certainly played a role in this."
Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, allowed Tatum to be with her alone and earlier told the media that she believed her daughter was safe with the homeless shelter janitor.
"What really hurt us is not even becoming aware of her being missing until three or four weeks from the last time she was seen ... that's really a killer,” Lanier said.
The FBI, which is among the agencies working on Relisha’s case, has put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to Relisha’s safe return.