The FBI has released new photos of missing Washington, D.C., girl Relisha Rudd and announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and an indictment in the case.
Authorities suspect Relisha was abducted by 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where the 8-year-old D.C. girl lives with her mother, Shamika Young, the Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, Tatum is also suspected of killing his wife, who was found dead Thursday in a Maryland motel room. Tatum was charged Friday with the death of his wife, Andrea Denise Tatum.
Although Relisha was last seen alive Feb. 26, a nationwide Amber Alert wasn’t issued until Thursday, Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL reported. The new photos were released during a news conference and included a shot of Tatum with a tattoo of a large Egyptian cross and four smaller markings. Authorities believe showing the tattoos will help the public better identify Tatum.
"We will follow every lead and every investigative tip that comes in," said D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, according to the Baltimore Sun. "No bit of information is too small. . . . Our primary goal right now is to find this little girl."
The search for the missing girl stretches from Richmond, Va., to Pennsylvania, according to the Sun. A vigil was held Saturday outside the homeless shelter where Relisha disappeared.
“I miss my daughter,” Young said, according to the Post. “I cry every night for her.”
Kelli Beyer, who works for a project that holds programs at the shelter and others in the D.C. area, said Relisa “is a sweet girl who is an artist, who loves dolls.”
“She is a typical little girl,” Beyer said. “Let’s bring her home.”
A girl who lives in the shelter said Relisha brightened her day,
“When I would wake up, I would be angry,” she told the Post. But then “I would see Relisha when I went outside and she would always give me a hug and make me smile.”