On Wednesday, D.C. police launched a new search for the remains of Relisha Rudd. Relisha, who has been missing for 25 months, was last seen alive on March 1, 2014. She had been living in a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. with her mother Shamika Young. Later that month, Relisha’s elementary school contacted the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency after she had missed more than 30 days of school. Authorities opened an investigation into her apparent disappearance on March 19, 2014.
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, who announced the resumed search for the remains of Relisha Rudd, says that a team of 60 members from her force are involved. The last resumed search took place at a construction site. This time around, investigators focused on a 400-acre area of the U.S. National Arboretum in Northeast Washington. The area also includes a murky pond, which was also searched on Wednesday with the aid divers and dogs.
Wednesday’s search concluded with no new findings, but investigators have picked up again today. The new search is one of many over the past two years in hopes of finding the remains of Relisha Rudd.
Relisha was last seen, via security camera footage, with Kahlil Malik Tatum. Tatum was walking alone with Relisha as the pair entered a room at a Holiday Inn Express on Bladensburg Road NE. He had been employed as a janitor at the same homeless shelter that Relisha was staying in with her family. Early on in the investigation, Tatum was found dead in Northeast Washington park. He was considered to be a key figure in the search.
While police have all but declared Relisha Rudd dead, her mother Shamika Young maintains that she is still alive. Earlier this week, Young attended a memorial service for the 2-year anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance. She has long had a tense relationship with police, who have accused of withholding information about Relisha. There is also the issue of Young leaving Relisha in the car of Tatum.