Relisha-Rudd-update-3

8-year-old Relisha Rudd (Courtesy Photo)

A new two-day search in connection with the case of Relisha Rudd, a homeless D.C. child missing for more than two years, met with no success, authorities said.

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on April 7 announced that the new search, which included members of the Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Center, failed to turn up any new evidence regarding Rudd’s whereabouts.

The active investigation included canine dogs and divers, who entered waters at the National Arboretum for any clues or remains of the missing girl.

“We have conducted numerous searches in various areas around the city,” Lanier told The Washington Post. “We continue to follow up on any information that we receive that may lead us to a different search area or lead us to different people we need to talk to, and this morning we will be conducting a search and probably go through the day tomorrow.”

Last year, divers performed extensive searches in several bodies of water, and additional searches took place at the construction site for a future Wal-Mart store; neither uncovered any new evidence.

Rudd was last seen on March 1, 2014 on a hotel video with janitor Kahlil Tatum, who worked at the D.C. General Shelter where the girl’s family stayed.  Tatum’s body was later found in Kenilworth Park in Northeast, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was also responsible for the murder of his wife Andrea, who was found in an Oxon Hill, Md. motel on March 20, 2014.

Many believe Rudd may also be dead, pointing to the presence of large garbage bags among Tatum’s belongings. Others hold out hope that she is still alive.

Rudd’s disappearance sparked a citywide discussion on child care, with one radio talk show calling for the mother Shamika Young to be arrested for her negligence and her failure to alert the police that Rudd was missing until weeks after her disappearance. Vigils were held in the child’s honor, some claimed that she was a victim of human trafficking, and Mayor Muriel Bowser has made the closing of D.C. General Shelter a priority.  

According to Dcist.com, Councilmembers LaRuby May (D-Ward 8) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) introduced the “Relisha Rudd Law” to the D.C. Council on April 6. The measure calls upon the mayor to enforce penalties and filed misdemeanor charges against parents who fail to report minors under the age of 13 missing within 48 hours.