Tonight family, friends, and people worried about 8-year-old Relisha Rudd got together to comfort each other. News4's Darcy Spencer was at the candlelight vigil for the missing girl who has touched so many in our region.
The man police believe is with a missing 8-year-old girl is wanted on murder charges after his wife was found dead Thursday.
The body of 51-year-old Andrea Denise Tatum was discovered at an Oxon Hill Red Roof Inn as Prince George's County Police searched door to door for a missing D.C. girl.
Friday evening, Prince George's County Police announced they have an arrest warrant out for 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum in his wife's murder.
The desperate search for 8-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd of D.C. began Thursday with an Amber Alert, saying she was believed to be in the company of Kahlil Tatum. The search led officers to the Red Roof Inn, where Andrea Tatum was found shot to death.
Police say Relisha was last seen Feb. 26 at the D.C. Shelter for Families on the grounds of the old D.C. General Hospital in Southeast. Kahlil Tatum works as a janitor at the shelter.
Relisha's mother, Shamika Young, said she has known Kahlil for years, and trusted him with her daughter.
"I didn’t see anything wrong with him. He’s a good guy," Young told News4 Friday. "When [Relisha] did go out with him, he brought her back. He would take her shopping, took her to see Disney on Ice, he bought her a tablet for Christmas, took her out to eat with his granddaughter."
The Amber Alert included a lookout for a white 1976 GMC truck police believed Kahlil Tatum and the young girl were traveling in. The car was found Friday morning in Hyattsville, Md., without a sign of the missing girl.
"Bring my daughter back to me right now, please," Young said, with tears streaming down her face. "It’s crazy. I want to know what’s going on."
Richmond Police spokesman Gene Lepley says police in the area were notified Thursday by D.C. Police to be on the lookout for Relisha. Local media outlets were also given her picture to distribute.
The GMC truck was the third vehicle in all that police had said could be associated with Rudd; the other two have also been removed from the alert.
Relisha was reported missing Wednesday by administrators at her elementary school. Sources tell News4 that her mother continues to refuse to file a missing persons report. Instead, the report was signed by D.C. Child and Family Services Agency.
Relisha is 4-feet tall and weighs 70 to 80 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion. Police said she may be in need of medication.
There have been sporadic reported sightings of Relisha. Sources tell News4 that a witness told police Relisha may have been spotted in D.C. Thursday morning with an unidentified woman, while a neighbor said he spotted Relisha about three weeks ago with Tatum.
A source close to the internal investigation into district agencies interaction with Relisha Rudd and her family told News4 school officials have determined the girl was in class on March 5 and was seen by a teacher March 7. That teacher, according to the source, said Relisha said she had been ill and staying with her grandmother. Rudd was not in class on March 7, but was on school grounds, sources told News4.
If you've seen Relisha Rudd, call police at 202-727-9099 or 911.