Missing eight-year-old Relisha Rudd remained missing Tuesday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the man who is accused of abducting her was found dead of a self-inflected gunshot wound.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said that that man, Kahlil Malik Tatum, had been dead for at least 36 hours— and as long as several days— when found by authorities in a storage shed at Kenilworth Park.
Lanier said there wasn’t any note or other evidence found with Tatum’s body that provided clues about Relisha Rudd’s whereabouts.
Authorities have been searching Kenilworth Park for Rudd since late last week. Lanier said Tuesday that the park search is expected to conclude Wednesday or early Thursday. Two hundred people a day have participated in the search, Lanier said.
A roundup of links will be added to this post later tonight.
“The investigation will not end when the search [in the park] ends,” Lanier said. “This is one component of the investigation.”
Police went to the park six days ago after receiving tips that led them to think that if Relisha is dead, they might find her “grave site,” the chief said. Instead, on Monday, they found the body of Kahlil M. Tatum, the 51-year-old janitor who worked at the shelter where the girl lived with her family. Tatum is believed to have taken Relisha weeks ago.
Investigators did not find any evidence on Tatum’s body to suggest where Relisha may be.
“We were not shocked to find Tatum, but we didn’t come here looking for him,” she says.
Officials will continue combing through the park tomorrow, and possibly Thursday morning, looking for Relisha. Additional volunteers and community groups will be brought in to join the search. They have also been searching vacant homes in the area.
“We believe we can finish the search tomorrow,” Lanier says. “We’re hoping we covered all the grounds and most of the grounds more than once.”