Police Ask for Tips in Relisha Rudd Abduction

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham urged the public to come forward with any information that might lead authorities to the location of missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd. Police, along with volunteers, have been searching Kenilworth Park for Rudd since late last week.

Newsham said that the search of the park, the “best chance” to find Rudd “with the information we have”, is expected to conclude by Thursday.

On Monday, the man suspected of abducting Rudd, Kahlil Malik Tatum, was found dead in a storage shed from an apparent suicide.

Emphasizing that the search in Kenilworth Park was sparked by a tip, Newsham encouraged anyone with information to come forward. Newsham added that though the number of tips has dwindled, the investigation will continue beyond the park.

Below is a collection of reports from other media outlets.
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Park Search for Relisha Rudd Expected to Conclude Wednesday or Thursday

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.
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Links Roundup: Man Found Dead in Kenilworth Park

Update: MPD has confirmed the identity of the man found as Kahlil Malik Tatum. A press release has been added to the bottom of this post.

Update: MPD has tentatively identified the man found as Kahlil Tatum.

Police say an adult man found in woods of Kenilworth Park in Northeast D.C. appears to have committed suicide. Law enforcement officers have been searching the park in connection with the abduction of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, who has been missing since March 1.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said law enforcement cannot yet say if the man found is Kahlil Tatum, the janitor suspected in Rudd’s abduction and the death of his wife.

Instead, Lanier turned the focus to Rudd, promising that the search in the park will likely continue for “a few more days.”

Our primary focus here was to find Relisha,” Lanier said. “We’re not finished.”
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Mayoral Candidates Pledge to End Homicide

In what was once the murder capital of the United States, three mayoral candidates pledged to end homicide once and for all.

We believe that one murder is one murder too many,” said David Bowers, the event’s organizer. “There should be some righteous indignation within the community when any person is gunned down in our streets.” Read more

Search for Relisha Rudd Continues at Kenilworth Aquatic Park

The search for missing DC eight-year-old Relisha Rudd continues Friday, with more than 100 experts searching the more than 700-acre park Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Rudd hasn’t been seen since on March 1.

On Friday Lanier said experts will continue to search the park through the weekend. MPD may ask community groups to help with searching the park early next week.

Lanier said investigators continue to pursue other leads in the case, too.
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Lanier: Despite “Recovery Mission…We Have Not Given Up Hope That We May Still Find Relisha Alive.”

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier spoke with reporters outside the Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens Thursday afternoon, where police were searching for signs of missing eight-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd.

Lanier was fearful that the child may be dead.

While this current operation in the Aquatic Gardens is best described as a recovery mission, we have not given up that we may still find Relisha alive,” she said.

Lanier said Rudd was last seen on March 1. She was with Kahlil Tatum with her mother’s permission. Tatum was seen several times after March 1, but has not been seen since March 20, when his wife was found killed in Prince George’s County. A warrant for first-degree murder has been issued for Tatum in connection with his wife’s death.

Lanier said police are pursuing many leads, among them the search of the Kennilworth Aquatic Park. Lanier said Tatum was seen in the area of the park on March 2, the same day he bought black 42-gallon contractors’ trash bags.

Earlier this week, the FBI released a video of Tatum with Rudd and asked the public’s help in locating the two.

Reports WJLA:

At D.C. General Wednesday, teams of police cadets searched the grounds and eventually inside the homeless shelter where Relisha Rudd lived with her family. Rudd was last seen on Feb. 26 and is believed to be with Khalil Tatum.

They’re doing a door-to-door canvas to try to see if they can locate any witnesses that we have not yet interviewed,” says Cmrd. Danny Hickson of the Metropolitan Police Department Youth Investigation Division.

Reports Fox5:

On Wednesday, D.C. officials announced that Tatum had posed as Relisha’s doctor, taking calls from her elementary school teacher and telling them the little girl was sick. Officials familiar with the investigation say Rudd’s mother, grandmother and Tatum were all working together in an effort to fool teachers and administrators at Payne Elementary School into believing the 8-year-old was not coming to school because she was sick.

“He basically assured the school the child had been ill and gave some detailed information around that,” said Bebe Otero, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.

Moultrie Courthouse Again Closed Monday Due to Snow

Winter storm Wiley has prompted District officials to close Moultrie Courthouse Monday because of snowfall. All criminal cases and arraignments scheduled for Mar. 17 will be postponed until Mar. 18.

Monday is the fourth time this year that the D.C. Courts have closed because of inclement weather.
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A Spike in Homicides has Police and Communities Searching for Solutions

The first ten weeks of 2014 have been the bloodiest D.C. has seen in recent years. A total of 26 people were killed between January 1, and March 14 in comparison to 15 homicides at the same time last year.

Homicides Table“We haven’t seen anything like this in a really long time,” said Metropolitan Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier.

According to police none of the cases are connected and there has not been any sign of retaliatory patterns related to gang rivalry.

Lanier attributes some of the surge in homicides to the extended periods of cold weather and a rise in domestic violence.

Most of the communities affected are located east of the Anacostia River, where 17 of the murders have taken place, eight of them during daylight hours.
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Domestic Violence Experts Worry About Rise in Domestic Violence Cases— Including Homicides

After a decline in the number of domestic violence homicides during 2012, it appears that the number of homicide victims related to domestic violence may rise again this year.

Within the first two months of 2014, domestic violence related homicides have taken the lives of four people and injured one other person. Two domestic violence deaths in late 2013 were declared homicides in 2014 and are included in this year’s count, bringing the total to date to six.

This year, the deaths of Tykia Dickerson, Detra Martin, Claudia Hall, and Leroi Elliott, one-month-old Hakeem Brown, and one other infant have been confirmed as related to domestic violence.

During all of 2013, 11 homicides were classified as domestic-violence related by MPD.

According to Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham while the number of domestic violence related homicides is up, it is “too soon to say if it is a trend.” The Metropolitan Police Department is watching the increase carefully, says Newsham, but there no indication that they are related.
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Moultrie Courthouse Closed Monday Due to Snow

Winter storm Titan has buried the District in snow and prompted officials to close Moultrie Courthouse Monday. All criminal cases and arraigments scheduled for Mar. 3 will be postponed until Mar. 4.

The trial of Montez and David Warren, which began last month, is among the trials postponed. Testimony is expected to resume Tuesday at 10:45 a.m.

The trial of Keir Johnson, Lester Williams, Robert Givens, and Marcellus Jackson, which began several months ago, is also among the trials postponed. Testimony is expected to resume Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.