RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

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RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:29 pm

Amber Alert issued for missing 8-year-old girl; woman found dead in motel during search



Posted: Mar 20, 2014 5:42 AM EST Updated: Mar 20, 2014 5:49 PM EST





Relisha Tenau Rudd




Police are still searching for a missing 8-year-old D.C., and an Amber Alert has been issued for her.    Relisha Tenau Rudd was last seen in southeast Washington at a homeless shelter.  Police say during their search, they found a woman dead in a Maryland motel room on Thursday morning.

According to the Amber Alert, Relisha may be traveling in a white 1976 GMC truck with Maryland tag 305015.  She may be traveling with Kahlil Malik Tatum, who is described as a black male who is 5'9" tall and weighs about 200 pounds.  He is considered to be armed and dangerous.


The body of the woman-- whom police say is not the girl's mother, but is related to her disappearance-- was found at a Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill, Md. after D.C. police asked Prince George’s County police to search the motel for any connection to the missing child. 

Relisha went missing from a homeless shelter located in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Ave. SE.  Police say she was picked up by someone her family knew, but she was never returned to her mother.

Relisha is described as being 4’ tall and weighing between 70-80 pounds.  She has black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion.  Police say they’re concerned she may be in need of medication.

Earlier in the day,  police said the girl may have been traveling in one of two vehicles: a red or burgundy SUV with a Washington Redskins sticker on the back window and a personalized D.C. plate reading “KAHLIL.”  The second vehicle they described was a black Honda sedan with D.C. plate EN2051.  The description of the white truck was released with the Amber Alert.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Relisha Tenau Rudd is asked to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099, Youth Investigations Division at 202-576-6768, or 911.


http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/25024918/police-searching-for-missing-8-year-old-relisha-tenau-rudd#axzz2wXpSk0GZ


Last edited by twinkletoes on Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by mom_in_il on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:19 pm

Truck Found, Missing Girl And Suspected Abductor Remain At Large

March 20, 2014 5:54 AM

UPDATED: March 21, 2014 6:11 a.m.

WASHINGTON (WNEW) — Police have recovered a white truck wanted in connection to the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, but the child and her suspected abductor remain at large.

The vehicle, a 1976 GMC truck with Maryland tags, was discovered in Hyattsville Thursday night, according to D.C. Police.

Police say Rudd may be traveling with Kahlil Malik Tatum, who was a janitor a homeless shelter where the girl had been staying with her mother. Tatum may be armed and dangerous, according to authorities.

The FBI joined the investigation into Rudd’s disappearance Thursday morning after two vehicles possibly linked to Relisha were found at a motel in Oxon Hill. When officers arrived at the Red Roof Inn, located in the 6100 block of Oxon Hill Road, they found an adult woman dead inside a room and the vehicles in the parking lot. Relisha was not found at the motel, authorities say.

Officer Harry Bond says D.C. Police advised authorities in Prince George’s County to check the motel because of a possible link to the missing child case, but it is not yet clear if the woman is connected to Relisha.

Prince George’s Police are investigating the woman’s death as a homicide.

Relisha is described as a black female, standing 4 feet tall and weighing between 70 and 80 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, and a medium complexion.

She was last seen in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Avenue SE.

FBI agents went to the Temple Hills home of one of the adults named in the Amber Alert around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Law enforcement sources tell WNEW Senior Correspondant Mark Segraves agents left the apartment with a woman who is a witness in the case.

Relisha had been staying at the D.C. General family shelter with her mother and stepfather for the past year. Relisha’s stepfather says her mother gave Relisha to a male janitor who works at the shelter more than three weeks ago, but they haven’t seen the girl since.

Relisha had been missing since late February, but here disappearance was only brought to the attention of police on Wednesday when officials with D.C. Public Schools realized she hadn’t been showing up for class.

Police also searched the homeless shelter where the family had been staying.

Relisha’s stepfather says she suffers from severe migraines and may be in need of medication.

Police ask anyone with information on Relisha’s whereabouts to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099, the Youth Investigations Division at 202-576-6768, or 911

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/03/20/police-looking-for-8-year-old-girl-missing-in-southeast-d-c/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:43 pm

Man Linked To D.C. Amber Alert Charged In Wife’s Murder

March 21, 2014 11:30 PM






OXON HILL, Md. (WJZ) – Major developments in the Amber Alert for a little girl in Washington D.C. The case is now tied to a murder in Maryland.

Mary Bubala has the latest.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum, charging him with murdering his wife, Andrea. They believe Tatum is traveling with eight-year-old Relisha Rudd, who’s been missing for weeks.

D.C. Metro Police put out the alert–eight-year-old Relisha Rudd is missing. She may be traveling in either a red SUV or a black Honda.

It did not take long for someone to spot the cars in the parking lot of the Oxon Hill Red Roof Inn. Police rushed to the hotel and started pounding on doors.

“They were real loud, looking for people and seeing who was in which rooms,” Randolph Byrd said, hotel resident.

They found the victim, Andrea Tatum, in a first floor room, nearest to the cars.

Police say she sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was pronounced dead on the scene.

“Once we got on scene, we checked several rooms and we came across a deceased adult female suffering from trauma to the body,” said Officer Harry Bond, Prince George’s County Police.

An adult woman–murdered in the room, but no sign of little Relisha Rudd anywhere.


http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/03/21/police-truck-described-in-amber-alert-found-girl-still-missing/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:37 am

AMBER ALERT: NEW PHOTOS IN MISSING GIRL CASE


Mar 24, 2014




 
The AMBER Alert was sent out on Thursday and two other alerts were sent out since Relisha Tenau Rudd was abducted.

Rudd’s alleged abductor, Khalil Tatum, 51, of Southeast, DC, has distinct tattoos on his left arm.

Read full story:  http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2014/03/24/ambert-alert-dc-relisha-tenau-rudd-abducted-photographs/6837621/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by mom_in_il on Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:49 pm

Relisha Rudd: Questions surround Amber Alert for missing girl

By Sam Ford, Roz Plater
March 24, 2014 - 07:14 pm

(WJLA) - If you drive into D.C. on I-295, you can see the Amber Alert signs for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd. The alert went to cell phones in D.C., but only in D.C.

Though the suspected abductor, 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum, is suspected of killing his wife last week in Maryland and has a criminal record in Virginia, there appears to be no Amber Alert for the child in either state.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier held a news conference on Monday, and insisted that Amber Alerts were sent out as far north as Pennsylvania and as far south as Florida.

However, we could not find any alerts in nearby Maryland. Police have to explicitly be asked for an issuance, but Maryland State Police confirmed that they were never asked.

"Our resources are in contact with them and are available to them -- but we just did not receive a request to issue this Amber Alert," said Greg Shipley with Maryland State Police.

Even when one of its child recovery unit officers went to the hotel last Thursday where Tatum’s wife’s body was found:

"He was told he was not needed at that time," said Shipley.

Chief Lanier said that her investigators are working around the clock with FBI and the P.G. County Police, as Rudd has not been seen since February 26.

"I think we've done due diligence with these Amber Alerts," she said. "If there's some glitches somewhere, we can look at those once we find her."

“The Amber program works so well that to date, there have been 685 children that have been rescued and returned,” said Bob Hoever, Programs Director for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "The whole premise of the Amber Alert is the eyes and ears of many far outweigh the eyes and ears of a few.”

Over the weekend, dozens gathered in a vigil outside the D.C. General Homeless Shelter where the girl lived – including the girl’s mother, who routinely allowed Tatum to take the child. But this time, he didn’t bring her back:

"I just want him to bring my daughter back , bring Relisha back,” said Shamika Young.

Around D.C., posters have gone up and many residents seem to be well aware of what has happened:

"I'm a mother of three, I would never let a stranger take one of my children,” said Southeast resident Barbara Scott.

The FBI has announced a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the location and return of Rudd.

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/03/relisha-rudd-questions-surround-amber-alert-for-missing-girl-101483.html#ixzz2wzRmXACH
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:27 am

Body in DC park believed to be murder suspect's


By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press | March 31, 2014 | Updated: April 1, 2014 2:07am



  • Photo By Alex Brandon/AP 
    Washington Metro Police and cadets search in Kenilworth Park in Washington, Monday, March 31, 2014. Police have been searching the park in northeast Washington since last week for clues in the case of eight-year-old Relisha Rudd, last seen in the company of Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where she lived with her mother and brothers.














WASHINGTON (AP) — The body of a man found dead in a park of an apparent suicide Monday is believed to be that of a murder suspect who was the last person seen with a missing 8-year-old girl, police said.

The body has been tentatively identified as that ofKahlil Tatum, 51, a janitor at the city homeless shelter where 8-year-oldRelisha Rudd had been living with her family, said Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

"It appears the person we found here today was, in fact, Mr. Tatum, and it does still appear at this point that this was a suicide," Lanier told a news conference at the park.

"This discovery was a shock for us," Lanier said. "We were very focused on finding Relisha and that's what we came here for. ... We're not finished. That search is continuing."

Police had started searching for Relisha in the 700-acre Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens five days ago in an operation aimed at recovering a body, although Lanier said she had not given up hope that Relisha was alive. Hundreds of people, including divers, have participated in the search.

Relisha was last seen on March 1 in the company of Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where she lived with her mother and brothers. Relisha's mother had allowed her to spend time with Tatum, and her family did not report her missing. Repeated absences from school led authorities to start looking for her on March 19.

The following day, the body of Tatum's wife was found in a motel in nearby Oxon Hill, Md., dead of a gunshot wound to the head. Kahlil Tatum has been charged in a warrant with murder.

On March 2, police said, Tatum purchased 42-gallon trash bags, and he was seen that day in the area of the park, located in the northeastern sector of the capital.

http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Man-s-body-found-during-search-for-missing-girl-5364148.php
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:33 am

Police seek identity of man captured on video, say he may know something about Relisha

D.C. police released this video on Friday to ask for the public’s help in identifying a man in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd.


Published: April 4


D.C. police on Friday released a short video of a man getting off an escalator and said they want to question him about missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd and her alleged abductor, a janitor at a homeless shelter.

Authorities would not disclose the location the video was taken, or the man’s connection to the case. Police do not know who the man is, and they are urging anyone who does to call them at 202-727-9099.

Timeline: Disappearance of Relisha


Previous coverage and the events leading to the disappearance of Relisha Rudd and Kahlil Tatum.
Tatum warrant, charging document


COURT FILINGS | See search warrants for Tatum’s storage lockers and email accounts.

WUSA posted this video of Relisha that it says was taken from her mother's Facebook page.
Video: Lanier says body likely Tatum


VIDEO | Police on March 31 identify the body found Monday in Kenilworth Park as that of Kahlil Tatum.

Missing D.C. 8-year-old’s hard past comes into focus

Peter Hermann, Emma Brown and Lynh Bui MAR 26

Records reveal a history of poor living conditions as the search for Relisha Rudd continues.

“The Metropolitan Police Department believes this individual may have information and we are only seeking to speak with him,” the agency said in a statement.

The man is filmed walking off an escalator and walking away with both hands in the pockets of his dark pants. He’s wearing a leather jacket and a hoodie.

Police released the video a day after they ended a week-long search for Relisha in the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens without finding any clues where she might be. “It’s heart-wrenchingly frustrating,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said as she announced the end of the search in the park on Thursday. She vowed that the search elsewhere would continue.

Relisha’s mother allowed Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at a homeless shelter where the family lived, to take Relisha on Feb. 26; the girl was last seen with him on March 1 in Northeast Washington. On Monday, searchers found Tatum’s body in a shed at the park. Police said that he apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and that his body had been there for from 36 hours to several days.

Police have said they think it is possible Relisha was killed by Tatum, 51.

Police said they concentrated their search on the park based on a tip and because Tatum was spotted there after he bought 42-gallon trash bags on March 2. Police first started searching for Relisha on March 19, after a counselor at her school inquired about her mounting absences and tried to find Tatum, who had been listed in school records as her doctor. Relisha’s mother never reported her missing. The next day, police found Tatum’s wife fatally shot at an Oxon Hill motel. Tatum was charged in her killing.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/police-seek-man-to-question-in-relisha-rudd-case-say-he-might-know-something-about-girl/2014/04/04/81cdc574-bc20-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html?tid=pm_local_pop
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:52 am

Before Relisha Rudd went missing, the 8-year-old longed to escape D.C.’s homeless shelter


View Photo Gallery — Search for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd continues: The missing girl was last seen March 1.

By  Lynh Bui, Published: April 5


Relisha Rudd called it the “trap house.”

For nearly two years, the missing 8-year-old had been living in the shelter for homeless families at the former D.C. General Hospital, a grim place with bedbugs and no playground. Relatives said the second-grader, who slept with a teddy bear she named “Baby,” wanted out so desperately that she would fake asthma attacks to stay at their homes. Adults who were close to her at her old school described her arriving with filthy clothes, dirty hair and an empty stomach, and they said she often didn’t want to leave.

Video

D.C. police released this video Friday to ask for the public’s help in identifying a man in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd.
Timeline: Disappearance of Relisha


Previous coverage and the events leading to the disappearance of Relisha Rudd and Kahlil Tatum.
Tatum warrant, charging document

WUSA posted this video of Relisha that it says was taken from her mother's Facebook page.
Video: Lanier says body likely Tatum


VIDEO | Police on March 31 identify the body found Monday in Kenilworth Park as that of Kahlil Tatum.

Missing D.C. 8-year-old’s hard past comes into focus

Peter Hermann, Emma Brown and Lynh Bui MAR 26
Records reveal a history of poor living conditions as the search for Relisha Rudd continues.

“She was like, ‘Can I stay?’ ” said Regina Pixley, a security guard at Ferebee-Hope Elementary School, which Relisha attended from pre-kindergarten until last June, when the school closed. “And we were like, ‘Baby, you have to go home.’ ”

It has been more than a month since Relisha’s family has seen her and more than a week since the police search for her became a “recovery mission.” People who knew her now talk about her in both the present and past tense, revealing in the same breath their hopes and fears.

But whether Relisha is alive or dead, the instability of her life — evictions from apartments where gunfire was common, weeks at motels and then months at the homeless shelter with a troubled mother and three brothers — put her on the radar of school administrators, social workers, shelter employees and volunteers, who make up the safety net for the city’s vulnerable children.

The signs of a child struggling were there: A cheerleading coach at times helped her wash up in a restroom at school, where clean clothes were kept on hand for her. Social workers responded to at least three reports of abuse or neglect within the family, with police called at least twice. Shelter volunteers noticed a little girl who was eager to participate in two after-school programs but who often wasn’t there. And family members were aware that the girl who dressed as a princess for Halloween was being swapped among them and that, in recent months, a new person had joined her rotation of caregivers: Kahlil Tatum, a 51-year-old shelter custodian who took her for sleepovers at his house and on outings to the movies and the mall. Then simply took her.

A deep look at Relisha’s life — and the adults she came in contact with before walking away with Tatum, who was found dead last week — shows that the details of her disappearance may be unique but the circumstances of her life were not. In recent days, officials have used the phrase “other Relishas” to describe children who live on the edge but whose chances of falling are hard to predict, even by people supposed to catch them.

“Who failed Relisha?” said Shannon Smith, the cheerleading coach who looked after her. “I believe everybody failed that girl. The school, the system, the doctors, the police and everybody else that should have had something to do with her.”

‘I wonder why I have kids’
In a video her mother shot, Relisha dances in the family’s yellow-walled room at the shelter. Skinny arms and legs flapping, she bounces to the beat against a bare backdrop of six twin beds pushed together. Her three younger brothers leap around her, all energy. There is joy in Relisha’s movements, but her expression remains flat. If she is smiling, it is hard to tell.
.
“Get it, Relisha,” her mother, Shamika Young, shouts on the video. “Get it, li’l mama.”

Young, 27, also lived in shelters as a child. She was 6 years old when she entered Virginia’s foster-care system, where she bounced between homes until the age of 18, relatives said. About a year later, she had Relisha.

Young’s Facebook page depicts a woman who brags one day about how she dresses her children — “all got Helly Hansen coat on their little backsides” — and on another day how she is “high as a kite.” Her posts are filled with obscenities, but they also reveal self-doubt.

“Sometime I wish my mother didn’t have me and sometimes I wonder how many people wanna see me dead and sometimes I wonder why I have kids and sometimes I wonder why the world is the way it is,” she wrote two years ago. “I wonder who I am.”

Shortly after Relisha was born — on Oct. 29, 2005, at Washington Hospital Center — the family moved into an Edgewood apartment complex where gang members were neighbors and shootings were common. Once, police descended on the Northeast D.C.
apartments when a man pulled a gun from behind an outdoor air-conditioning unit and, according to a witness, “began firing at everyone around Edgewood.” Seven people were wounded.

The family left in 2007. Public records show that at least five of Young’s former landlords filed cases against her for breaching tenant contracts, with the latest eviction notice coming shortly before the family wound up at a motel off Bladensburg Road for three months and then entered the shelter in 2012.

Relisha, who sometimes called the shelter “the G,” hated it there, relatives said. She would tell them that it was “infested and the food ain’t good,” said her aunt Ashley Young, 26.

The shelter, run out of an old public hospital beside a morgue and a methadone clinic, was intended to be a temporary solution to overcrowding elsewhere when the city started moving homeless families there more than a decade ago. Now, nearly 600 children call it home. In a report last year, the Washington Legal Clinic described complaints from residents about heating outages, mice, and bedbugs and other insects. Raccoons have been spotted inside bathrooms and closets.

Ashley Young said her niece would fake illnesses to stay at her place or beg to go to her grandmother’s home, where she had a cat named Missy. When Relisha began spending time with Tatum, her aunt said, she viewed it as another “escape route” for the girl.
Shamika Young said that she met Tatum in 2005 and that her daughter considered him a godfather. Relisha would come back from their outings with a new outfit or a manicure, relatives said. For Christmas, he bought her a tablet device. Few in Relisha’s family questioned his generosity.

“I never got a bad vibe about him,” said Antonio Wheeler, 28, the father of Relisha’s two youngest brothers. Irving Rudd, the father of Relisha and another brother, did not respond to efforts to contact him.

When Relisha couldn’t spend time with Tatum, she would make her aunt call him, Ashley Young said. “She would say: ‘Why, God-daddy? Why don’t you come get me?’ ” Young said. Whenever Tatum took her, she added, he “always brought her back when he was supposed to.”

Until the day he didn’t.

On March 19, police began the search for Relisha after a social worker from Payne Elementary School, concerned about her mounting absences, showed up at the shelter and discovered the truth about Tatum, who had been listed on school records as Relisha’s doctor. By that point, Relisha had been with Tatum since Feb. 26, police said, but no one had reported her missing. On March 20, police found Tatum’s wife, Andrea Tatum, facedown on a motel bed in Oxon Hill, shot in the head. Tatum was found 11 days later in a Northeast Washington park shed, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Relisha’s grandmother Melissa Young, who signed Relisha up for Girl Scouts and laughs about how she ate more shortbread cookies than she sold, now questions why the shelter staff didn’t notice that her granddaughter was gone. Every night, staff members knock on doors and ask how many kids are in each room, but they don’t open the doors to look, she said. If they had, they would have seen Relisha’s bed empty many nights.

On her phone, Young keeps a photo of her granddaughter in a lime-green outfit she bought her. Relisha, her hands on her hips, striking a pose, stares into the camera. She’s not smiling but offers a sassy pout. The front of her shirt says, “Love Me.”

‘A beautiful girl’
Relisha didn’t just ask Shannon Smith if she could join the cheerleading team at Ferebee. She showed her that she had been watching the other girls by thrusting her arms in the air and spelling V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

“I was surprised that little girl spelled that word,” Smith recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, she’s one of ours.’ ” Smith watched over her, offering rides when needed and calling her mother when she didn’t show up for school. Then there were days she washed her up and fixed her hair.

“Once you gave her a hug and cleaned her up, she was just a beautiful girl,” Smith said. “All that girl wanted was to be hugged.”

Smith and Pixley, the security guard at the school, said there were many days when they saw Relisha and one of her brothers waiting for a ride home long after most of the other children had left. Smith recalled how once, when she returned late from chaperoning a school trip and found the two there, she called their mother and offered to drive them home. Smith said Young didn’t give an address and hung up. Young then called the school and directed her children to leave on foot, Smith said.

What happened next could not be corroborated with authorities, but Smith and Pixley said that the children were found late that night at a nearby laundromat and that the police and the District’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) were notified. Melissa Young denied that her grandchildren were ever found at a laundromat and said Shamika would often go hungry so the children could eat.

Shamika Young also said she has been a good mother to Relisha and her brothers. “Think what you want to think,” she said. “Only God knows the truth.”

Mindy Good, a CFSA spokeswoman, said that by law she can’t speak about individual cases. But confidential files read to The Washington Post show that the agency sustained complaints at least three times involving Young’s children. The first was lodged in July 2007, when Relisha was almost 2 years old. A social worker noted “great concern” for the girl, who showed signs of abuse, according to the file. But authorities “were unable to determine how these injuries happened.” Two law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the case said police were called but an investigation concluded that no assault had occurred.

Three years later, in April 2010, a social worker noted that one of Relisha’s brothers was not getting the medical attention he needed after surgery. The file says the family was living in “environmentally unsafe conditions,” with debris and cigarette butts scattered throughout the apartment.
.
The last incident occurred in November, while the family was at the shelter. A social worker, according to the file, noted a “lack of supervision and abuse.” One of Relisha’s brothers had been “thrown to the ground” and slapped until his lip bled, the report says. The law enforcement officials said police intervened but got conflicting stories about who hit the boy. No charges were filed.

Relisha’s relatives described all three reports as exaggerated or false. In each case, the children remained in the home. Only after Relisha went missing were her three brothers placed in foster care.

CFSA Director Brenda Donald declined to be interviewed. But in a letter to The Post, she wrote that “the fact that CFSA does not remove a child as a result of a substantiated abuse or neglect allegation does not mean we do not provide any services.”

When Donald took over the agency in 2012, the District had one of the nation’s highest removal rates and one of the lowest in placing children with relatives once they were taken from the home, Good said. A year earlier, the city’s Citizen Review Panel, which is charged with monitoring the agency, issued a report that called for “significant reforms to prevent unnecessary removals — and to prevent the unnecessary harm they cause to children and families.”

As of April 2, the agency was serving 2,973 children. Of those, 61 percent were at home with their families, the result of an intentional effort. Good said a particular challenge for the agency comes in dealing with families who teeter constantly between stability and crisis; they aren’t in dire enough straits to require drastic interventions, but they remain troubled. Social workers have to rely on their best judgments, she said, “without the benefit of any foolproof method for predicting human behavior or other variables.”
“All of us in social services work to serve so many fragile families,” Good said. “We know the stakes are high. Succeeding makes a wonderful difference. But when even best efforts aren’t enough, it’s devastating.”

Preventing ‘other Relishas’
In the days before divers plunged into the Anacostia River, looking for what many hoped they wouldn’t find — Relisha’s body wrapped in one of the 42-gallon trash bags Tatum had purchased before killing himself — the girl’s family offered tearful pleas for her return on television.

“Bring Relisha back,” they begged at a candlelight vigil. “Bring my baby back.”

But even as they held on to hope, they began pointing fingers. At that same vigil, several relatives huddled together, screaming about who had lost Relisha — accusing one another of not doing enough, not crying enough, not worrying enough.

Shamika Young, who has been accused of giving police conflicting information about her daughter’s whereabouts and lying to the school about her many absences, is now under investigation by a grand jury for obstruction of justice. She has gone into hiding but said she wants the public to know: “It’s not my fault.”

Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has also pushed back against critics who say Payne failed Relisha. One school official said Payne’s social worker, who noticed how Relisha and her brothers struggled to adjust to their new classrooms, had Payne staffers check in with them and referred Relisha’s family to a community-based group for more support.

Although Relisha was absent more than 30 days before a school social worker alerted child welfare officials, most of those absences were excused by family members who said the child was in the care of a “Dr. Tatum.” Henderson said the only reason anybody started looking for Relisha is because a school social worker went to the shelter and realized that “something was not right.”

Henderson says the system has devoted increasing resources to addressing truancy, but it remains an enormous problem linked to issues beyond the district’s ability to solve. “We teach children, that’s our thing,” she said. “We can co-locate services, we can collaborate with other agencies — but we cannot solve the problems of the world in the schoolhouse.”

The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, the nonprofit agency being paid $13 million a year by the city to run the shelter, has also come under fire. At a recent D.C. Council committee hearing, Sue Marshall, executive director of the agency, defended the shelter’s policies. She acknowledged that the shelter had fired at least four employees for having inappropriate relationships with residents. But not Tatum, who gave toys and money to shelter children before Relisha’s abduction.
For many advocates, Relisha has become more than a face on an Amber Alert. She’s a potent symbol. “How do we prevent this from happening again?” asked Anniglo Boone, executive director of the Consortium for Child Welfare, a coalition of nonprofit agencies.

“How do we prevent this for other Relishas?”

“Other Relishas” — two words that have become the legacy of a little girl who loved pink and purple and wanted to be a model or a singer. A child who threw herself into art projects and helped volunteers set up for the shelter’s after-school programs. At the Freedom School, operated in the shelter by the National Center for Children and Families, project director Dennita Ferrell recalled how Relisha loved the program’s motivational song, “(Something Inside) So Strong.” She jumped to her feet whenever it came time to sing it.

“Something inside so strong,” Relisha belted out. “I know that I can make it. Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/before-relisha-rudd-went-missing-the-8-year-old-longed-to-escape-dcs-homeless-shelter/2014/04/05/e21a020a-bc19-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by admin on Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:48 pm

I think we all know what the problem is.

Nobody steals a child because they want to whisk them off to a life of luxury and pampering.

 tears tears tears 
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by admin on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:11 pm

I was watching a video regarding a different case, but I happened to see this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfJsGeq0xRA

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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:53 am




Manpower DC to Rally Area Residents to Search for Relisha Rudd


April 19, 2014 10:25 AM


An Amber Alert has been issued for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd. (credit: Metropolitan Police Department)


WASHINGTON (WNEW) - Manpower DC and Trayon White is rallying residents and several community organizations to join the ongoing efforts to find missing 8-year-old girl Relisha Rudd.

“We are going to walk the community with flyers to raise awareness and show that this is a real concern as citizens,” says Manpower DC’s Trayon White.

The search will begins Saturday, April 19 at 4 p.m., and the group will gather at the R Street entrance of the National Arboretum in northeast.

The event will open with a prayer for Relisha Rudd and other missing people in the metropolitan area.

Volunteers will then disperse into neighboring communities near the Arboretum (New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE), DC General Shelter Area (19th and Independence Avenue NE), Kenilworth Area (Anacostia and Quarles Street NE) and River Terrace Area (34th and Blane Street NE).

Three groups will canvass door to door at the Kenilworth, DC General Shelter, and River Terrace areas to disseminate fliers to residents. One group will raise awareness with posters at the intersection of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road. Volunteers will also receive ribbons to wear in solidarity.

“It is important that we bring light to the 4,000 missing people in Washington DC and that we work together as a community to resolve the many issues that we face collectively,” says Dana Hall of the Eternal Life Project and Ubiquity Incorporated. “A huge part of what we are doing is empowering the people to develop and protect their own communities.”

Other attending organizations are encouraged to bring posters of the missing persons whose families they serve in the hopes that perhaps even one will be found.

For inquiries or volunteer information contact Trayon White at 202-270-7271.


http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/04/19/manpower-dc-to-rally-area-residents-to-search-for-relisha-rudd/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Sat May 10, 2014 4:16 am

Current Amber Alert System Called Into Question; Did It Fail Relisha Rudd?


May 8, 2014 5:44 PM






Linh Bui



BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Debate over the country’s Amber Alert system. Does it really save lives?

Linh Bui reports the father of a murdered child says the system is broken and should be dismantled.

More than 70 percent of abducted children are killed in the first three hours. One father says the Amber Alerts don’t go out fast enough.

In 1993, 12-year-old Polly Klaas was abducted from her California bedroom. Her murder helped prompt the call for Amber Alerts. But according to her father, Mark:
“There’s no question the Amber Alert is broken. It’s foundation is broken,” Mark Klaas said.

Klaas says the current system would not have saved his daughter and did not work for Relisha Rudd, the D.C. girl who went missing in March. The Amber Alert did not go out until three hours after police found the suspect’s wife dead.

Klaas says restrictions and bureaucracy waste too much time. But Amber Alert officials disagree, saying the system has saved nearly 700 children.

“When a child is missing or a child’s been abducted, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” said Bob Hoever, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The more eyes and ears you have out there searching for that child, the smaller the haystack becomes and the better our chances are of successfully rescuing that child.”

One example is Baltimore County 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts. Police say her father abducted her in March. Within 48 hours, they were found in a South Carolina hotel.

The hotel owner had seen the Amber Alert on Facebook and called police.

“We don’t have one or two or five or ten police officers searching for a child, we have entire communities searching for that child,” Hoever said.

But Klaas says those officers on the street should be able to sound the alarm themselves, instead of going through time-consuming layers of approval, and he wants more cases to qualify.

“The Amber Alert we have right now would not have helped Polly, it would not have helped Adam Walsh, it would not have helped Elizabeth Smart,” Klaas said.

He says the system needs to speed up communications to save more lives.

Amber Alert officials say general restrictions are needed to keep the public from being overwhelmed with false alarms.

To qualify for an Amber Alert, the missing child must be in imminent danger. Also, police must have a description of the abductor and the suspect’s vehicle.



http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/05/08/current-amber-alert-system-called-into-question-amid-relisha-rudd-case/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by admin on Tue May 13, 2014 5:13 am

I have an idea:

How about in addition to an Amber Alert, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Instagram create a Social Media Alert?

They could partner with the NCMEC, and when a child goes missing, everyone's accounts are locked down. Nothing can be posted, tweeted or grammed except the picture and stats of the missing child. I think that might solve the missing child epidemic fairly quickly.
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by mom_in_il on Sun May 18, 2014 7:54 pm

Relisha Rudd search resumes with woman who says she can communicate with the dead

By Theresa Vargas
Published: May 16

When volunteers step into a wooded park in Northeast Washington on Saturday to search for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd’s body, they will carry with them shovels, rakes and gloves. They will also be armed with another tool: an accountant from Northern Virginia who says she can communicate with the dead.

Lisa Grayson, 54, describes herself as an “empath” — a person who can read the emotions of others, alive or dead.

Grayson said she is normally private about her ability, using it to help friends or those who are struggling with a loss. But then she heard about Relisha, who disappeared more than two months ago with a custodian from the D.C. homeless shelter where she lived. The case, Grayson said, tugged at her.

After she posted about Relisha on a psychic forum, she was contacted by Keith Warren, the host of an online radio show and the organizer of “The Relisha Rudd Task Force.” Members of the group have been searching for the second-grader in the 700-acre Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, and Grayson agreed to help.

“This little girl is so helpless,” she said. “I just kind of looked at this child and said maybe I can help with finding her remains. But really, really she needs help to go on to where she’ll be happier, where there are other kids, where she has a purpose, where she’s loved and has respect. Because that’s not happening yet.”

Grayson believes, and has said in an interview on Warren’s show, that while Relisha’s body might be at the park, her spirit is trapped elsewhere. She said she believes that Kahlil Tatum, 51, the custodian from the shelter, drugged the girl repeatedly and that one time, after eating chicken nuggets and watching cartoons, she just didn’t wake up.

Relisha, she said, doesn’t know she is dead. “She just knows she went to sleep,” Grayson said. “She’s waiting for someone to come and get her from this place.”

Grayson said she believes that one of the last images Relisha saw was the word “Red,” which makes her think she may have been taken to the Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill, where Tatum allegedly killed his wife, Andrea, after Relisha went missing.

Police did not find evidence that Relisha was at the motel. But a law enforcement official provided this detail from the homicide scene that has not been publicly released: The Cartoon Network was on the television.

Grayson said she knows that there are those who will be skeptical about her skills as an empath, but she describes her ability as “a gift that God gave me.” She said that her mother, who is from New Orleans, had it, as did her grandmother. She said she does not accept payment for what she does and described her skill level as a 2 compared with Theresa Caputo of the reality series “Long Island Medium,” whom she puts at a 10.

Warren said he didn’t fully trust Grayson at first. But then, he said, she told him things about his missing cousin, Unique Harris, that only he would know.

Warren held out hope that Relisha was alive even after police launched an extensive search of the park and released the detail that Tatum was seen there the same day he purchased a box of 42-gallon trash bags. He maintained that hope after police found Tatum’s body in a shed on the grounds, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Now, Warren said he believes Grayson, even if “it’s been really hard to accept what she’s saying.”

On Saturday, more than 25 people are expected to participate in the search, which will begin at 10 a.m. and be followed that evening by a vigil at the shelter run out of the old D.C. General Hospital in Southeast, where Relisha lived with her mother and three brothers.

“Hopefully, this Saturday will be the day we find her,” said Warren.

It will be the group’s third search. The first time, it found bones that turned out to be those of an animal. The second time, it found a tooth and the purple hood of a Helly Hansen jacket similar to one they were told Relisha used to wear. They handed the items over to the police.

Gwendolyn Crump, a D.C. police spokeswoman, would not comment specifically on Grayson’s involvement in Saturday’s search. “Detectives have pursued, and will continue to pursue, all leads that have been developed during the investigation,” she said. “We thank the community for the assistance they have provided in the search for Relisha and the many tips that have been provided.”

Grayson said she is dreading walking through the park. Because Relisha doesn’t know where she is, Grayson said she will have to tap into Tatum and dissect the truth from his lies. She described him as a “dark heart” and a “master manipulator.”

“He manipulated in life,” she said, “and he’s manipulating in death.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/woman-who-says-she-can-communicate-with-dead-joins-search-for-8-year-old-relisha-rudd/2014/05/16/9b0e4e94-dd10-11e3-8009-71de85b9c527_story.html
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by mom_in_il on Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:49 pm

Relisha Rudd mom's no-contact order with grandmother

WUSA
7:29 a.m. EDT June 3, 2014

A civil protection order issued Monday forbids the mother of Relisha Rudd from having any contact with the grandmother of the missing eight-year-old.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A judge Monday issued a yearlong civil protection order against Relisha Rudd's mother.

Eight-year-old Relisha has not been seen since March 1st.

There was already a temporary order against Relisha's mother, Shamika Young, and the new order extends the directive to not get within 100 feet of Relisha's grandmother.

Shamika Young agreed to the order, but did not admit to the grandmother's claim of assault that prompted the grandmother to request it.

"I'm not worried about it." Shamika Young said after the court ruling. "I like it like this."

Reading the protection order outside court , Shamika Young said she did not have any comment for the media.

In documents filed two weeks ago Melissa Young , Relisha's grandmother claims that her daughter, Shamika, "physically assaulted me with the help of" two other family members,'

Shamika Young, Relisha's mother, is the daughter of Melissa Young.

WUSA9 is not naming the others the grandmother named in the alleged assault because the judge did not identify them in the protection order.

The grandmother claims the assault occurred May 17th, at approximately 8:00 pm at 1900 Massachusetts Ave SE, which is the address of the DC homeless shelter.

The civil protection order, issued in District Superior Court, orders that in addition to staying 100 feet away from her mother, Shamika Young must not telephone, write, text, email, or use any communications via internet media to contact her mother in any manner.

The standard court document notes Relisha's mother "agreed" to the order "without admitting to the allegations."

One of the organizers of a vigil that was held the night of the alleged attack is the man who runs a Relisha Rudd Internet radio show.

Host Keith Warren says he saw the disturbance and that Relisha's mother did not attack the grandmother.

He said he expects Shamika to tell a very different version of events on an upcoming show.

http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/investigations/russ-ptacek/2014/06/02/relisha-rudd-protection-order/9884431/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by twinkletoes on Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:14 am

AMBER Alert: Group thinks missing DC girl was sold

Mola Lenghi, WUSA 11:32 p.m. EDT April 2, 2014

A national missing persons organization in Washington, D.C. thinks that a missing 8-year-old girl could have been sold into a human trafficking network.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A national missing persons organization in Washington, D.C. thinks that a missing 8-year-old girl could have been sold into a human trafficking network.

Relisha Rudd was last seen on March 1. According to police, Relisha's mother allowed Kahlil Tatum, the janitor at the homeless shelter where the 8-year-old lived with her mother and step-father, to take her.

The Black and Missing Foundation has been assisting the Metropolitan Police Department in the search for Relisha.

More than 200,000 persons of color were reported missing in the U.S. last year, according to the Black and Missing Foundation.
"Sadly, this is an everyday occurrence," said Natalie Wilson.

This year, Relisha will be added to the list of people reported missing.

"I'm pulling at everything in me and there's nothing in my gut that tells me we're in a recovery operation. I feel that we're searching for a live person," said Derrica Wilson, a former police officer.

She is convinced Relisha could be anywhere - still alive, but not well.

"This case has really rocked me to the core. I personally feel that this little girl was sold. I think her mother sold her to Tatum and I think Tatum has sold her in this world wide industry of trafficking," said the former officer.

Derrica and her sister Natalie Wilson founded the Black and Missing Foundation in an effort to bring awareness to missing persons of color, a segment of the missing persons population they say too often goes unnoticed. But, not Relisha.

"Compared to other cases, Relisha's case has gotten quite a bit of media coverage," said Natalie Wilson.

This could the case for various, including the fact that Relisha is so young, and a cute kid who was seemingly handed over to her abductor by her own mother.

"We're holding on to hope that she is alive and somewhere and we need to bring her home," added Derrica.

The sisters stress that the search for Relisha needs to expand far beyond D.C. and include more than just police.

"She could be anywhere and we need to help find her. We would like the public to get involved. Again, somebody knows something," pointed out Natalie.

They added that it's important to realize Relisha's appearance may very well have been changed, so, the pictures we've seen in recent weeks may not be exactly what we should be looking for.

Natalie Wilson said Relisha could have shorter hair or may be dressed like a little boy, so it's important take an extra look at every child you come across.

http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2014/04/02/relisha-sold/7237501/
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

Post by mom_in_il on Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:50 pm

Andrea Tatum’s murder remains as much a mystery as Relisha Rudd’s disappearance

By Theresa Vargas and Lynh Bui
August 4, 2014

Andrea Kelly Tatum likely never saw the bullet coming.

Police officers had been searching for a missing 8-year-old girl when they arrived at Room 132 at a Maryland Red Roof Inn on the first day of spring and found Tatum instead. The 51-year-old lay face-down on the bed, her petite, 126-pound body bearing no signs of a struggle: No bruises, no cuts, according to an autopsy report obtained by The Washington Post. Her long artificial nails, painted purple and blue, remained intact. The barrel of a gun had been placed behind her left ear, and a bullet tore through her skull, into her brain and out a quarter-inch hole in front of her right ear.

The man who pulled the trigger, police and ballistics tests say, was her husband of more than two decades, Kahlil Tatum. Tatum would later use the same gun to kill himself, taking with him critical information investigators were seeking: Where had he left 8-year-old Relisha Rudd?

More than five months after Relisha went missing, the autopsy report, along with additional information from police and interviews with those who knew the Tatums, offers a more penetrating view into a case that has been shrouded in unknowns.

An entire city has wondered: Why did the second-grader’s relatives allow her to spend time alone with Tatum, a 51-year-old custodian at the D.C. homeless shelter where Relisha lived with her mother and three brothers? Where was she in the month before police became involved, when she wasn’t at school or with her family? Where is she now?

ut alongside those questions are these: Why did Tatum kill his wife before killing himself? What, if anything, did she know?

“It’s so puzzling,” said Amelia Melton, who considered Andrea Tatum a sister. “What did she not tell me? What did she hide?”

There were signs of discord: Court records show that Kahlil Tatum had filed for divorce in February, and Andrea Tatum’s daughter would later tell police that her mother had considered leaving him. But others who knew the two describe them as caring people who had struggled with poverty, drug addiction and incarceration but seemed stronger together.

They say their deaths are as much a mystery as Relisha’s disappearance, and that while they mourn for the lost girl, they also grieve for a couple who started a life together 24 years ago both wearing white.

‘Love sure looks good’

Andrea Tatum pinched a piece of cake between her fingers and brought it to the mouth of the man she had just married. He did the same, letting the cuff of his white suit brush against her lacy sleeve as their arms crossed.

That simple gesture, captured in photos from the couple’s reception that July Saturday in 1990, marked a symbolic commitment by the two to nourish and take care of each other.

Two decades later, Kahlil Tatum would reference that day on his Facebook page. Next to a picture of Andrea sitting on his lap, he wrote, “In the beginning there was man and woman, look at [us] now. 21 years later, love sure looks good on (WE)!”

Kahlil Tatum’s nephew, Deshawn Tatum, said his uncle loved his aunt “with the utmost passion.” If his uncle killed his wife — and Deshawn is not sure he did — it had to be because of stress in the wake of Relisha’s disappearance, Deshawn said.

“If you’re under so much stress with everyone constantly saying, ‘You did this, you did that,’ it’s going to make you turn crazy pretty much,” he said. “It’s too much stress on the mind. It’s too much stress on the heart.”

When he first saw his uncle’s face on the news, he assumed Kahlil was the victim of a crime, not the perpetrator. Even now, he doesn’t believe his uncle is the kidnapper or killer portrayed by the police. “If anything, my uncle took care of that little girl,” he said. “It was like she was his own daughter.”

Deshawn said he believes the girl’s family handed her over to him because they couldn’t take care of her themselves. Court records show that when a social worker interviewed Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, after her daughter had missed a month of school, she described Kahlil Tatum as a “godfather” to the girl and didn’t want to file a missing person report. Relisha’s relatives said Kahlil bought her gifts and took her for sleepovers and on outings to the movies and the mall.

Deshawn Tatum also pointed to a video authorities released that shows his uncle with Relisha at the Holiday Inn Express in Northeast D.C. on Feb. 26. In it, she casually walks down the hall next to him, seemingly unafraid.

Relisha was last seen days later at a hotel across the street, according to law enforcement sources. On March 1, Relisha walked past the fountain in front of the Days Inn on New York Avenue, along the cream-colored tile in lobby and into a room with Tatum. It is unclear whether she ever walked out. Investigators searched the room extensively and released this detail: The day after Tatum checked into the hotel, he purchased a box of 42-gallon trash bags and visited Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

Police launched a massive search of the park for Relisha’s remains. What they found, on March 31, was Tatum’s body in a park shed. He was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Authorities have since, through ballistics, linked the gun found next to him to the one used to kill his wife.

‘In for the night’

The last time Edna Young spoke to Andrea, she was in bed, settled in for the evening because she had promised to babysit her grandchildren the next day.

That was about 6 p.m. on March 19. The next morning, Young said, Tatum’s daughter called and said her mother had been killed.

Young’s son, Gerald Wills, who had lived with Andrea during the long years when Kahlil was in prison and describes her as the love of his life, had taken the call.

“He dropped the phone and went out in the hall and fell down,” Young said. “He was hollering.

“I said, ‘Oh, God, have mercy.’ I don’t understand. She was in for the night.”

Andrea, who called her “mom,” helped Young weekly. On Tuesdays, she would pick up donated bread that Young handed out to senior citizens in her building. On other days, she would bring Young her medication, bingo supplies and sometimes groceries.

Wills, 58, said he had known Andrea for about 30 years and loved her for nearly as long. He said he was the one who took care of Andrea when Kahlil was incarcerated from 1993 to 2003 and again from 2004 to 2011 for burglary, larceny and breaking and entering. Wills watched her back when their shared drug habit took them to dangerous corners. They lived in a car together for four years, he said. Once, in a moment of desperation, she pawned a wedding ring he had given her. “But I wasn’t mad at her because I loved her,” he said.

“That’s a big part of my life that is gone right now,” Wills said. “That girl meant everything to me.”

People at Andrea’s last place of employment, the Glorious Health Club — a gay establishment in Northeast that rents rooms for as cheap as $10 a day and carries a sign in the entrance that reads “Maybe it’s not Home Sweet Home, Adjust” — described Wills as Andrea’s “other husband.”

In a brief, cryptic e-mail about Andrea, her boss, Robert Siegel, said she loved both Kahlil Tatum and Wills. “She was loved and hated by many people,” he wrote. “Honest and loved her family.”

Wills said he can’t help feeling he “failed her.” In the past decade, he had watched Andrea embrace sobriety and her role as a grandmother. She took her grandchildren to the playground and ­movies and, just a few weeks before her death, to a dinosaur exhibit, he said. In the past she had talked about divorcing Tatum, he said, but he believes she stayed with him because Narcotics Anonymous teaches people to make amends.

“He couldn’t have loved her, because look what he did,” said Wills, who never saw the Tatums with Relisha, although he vaguely recalls Andrea once mentioning a little girl being at her house. “I think she found out something. That’s why he did it. He thought she was going to tell.”

Documents charging Kahlil with Andrea’s murder say the couple checked into the Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill at 10:04 p.m. on March 19, the day a school social worker reported Relisha missing. Three people accompanied them but left after about 90 minutes. One of the men later told investigators that when he returned at 5:40 a.m. to pick up Kahlil, he saw Andrea lying on the bed. Kahlil wouldn’t let him in the room, he said.

ndrea’s children from a previous relationship did not respond to numerous requests for comment. But her daughter told investigators that her mother was having “domestic problems” with Kahlil and was contemplating leaving him.

Court documents show Kahlil filed for divorce in February, listing the separation as “mutual and voluntary.”

‘She mattered’

The crowd spilled out of the tiny Unity of Love Praise Temple Church in Southeast on the day hundreds of people showed up to say goodbye to Andrea. A fundraising site set up to pay for the event described her as “a loving mom and grandmother” and raised more than $4,000.

One of the many who contributed was Laci Elliot, a minister who had attended McKinley Tech High School with Andrea.

Andrea’s struggles with drugs had landed her behind bars more than once, according to jail records. But once she was sober, Elliot heard people say that “you couldn’t use a dump truck to pull her in the wrong direction.” (The autopsy report revealed she had not been drinking before her death, and a spokesman for the Maryland Medical Examiner’s office said that if she had consumed any drugs, that would have been noted.)

Andrea volunteered with her church and helped the homeless.

“She mattered,” Elliot said. “She matters. It’s not even past tense. Everybody wants that little girl found, and there are no answers. But a mother has lost her life. A grandmother has lost her life. She was a friend. She was a wife.”

“Nobody saw this coming,” she added. “I doubt she did either.”

Juvia Bush, who lives below the modest apartment the couple occupied on N Street SE, can’t recall ever hearing the Tatums fight. She is still chilled by this realization: “We lived right next door to a killer.”

Another neighbor, Casey Jones, said the Tatums went to the Bahamas last year and were planning a trip to Jamaica. They hoped to retire in 10 years, she said, and wanted to “open a little place to help families in need.” Kahlil had taken an interest in mentoring young men in the neighborhood, she said, and often wore a vest or suit.

“He always wanted to show black males that you can look nice,” Jones said. “He said he felt strongly about kids. They were both about the community.”

Jones recalled seeing Relisha playing happily in the snow last winter with another little girl who Jones assumed was Kahlil’s granddaughter.

Despite the circumstances of their deaths, Jones said, Andrea remains the woman who wrote get-well cards to sick neighbors and Kahlil remains the man who greeted his wife with a kiss.

She said, “I’m going to have to hold on to the way I remember them.”

Peter Hermann and Jennifer Jenkins and Wesley Robinson contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/andrea-tatums-murder-remains-as-much-a-mystery-as-relisha-rudds-disappearance/2014/08/04/991d67ec-134c-11e4-98ee-daea85133bc9_story.html
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Re: RELISHA TENAU RUDD - 8 yo - Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD

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