Relisha was a second grader in 2014 who was living in the DC General Shelter, in Washington DC which as the time was the largest shelter in the area housing over 600 children at one point. She had been staying at this shelter with her mother, stepfather and brothers. Relisha and her family were no strangers to hard times and had been living in shelters and were homeless most of Relisha's life.
While living at the shelter a friendly janitor named Kahlil Malik Tatum, would befriend Relisha's her mother, and ultimately developed a relationship with Relisha, even though the shelter had a no fraternization policy it never was really enforced.
After Relisha accumulated several unexcused absences from school, her mother informed them she was under the care of a 'Doctor Tatum'. After Relisha continued to accumulate more unexcused absences and the school was unable to contact Dr. Tatum, a social worker would eventually go to the shelter. Learning that Dr. Tatum was actually a janitor and not a doctor, the police were called.
At the point police were called Relisha had been unaccounted for over a month, causing a major setback in locating her.
With conflicting stories from her mother, and police unable to locate Kahlil Tatum an Amber Alert was issued. Kahlil Tatum's wife would be found dead in a near by hotel, and surveillance video of Kahlil Malik Tatum and Relisha entering and leaving several hotels in the area, he was their prime suspect. However he would also later be discovered dead from an apparent suicide.
Police initially believed Relisha could have been the victim of human trafficking but would later retract that statement.
This case has garnered national attention and frustration with the complete lack of accountability and finger pointing between school officials, social workers, police, and her own mother. Many people dropped the ball who were there to help Relisha, but even with all the finger pointing and blaming, Relisha has yet to be found.
With the main suspect dead, police are no closer to finder her today, then they were when she went missing in 2014.
Was Relisha murdered or did she fall victim to human trafficking? Listen to her story at Human Trafficking a True Crime Podcast and decide for yourself.
Relisha Rudd has been missing since March 1st 2014, she was last seen in Washington DC, she is an African American female, with brown eyes, and black hair. She was 4'0 and 80 pounds when she disappeared and would be 16 years old today.
Anyone with information on the disappearance of Relisha Rudd or her whereabouts is asked to contact the Metropolitan police Department at 202-265-9100.
We give Relisha Rudd the Last Word.
Relisha Rudd circa 2014
Relisha Rudd aged progressed 2019 (14yrs old) 2014
Kahlil Malik Tatum Shamika Young (Relisha's Mother)