Relisha Tenau Rudd (Born October 29, 2005–disappeared March 1, 2014) is an 8-year old African-American girl who went missing in Washington, D.C. in February 2014, and has never been found.
Reprint © Hill1News 2019
March 1, 2014 was the last day 8 year old Relisha Rudd was seen alive. She was caught on a video camera, walking down the hall in the Days Inn on New York Avenue Ne. She was in the company of Khail Tatum, 51 years. The following day Tatum’s wife would be discovered in another seedy hotel shot in the head. A week later Tatum would be found in a shed in Kenilworth dead from a self inflicted gunshot and as for Relisha? Relisha Rudd was never seen or heard from again.
Of course there were investigations and searches and recriminations, all the usual bulls@#t that happens when a black child goes missing. Relisha lived in the old DC General Hospital in southeast, which at the time had been turned into one of the cities homeless shelters. There were over a thousand families living in the roach, vermin and bed bug infested facility. It was run by Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness. Now, I heard that the residents said the only rule the place had, was that the staff demanded their direct deposit be in their bank accounts on payday. Otherwise it was like living in Dodge City. There was little to no security. People stood out in front of the place smoking reefer like it was 2019 and the @!## was legal. They thought curfew was french for pass the pipe. This was the world Relisha lived in.
Relisha and her family had been on the downturn for a few months. First being evicted from a few apartments, then living in a hotel and finally landing at the “G.” The “G” was what Relisha called the shelter. Reports say that numerous people saw the girls plight. I can’t count how many article I read that said she express to multiple people she hated the place. “Can I stay with you?” “I don’t want to go back.” There were probably hundreds of Relisha’s there. Then one day she met Khail Tatum. It was like finding a quarter on the ground just as the candy truck pulled up. Tatum was a janitor at the facility. He was known for fraternizing with the resident’s young girls. I mean young as in, “Mama bought me Baby Throw up!!, Nah Nah!!” He was a real creep. In any other facility that behavior would have gotten him fired. But like I said, there were no rules here but show me the money and pass me the pipe.
Tatum began playing Relisha and her family. At first they let her go to the store or movies with him. The would always come back with something new for Relisha. Sometimes it was clothes, a manicure or you know something that a kid her age thought was special. He was known to the family as God Daddy. “Can I go with God Daddy mama?” After a while he started taking her out overnight, telling her mother he was taking her to stay with him and his grandmother. Right.. Thats a red flag right there. A 51 year old man wanting to take an 8 year old girl to spend the night with him and his grandmother? If you don’t get the $##@! outta here, you gonna be spending the night with Mr. Cleaver at Mr. Cleavers Funeral Home… you !@@@!!. Anywho, the family didn’t see it and for some reason or other let the child go with him time after time.
Although Relisha hadn’t been in school since February of that year, it wasn’t until March 19, 2014 that they discovered she was missing. Her mother had been sending notes to school saying the child was under the care of “Dr Tatum. When Tatum failed to show up for meetings with the school staff, they became suspicious and notified the police. The mother had given conflicting accounts to the police as to the whereabouts of her child. When she finally gave it up, that’s when the police found the video footage of Relisha in the hotels with Tatum. Now mind you her mother was on TV talking about “Please help me find my child!!” Her excuse was, “I thought she was at my sister’s house. I didn’t want to lose my other three kids. That’s why I didn’t call the police.” Now, I’m not going to say it, but we all thinking it, so I’m gonna leave it be. No I’m not…. @###!!please!!
When they found Tatum’s body they were looking for Relisha. Subsequent investigation revealed that Tatum had bought contractors garbage bags and lime. He had been seen at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens and so the police focused their search there. It was now classified as a recovery. “We cannot ignore the possibility that he may have killed her. – Police Chief Cathy Lanier.,” Tatum did not leave a clue or any indication where he may have buried the child’s body. Some people think she is not dead. There are theories that she may have been sold as a sex slave. Her family still believes she is alive. As recently as this year, acting on new information, D.C. police resumed the search for Relisha, focusing on the underground tunnels beneath DC General. Yep, there are tunnels under the site. However they did not find anything.
One day we will find out what happened to Relisha, just as we found out what happened to Chandra Levy. I hope we all learn from Shamika mistake and hold our children close to us, because for every Relisha, there is a Tatum.
Age enhanced photo.