Missing: Relisha Judd (2014)

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Here is the case of the disappearance of Relisha Judd.

Relisha was last seen in Washington D.C. in March of 2014. She was being taken care of by Kahlil Malik Tatum during the time she disappeared. For over a year, Relisha’s family had been living in a homeless shelter in the former D.C. General Hospital; it’s the biggest shelter in the district, it housed hundreds of families and had as many as 600 children in it. Kahlil worked as a janitor at the shelter.

He was known for offering gifts to Relisha, which some of the gifts included a tablet and a manicure, but he spent a lot of time alone with her as well. Relisha would refer to Kahlil as her “God-Daddy.” He was known for making contact with other young girls that were living at the shelter and also offered them money and gifts as well.

The shelter had a strict no- fraternization rule for the employees and was suppose to terminate anybody who broke them, but Tatum was never disciplined for his actions. So they would just turn there heads when an adult male was spending alone time with these young girls. That’s absurd.

In February, Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, had asked Tatum to care for Relisha because she wanted Relisha to be able to escapes the conditions of the shelter, which was known as filthy, chaotic, crime-ridden and infested with rodents, and they also had no playground for the 600 children living there.

On March 19, social workers came to the shelter to speak with Relisha’s mother about her absences from school, she had missed over 30 days of school and they told her she would need to provide a medical note, as Relisha’s mother stated she was under the care of  “Dr. Tatum.”

ON February 25, Relisha didn’t show up to school and had gotten her 5th unexcused absence, which required a parent-teacher conference for March 5th. Young attended the conference and told her about the services to ensure Relisha’s attendance at school.

There was a few reports of Relisha being in class on March 5 and March 7 but the actual last confirmed sighting was March 1st. Its now March 10, and school officials had called “Dr. Tatum” and told him to provide a medical reason and they would need documentation for Relisha’ absences. Tatum said he was continuing treatment for a neurological problem but was going to discharge her by the end of next week.

So this guy was pretending to be a doctor to keep Relisha home with him? That seems alittle weird, why would he want her to be with him at all times? Why not let her be with other children?

Relisha had reached her 10 unexcused absence on March 13., and as required by law, the school reported the family to the Child and Family Services Agency for educational neglect, but CFSA didn’t consider this a high priority, and it wasn’t until March 19th when a CFSA worker called Tatum and arranged to meet with him later that day. He social worker then learned that he was not really a doctor and called a child abuse hotline and the police.

When police questioned Relisha’s mom about where her daughter was, she stated that Relisha and Kahlil were at a medical conference in Atlanta, Georgia. She said they left March 8th and didn’t know when they would be coming back, but had spoke to Relisha on March 17th.

When anybody tried to get into contact with Kahlil his phone went directly to voicemail, so one of his relatives went into his apartment to see if anybody was there but the apartment was empty. Relisha’s mom didn’t want to file a missing persons report as she believed that she was fine, but police went against her and decided to start a missing persons investigation.

Investigators believed “Dr. Tatum” had shot his wife that night or early the next morning. Her body was found in a motel room in Oxon Hill, Maryland: but by the time investigators got there Tatum and Relisha were already gone. They believed that Relisha was in danger.

Tatum was already running on a warrant and was wanted for Car Theft, and after his wife’s body was found he was charged with murder.

Police learned that on March 1, Tatum had purchased a box of 42 gallon trash bags and some lime, which we all known by this point that lime speeds up the process of decomposition.

But some unfortunate events happen next, “Dr. Tatum” body was found at at a park, he had shot himself with the same gun that killed his wife. Investigators believed he had murdered Relisha.

Young was investigated by a grand jury for possible obstruction of justice charges because of her inconsistent statements about her daughter’s whereabouts, but in the end no indictments were issued.

The city of Washington investigated the events that led to Relisha’s disappearance and concluded there was nothing more that either CFSA or Payne Elementary School could have reasonably done, and “no justifiable government actions would have prevented Relisha’s tragic disappearance.” She remains missing and many authorities involved in the search for her believe she is dead.

The Washington D.C. city council voted to close the D.C. General Hospital shelter by 2018 and create eight smaller shelters to replace it. The shelter did not close until 2019, however, and several of the replacement shelters have not been opened yet.

This little girl is still missing to this day, Its been 7 years since anybody has seen her, her family would like some closure if she is dead, but more importantly they just want to find her.

Sources:

Disappearance of Relisha Rudd – Wikipedia

This D.C. baby’s mother was arrested for her murder. But nothing is solved. – The Washington Post

Relisha Tenau Rudd – The Charley Project