Relisha Rudd was last seen weeks ago with a 51 year-old janitor from the homeless shelter she lived with her mother and siblings. A massive search in the D.C area has been underway for Relisha and Kahlil Malik Tatum. But last night, the story took a turn for the worse.
A body was found in a D.C. park that has been tentatively identified as Relisha’s suspected kidnapper, Kahlil Malik Tatum. But there is still no sign of the 8-year-old.
“This discovery was a shock for us,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a press conference Monday, according to WRC-TV. “We were focused on finding Relisha. There’s a lot of evidence to be processed from what we found [Monday].”
Relisha was last seen with Tatum on March 1, and a foot search was launched last week at the 700-acre park after investigators learned the wanted man bought tools likely used to bury the child’s body.
Police say Tatum — also suspected of killing his 51-year-old wife, Andrea — was spotted at a nearby store buying supplies that included contractor-sized garbage bags and lime, which can be used to speed up the decomposition of a dead body, police said.
Authorities will continue to comb the park where Tatum’s body was found and search for Relisha.
“We are still here for the reason we came to begin with — to look for Relisha,” Lanier said. “We’re not finished here.”