Relisha Rudd: Bones Found in Park Are Not Missing DC Girl

Monday, 05 May 2014 07:25 PM

By Angela Deines

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Bones found in a park in the northeast area of Washington, D.C., do not belong to Relisha Rudd, the 8-year-old girl who has been missing from a homeless shelter since march. They were instead determined to be animal bones, The Washington Post reported.

Relisha's mother Shamika Young has said she had placed her daughter in the temporary custody of a janitor at the shelter in February. That janitor, 52-year-old Kahlil Tatum, 52, was found dead on March 31 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the same park where the bones were discovered Sunday.

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Police believe Tatum killed his wife before taking the girl.

Relisha had on several occasions gone to Tatum’s home and had received gifts from him, offenses that would have normally had him fired.

According to The Washington Post, in July 2007, child and family service workers reported finding inadequate food and supervision for Relisha and her newborn brother and that Relisha had an injury that could have been caused by abuse. The records do not indicate that police were called or any of the children were removed.

Vincent Gray, D.C.’s mayor, said in March that agency officials had acted as best they could given the information they had.

“To my knowledge, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to have an allegation of abuse or neglect,” Gray told the Post. “I’m not going to get into a lot of details, but I certainly did read a chronology where (the school system) was told the child was sick. ... It appears to me the agencies involved made responsible actions.”

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