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Search For Relisha Rudd Continues After Police Identify Body Of Alleged Abductor

Police recruits guard the entrance to Kenilworth Park while they conduct a "recovery operation."
Elliott Francis/WAMU
Police recruits guard the entrance to Kenilworth Park while they conduct a "recovery operation."

Police have been at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens overnight, since the discovery of a body linked to the search for Relisha Rudd. They body has been positively identified as Kahlil Tatum.

On Tuesday morning, police confirmed the identification of the 51-year-old tentatively made by Police Chief Cathy Lanier on Monday. The body was found inside a shed at a football field near the park.

Tatum had been sought by police in connection with the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd as well as the murder of his wife. Police had charged Tatum with killing his wife at an Oxon Hill motel room on March 20, a day after he was linked to the girl's disappearance.

Hundreds of searchers, from police officers to volunteers, will resume the recovery operation searching for Rudd today.

Relisha's mother says she allowed Tatum to take the girl to his home. The mother never reported her missing to authorities even after Relisha stopped going to school. A school social worker would ultimately notify police when school officials realized Tatum had posed as a doctor to claim the girl's absences were due to illness.

It has been more than five weeks since Relisha was last seen walking down a hotel room corridor and entering a room with Khalil Tatum. Police say Tatum purchased 42-gallon trash bags the next day before going to the park.


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