WASHINGTON - Police have concluded their search Thursday for Relisha Rudd, a D.C. girl who went missing over two years ago, by focusing on an area at the U.S. National Arboretum.
Dive teams were dispatched on Thursday to bodies of water on the Arboretum grounds.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier did not elaborate on what information led them to this new search site.
Rudd was just 8 years old in 2014 when she was last seen on surveillance video with a 51-year-old janitor near the D.C. General homeless shelter where she lived with her family.
The janitor, Khalil Tatum, worked at D.C. General, and was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after Rudd’s disappearance was reported.
In the surveillance video, the two are seen together in the hallway of a Holiday Inn Express on New York Avenue, which is not far from the National Arboretum and other areas police have searched in recent months.
Police believe Tatum killed his wife in a Prince George's County hotel room before taking his own life.
Rudd, who would have been 10 years old last October, is presumed dead. However, her body has never been found and last March marked the two-year anniversary of Rudd's disappearance.
After Tatum was found dead, police found some evidence that they believe showed that he had possibly killed Rudd and disposed of her body. They said he had been seen buying large black plastic bags.
Since Rudd's disappearance and Tatum's death, police have performed an extensive search of Kenilworth Park as well as a nearby construction zone, which are not far from the National Arboretum. This general area has been searched extensively over the last two years and is subject of another search this week.
At the National Arboretum on Wednesday, volunteers with search and rescue dogs could be seen going through the woods and police cadets could be seen conducting grid searches.
"We certainly want to make sure that we let the public know what we are doing and that we are continuing to follow up on leads because we want those leads to continue to come in,” said Lanier. “It is not uncommon for people to provide information that they have had for a long period of time that they didn't provide initially, that they may provide at some later time. And it’s also not uncommon for us to find missing children months, weeks, years even after they have gone missing. The more we keep our activities and follow up in the press, the more the public is aware.”
Lanier said that the Rudd case is still an active investigation and that any new leads will be investigated.