WASHINGTON - On Relisha Rudd Awareness Day, police have released an age progression photo of the young D.C. girl who went missing more than four years ago.
Rudd vanished after she was last seen on surveillance video on March 1, 2014 at a Northeast D.C. motel with Kahlil Tatum, a janitor who worked at the D.C. General Shelter where the 8-year-old girl lived with her family.
Tatum committed suicide after Rudd was reported missing. Investigators believe Tatum killed Rudd before later killing himself. Her body has never been found.
Police have conducted several searches since her disappearance in different parts of the District, which include Anacostia Park, the National Arboretum, a vacant construction site on Bladensburg Road, NE, and in the Anacostia River at Kenilworth Park.
On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of community members and D.C. police officers came out to Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast D.C. to pass out a flyer with the new age progression photo that shows what Rudd may look like at 12 years old.
Today, MPD Officers & the community partnered with @7eleven to pass out flyers on #RelishaRuddAwarenessDay. We will never stop looking for #RelishaRudd. Have info? Call 202-727-9099/ text 50411 pic.twitter.com/54cv2Gl3hE— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 11, 2018
“I just called the mom and she gave me a photo,” said Henderson Long, the CEO of D.C.'s Missing Voice. “A photo of her as a child around the same age as Relisha, which they needed to start working on the age progression photo.”
Long is one of several advocates who pressured D.C. police to release the age progression photo.
“Many of us advocates, we really don’t see that as Relisha. It really doesn’t kind of look like her to us, but that’s what they came up with,” said Long.
However, Long believes keeping her memory alive could finally provide answers.
“Sometimes you have to turn the volume up a little bit,” he said. “How do you do that? If you are on social media and you are posting and posting and posting about Relisha Rudd – okay, what about the folks who don’t have social media? There may be some people out there who have information who may come forward after today. We are always one lead away from solving the case.”
The FBI is still offering a $25,000 reward for information that will lead to locating Rudd.