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Amber alert: 8-year-old girl had been with suspected abductor for a month before search

Relisha Tenau Rudd's mother allegedly left the girl with janitor at homeless shelter for a month before Amber Alert was issued.
By Danielle Haynes   |   March 23, 2014 at 12:58 PM   |   Comments

March 23 (UPI) -- An 8-year-old girl who went missing in the Washington, D.C., area had allegedly been left in the care of the man suspected of abducting her for nearly a month, police said.

Authorities began searching for Relisha Tenau Rudd Wednesday and issued an Amber Alert for her Thursday.

In their search for the young girl, police found the dead body of Andrea Denise Tatum, 51, who was shot to death in a motel room. Her husband, Kahlil Tatum, 51, is accused in her death and is suspected of having kidnapped Relisha.

Kahlil Tatum worked as a janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha, her mother and stepfather lived.

Dozens of family and friends gathered Saturday night calling for the safe return of Relisha.

Relisha's mother, Shamika Young, spoke at the vigil, which was held outside the old D.C. General Hospital, which is now used as a homeless shelter.

"I miss my daughter," Young said. "I cry every night for her."

Kelli Beyer, who works for the homeless shelter, described Relisha as a "sweet little girl who is an artist, who loves dolls.

“She is a typical little girl,” she said. “Let’s bring her home.”

Relisha's stepfather, Antonio Wheeler, broke down in tears when he took the microphone to speak at the rally.

“I just want my baby back, y’all," he said.

[Washington Post]

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