Amber Alert just sounded, but Relisha Rudd not seen since Feb. 26

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Did your smart phone buzz wildly Thursday?

A Virginia Amber Alert issued by Russell County Sheriff's Department ended successfully Friday morning with 11 year-old Lucas Guinn found safe and his father under arrest.

Law enforcement credits the improving Amber Alert system with helping locate missing children, like Lucas.

To issue an amber alert through smart phones and social media the case of any missing child must meet strict levels of criteria

Like confirming an abduction has taken place, the child is at risk of serious injury or death, or if there is an ample descriptions of the child, captor or captor's vehicle.

Additionally, the child must be 17-years or younger.

We first reported on the search for Relisha Rudd, but why didn't our phones receive the alert, especially after learning she could have been in Richmond? The Amber Alert starts with investigators, and they reach out to state police to sound the Amber Alert.

D.C. metro police never reached out to State Police to sound that alert. In fact, Relisha hasn't been seen since Feb. 26.

It wasn't until March 19, that authorities were alerted something was amiss.  Relisha  had reportedly been staying at the D.C. General Family Shelter with her mother and stepfather for the past year.

According to the station, Relisha's stepfather says her mother gave Relisha to a male janitor - identified by police as Kahlil Malik Tatum - who works at the shelter, more than three weeks ago and that they have not seen the girl since.

Authorities say Tatum may be armed and dangerous.

The child's disappearance was only brought to the attention of police on Wednesday after officials with D.C. Public Schools realized she hadn't been showing up for class, reports the station, CBS reports. 

The FBI joined the investigation into Relisha's disappearance on Thursday morning (March 20) after two vehicles possibly linked to the case were found at a motel in Oxon Hill, Md., reports CBS.

When officers arrived at the motel, they found an adult woman dead inside a room and the vehicles in the parking lot.

The Amber Alert sounded could soon bring information to her location.

The evolving technology applied to the Amber Alert Emergency System is like hundreds of thousands of extra eyes and ears for police and sheriffs departments across the commonwealth.

"With technology changes we are going to keep up with it every time there is a new opportunity or avenue we can reach more people by pushing the message we will," said Corrine Geller, Virginia State Police.

Parents we spoke with never dismiss an alert when it flashes on their phones or computer screens.

"Little ones are innocent and they need all of the help they can get in a situation like that," parent Bridget Murphy from Midlothian.

If you have information about Relisha Tenau Rudd’s whereabouts, call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099 or 911.

Police described Relisha as a black female, four feet tall and weighing 70 to 80 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion.


  • Glen Allen

    A strange case for sure. It seems that even though quite a bit of time as passed since she disappeared, there is a lot of information missing. Where was she living, and where is her mother? How long had she been enrolled in the school she attended? Any neighbors, relatives? I know that the immediate need is for everyone to search for this pretty little girl, and I hope that everyone will, but it seems that they really know nothing. I hope she is found quickly and safe.

    • Hope

      Her parents and grandmother are living in a homeless shelter along with her siblings. Those who attack her family aren’t helping Relisha… It willtake a miracle to save her, her family and the millions living under these dire conditions. I believe.

  • anonymous

    sad! no mother should ever abandon her child, her own flesh and blood. i hope relisha is found safe! god is with her and her loved ones. and if that child is found anything other than safe, but dead! then her mother should be put to shame. SMH. thats sad!

  • Anne

    Really Dave …proper nouns are capitalized maybe you should consider that when writing your name. An innocent child is missing and you can only play the race game …and you make jokes. Dehumanizing the situation is how very bad people justify their behavior.

  • Betty

    Let me get this straight: The child’s MOTHER gave her to the janitor? For what earthly reason? Someone PLEASE tell me that this mother has been arrested — for stupidity!

    There has to be much more to this story, and I’m sure none of it’s good.

    I hope and pray that this precious child is found safe — and removed from the custody of her so-called mother.

  • Hope

    Its so hear the things that people say about this girl and her family… its as if they wish she had never been born. People need to learn that there is a whole web of lies that psychopaths spin around their victims and their families. They are great at manipulating people with their smiles, their wit and their false sense of security. If Relisha could speak right now, I’m sure that she would want us all to know how much she loves them.

    • Betty

      Perhaps you didn’t fully understand most of the posts on this website…

      No one is saying anything “bad” about that precious little girl that is missing. Most of what has been posted has been about how a mother could not OR would not report her child missing! Who does that?

      One does not have to know about the mind-set of a psychopath or sociopath to know that YOU DO NOT hand a child over to a “nice person” and then NOT report the child missing until 3 weeks later. It appears that Relisha’s mother was more concerned about getting the perpetrator in trouble, rather than the safety of her daughter. Really?

      I pray that Relisha is found safe AND SOON! I’m just sorry that the people who are supposed to love and protect her, failed her on so many levels. Too sad.

  • Hope

    It’s so easy for you to say what she should do. But, he’s the one who’s in control… not her, me or you.

  • Hope

    For what it’s worth, I think he’s going to Mississippi… He’s a drug dealer and D.C. is as corrupt as they come. He’s got connections.

  • Hope

    The Post is holding Relisha captive for its’ mayoral race. Keep the Faith and don’t give up on her or her family.

Comments are closed.