LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Police in the District are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man as part of their investigation into the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd.
Video released by the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday shows the man stepping off the bottom of an escalator at what appears to be a Metro station.
Authorities declined to share the specific location where the video was captured as it might negatively impact the investigation. However, the shape and color of floor tiles seen in the video is similar to tiling used at Metro stations.
Relisha was last seen March 1. Authorities have been searching for her since late March after her absences from school triggered an investigation.
The search of a heavily wooded park in northeast Washington for the missing girl concluded late Thursday.
Assisted by multiple local law enforcement agencies, D.C. Police began an exhaustive search of Kenilworth Park last week. Although authorities thoroughly scoured the 700-acre park multiple times they found no trace of the girl.
“While we’re all a bit relieved that we did not find find Relisha here the way we anticipated we would find her,” Lanier said. “It’s heart-wrenchingly frustrating that we don’t have answers as to where she is right now.”
The search of park had always been categorized as a recovery operation by authorities.
“That is the bittersweet finality of today. We came here expecting the worst,” she said. “When we started we were looking for possibly a grave site. We’re relieved that we didn’t find that… we’re always hopeful. Children have been found alive years from the time of their going missing.”
The man suspected of abducting her, Kahlil Malik Tatum, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the park on Monday.
Asked bluntly Thursday whether she thought Rudd was still alive, Lanier said: “We hope she’s still alive.”
Authorities will continue to investigate other leads on the whereabouts of the missing girl.
Tatum, 51, was employed as a janitor at the city homeless shelter where Rudd had been living with her family.
The discovery of Tatum’s body was a shock for police because they were focused on finding Rudd. Tatum’s body had been in the park for at least 36 hours, but possibly several days, before it was discovered, according to Lanier.
“This discovery was a shock for us,” Lanier said. “We were very focused on finding Relisha and that’s what we came here for. … We’re not finished. That search is continuing.”
The search of the park began after authorities learned Tatum spent more than two hours in that area shortly after purchasing a number of 42-gallon contractor style garbage bags, a shovel and lime on March 2.
Relisha is described as a black female, 4 feet tall, and weighing approximately 70 to 80 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes, and a medium complexion. Police say she may be in need of medication.
Anyone who can identify this individual or knows his whereabouts should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s text tip line to 50411.
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