Residents searched for Relisha Rudd

WASHINGTON — Full of hope that missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd is still alive, citizens fanned out Sunday to help locate the little girl. They’re visited neighborhoods in Southeast and Northeast D.C.

“We’re going to have people at intersections with posters and flyers; we’re going to have other individuals going to local businesses putting flyers up, knocking on doors,” says Trayon White, a former Ward 8 D.C. school board member who knows Relisha.

“She was always hugging, real friendly, quiet. She left an impression on me and I felt like I have to do something because one day this could be my child,” says White, the father of a 5-year-old boy.

D.C. Police ended a search for Relisha Rudd in Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Northeast D.C. last week. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says the search was “exhaustive.” Police did find what they believe is the body of 51-year-old Khalil Tatum, the man last seen with the little girl on March 1.

White is hopeful Relisha is still alive.

“I think in this case you got to have hope and faith,” White says. “We have hope and faith that she’s out here somewhere, and still in D.C.”

D.C. police officers say they will follow all leads in the case of the missing girl.

White resigned from the D.C. School Board last month to accept a job with D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation where he is a “roving supervisor” who specializes in work with at-risk youth.

Volunteers met at the Holiday Inn at 1917 Bladensburg Road NE. From there, volunteers dispersed to canvas the following neighborhoods: New York Ave. and Bladensburg Rd.; Pennsylvania Ave. and Minnesota Ave. NE; Benning Rd. area; and the Kenilworth Ave. area.

On Friday, the D.C. police department released video footage of a man stepping off the bottom of an escalator. Police say they believe the man could have information in Relisha’s case and that they are only seeking to speak with him.

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