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Kahlil Malik Tatum Found Dead by the the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Police Still Looking for 8 Year Old Relisha Rudd

by Prince Of Petworth — April 1, 2014 at 8:33 am 22 Comments

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department has announced that on Monday, March 31, 2014, at approximately 12:30 pm, an adult male, who appeared to have sustained an apparent gunshot wound and did not show any signs of life, was located in the area of the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens in Northeast, Washington, DC.

The decedent has been identified as 51 year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum of Southeast, Washington, DC.

The Metropolitan Police Department, FBI, other law enforcement agencies, and volunteers continue search efforts for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd and are still seeking information to help locate her.

Relisha is described as a black female, 4’0” tall, weighs approximately 70 to 80 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, and has a medium complexion. She may be in need of medication.


The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the location and return of Relisha Rudd. If you see Relisha Rudd call 911 immediately. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at (202) 727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. You can also contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.”

  • Anonymous

    This case is getting really weird now. I wonder if she killed him in order to get away from him?

  • sjones18873

    I thought they reported this as a suicide – if not, my guess is he had an accomplice – sick twisted world he lived in – and that accomplice shot him and has Relisha.

  • katemc

    FYI, it is reported that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound and his body was likely there a long time. So no, she didn’t kill him. She’s a little girl.

  • nightborn

    This whole story is insane. Does anyone still actually think this poor child is alive?

    • Anonymous

      This story is incredibly sad on just about every conceivable level. I can’t imagine that there are many people who are optimistic at this point.

    • Allison

      My current far-fetched hope is that she somehow got away and he shot himself knowing he’d get caught. Although I don’t know why if she had run away she hasn’t sought help from an adult yet who called the police.

      • nightborn

        I would love to hope that you’re right, Allison…. That poor baby. The adults in her life really let her down.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t THINK she’s alive — but I do HOPE that she’s alive. I can imagine multiple scenarios for this — including someone who has her and has been waiting to hear from Tatum. Suppose Tatum asked someone to watch his “goddaughter” before his death. That person might not have known that Tatum was dead, and also, be afraid of the consequences of coming forward. I realize that this is extremely far-fetched, but so much of this has been sad, tragic, and strange.

  • kook47797

    Saw Relisha’s picture (the same one as above) at a bus stop with one of those digital displays. Just haunting. I know it shouldn’t matter that she is a pretty little girl, but man did my heart just sink when the photo was swiped away.

  • Anonymous

    They’ve been searching Kenilworth for many days, right? He must have been really deep in the foliage for them to have recently discovered his body. My guess is that the remains of the little girl are never found.

    • Anonymous

      The Post reports that he was found in a shed at the football field.

      • Anonymous

        The police said they had even searched that shed before and somehow missed him

  • Loganite

    News is reporting they are bringing in some heavy digging equipment in Kenilworth right now. It’s very hard to hold out hope of a positive outcome. It is heartbreaking to know such horrible things happen. At least he had the decency to end his life (we assume) and there is one less monster roaming this world.

  • I am always struck by how sad this little girls eyes look in this one picture. Like her life is hard in a way no child’s life should be hard.

    Second, I am struck by how long it took her mother to report this and the overall fishyness of this whole story.

    I hope she is in a better place if that has to be the case.

  • Formerly Broken Jaw

    Her mother was lying to the school and said her daughter was with “Dr. Tatum.”

    • Loganite

      While I know the gut reaction is to blame the mother, and god knows she has a lot to answer for, it sounds like she was not exactly stable. Who knows what she was led to believe or if she was mentally sound.

      I agree though. This girl was failed by so many people in her short life. I don’t personally believe in anything after this life, but if there is, I certainly hope someone is making it up to her.

  • lovessoldier

    I hate that this is till an open investigation. I hate that her life wasn’t SOMEONE’s priority. I hate that her mother maybe mentally ill but still has custody of Relisha’s brothers. I hate that our city wasn’t strong enough to stop this monster from befriending her and her friends. I hate the CITY is outraged but her little brothers are still homeless. Someone needs to govern the needs of the children, elderly and mentally challenged or we will see more stories like this and Mr. Jones. Where is that candidate?

    • Anonymous

      I think the “candidate” is each of us. I’m definitely someone who believes in the role of the government to develop and implement solutions to social problems. But, I’m imagining that in Mr. Tatum, Relisha’s mother saw someone who was an apparently stable adult, with a job, who had been vetted by the agency that hired him as a “decent” person. So an apparently decent person with more resources than she, herself, had access to, showed a consistent, relatively long-term interest in her child, as well as other children in the shelter. I imagine that this could have turned out differently if Relisha, and possibly the Mom had experiences of other types of supports and mentors. I imagine that this could have turned out differently if Relisha and her family lived in a functioning community with resources — instead of in a shelter, among other families that were equally stressed.
      While we can elect officials who will address and protect the needs of our children, our elders, our mentally challenged, and those who are challenged in other ways, it likely takes a community willing to be responsible for taking care of the needs of all of its members along with social policy to ensure that kids like Relisha don’t fall through the cracks in our ever weakening “safety net”.


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