Amber Alert out for DC girl, 8, allegedly given to homeless shelter janitor by mom

March 21, 2014 3:46:32 AM PDT
Police were searching a homeless shelter next to a Washington, D.C., jail Thursday after missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd's mother was taken away.

The mother's fiance said the woman gave permission to Khalil Tatum, a janitor at the shelter, to take her daughter.

"She said she is at Mr. Tatum's house she's good," said Antonio Wheeler, fiance. "I seen Mr. Tatum today and he said he would bring my daughter back."

Wheeler said he asked Tatum again later.

"I asked him, he said, 'She is my house... would bring her back when I get off work today,'" Wheeler said.

That never happened, Wheeler said. Sources say it came to light when a school counselor at Payne Elementary, who wasn't even responsible for the 8-year-old, learned she hadn't been in school for several weeks, so he took it upon himself to visit the shelter Wednesday. Upon learning the mother allegedly voluntarily let the girl go with Tatum, he called police.

"It's nerve racking because he is not answering his phone and he is not at his place of residence," Wheeler said.

FBI agents went door to door on N Street in Southeast at Tatum's apartment building. During the investigation, WJLA-TV reports, a woman who was in a relationship with Tatum was found dead in an Oxon Hill, Md., motel, prompting the Amber Alert.

"She didn't look to be in any danger, so I just came on in the house and left," said Tatum neighbor Nicole Wilson, who lives beneath Tatum's apartment and told FBI agents she saw Relisha for the first time Saturday.

"Saturday they were leaving the building," Wilson said. "I didn't think nothing of it."

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. She may be in a white 1976 GMC truck with Maryland license plate 305015.

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