Police Calling Disappearance of D.C. Girl a "Recovery" Mission

By WHAG News

Published 03/28 2014 03:18PM

Updated 03/28 2014 07:29PM

MARYLAND - The mother of a missing 8-year-old girl says she believes her daughter is still alive even though police are now calling the search for Relisha Rudd a "recovery" mission.

Thursday evening she spoke with reporters with NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. 

"That's not a thought that I can have in my head right now," Shamika Young said. "The thought that's in my head is praying and staying strong and having faith that my daughter returns home safely and unharmed."

Relisha was officially reported missing on March 19, 2014. An Amber Alert was issued the next day. However, police believe Relisha had been missing for weeks longer.

D.C. police sources told NBC 4 Tatum bought contractor size garbage bags, lime and a shovel. They're searching a park for Relisha. D.C. police believe she's possibly in danger, and cannot ignore the possibility Kahlil Malik Tatum may have killed the young girl. 

Police said she had been in the company of Kahlil Tatum, 51, who worked as a janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha and her family stayed.

There's multiple rewards of up to $70,000 for information leading to the arrest of Tatum, and location Relisha. If you see Tatum, or Relisha you're asked to call 911 immediately. 

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