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D.C. police find man in video, but he had no information to lead them to Relisha Rudd

D.C. police said they have found and interviewed a man they were seeking to question in their search for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, but they emerged with no new information about the missing girl’s whereabouts.

Police on Friday had released a short video of the man getting off an escalator at what appeared to be a Metro station. At the time, police did not know his identity but said he might have information about Relisha or her alleged abductor, Kahlil Tatum, a janitor at the D.C. homeless shelter where her family lived.

The man has cooperated in the investigation, police said Monday, but authorities have “not learned any new information” to help them find Relisha. They did not publicly identify the man or detail any possible connection to the case.

Relisha has been missing since Feb. 26, when her mother allowed Tatum to take the girl. She was last seen with Tatum on March 1 in Northeast Washington.

Last week, police ended a week-long search for Relisha in the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens without finding any clues where she might be. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier vowed that the search elsewhere would continue.

As they combed through the 700-acre park, authorities last Monday found Tatum’s body in a shed. Police said that he apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and that his body had been there for from 36 hours to several days.

Police have said they think it is possible Relisha was killed by Tatum, 51.

Police said they concentrated their search on the park based on a tip and because Tatum was spotted there after he bought 42-gallon trash bags on March 2. Police first started searching for Relisha on March 19, after a counselor at her school inquired about her mounting absences and tried to find Tatum, who had been listed in school records as her doctor. Relisha’s mother never reported her missing. The next day, police found Tatum’s wife fatally shot at an Oxon Hill motel. Tatum was charged in her killing.

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.

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