Cops seek to ID man in video in hunt for Relisha Rudd

The man police are looking to identify in their search for missing 8-year-old D.C. girl Relisha Rudd
CBS affiliate WUSA

LANHAM, Md. - Police in Wash., D.C. are asking for the public's help in identifying a man in their continuing investigation into the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd.

Video released by the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday shows the unidentified man stepping off the bottom of an escalator at what appears to be a Metro station.

Authorities declined to share the specific location where the video was captured, since it might negatively impact the investigation. However, the shape and color of floor tiles seen in the video is similar to tiling used at Metro stations, reports CBS D.C.

Relisha was last seen March 1. Authorities have been searching for her since late March after her absences from school triggered an investigation.

The search of a heavily wooded park in northeast Washington for the missing girl concluded late Thursday.

Assisted by multiple local law enforcement agencies, D.C. police began an exhaustive search of Kenilworth Park last week. Although authorities thoroughly scoured the 700-acre park multiple times, they found no trace of the girl but they did find her suspected abductor, Kahlil Malik Tatum, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The 51-year-old Tatum, who was a janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha and her family had been staying prior to her disappearance, was found dead last Monday. Tatum is also suspected of killing his wife, who was found dead in a hotel room during the search for Relisha.

"While we're all a bit relieved that we did not find Relisha here the way we anticipated we would find her, it's heart-wrenchingly frustrating that we don't have answers as to where she is right now," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

The search of the park had always been categorized as a recovery operation by authorities.

"That is the bittersweet finality of today. We came here expecting the worst," Lanier said. "When we started, we were looking for possibly a grave site. We're relieved that we didn't find that... we're always hopeful. Children have been found alive years from the time of they go missing."

Asked bluntly Thursday whether she thought Relisha was still alive, Lanier said, "We hope she's still alive."

Relisha is described as a black female, 4 feet tall, and weighing approximately 70 to 80 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes, and a medium complexion. Police say she may be in need of medication.

Anyone who can identify the individual seen in the surveillance video or knows his whereabouts should call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department's text tip line to 50411.