Amber Alert not yet issued for missing D.C. girl

An Amber Alert has still not been issued in Maryland in response to the search for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd.
The girl has been missing since last month; the Amber Alert system has been activated inside of the District of Columbia.

The system was a key in finding 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts in South Carolina earlier this month.

Police say Rudd knew 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum, an employee at the homeless shelter in Washington where she had been staying, and her family members initially knew that she had gone with him.

The chief of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington said that did not stop them from issuing an Amber Alert as far north as Pennsylvania, and as far south as Florida.

“We did not have what is in the requirement for an amber alert, which is that a child has been abducted or unwillingly taken from their environment without the permission of the child's parent. We issued the amber alert anyway,” said Chief Cathy Lanier.

But the alert has not gone out in Maryland or neighboring Virginia, even after Tatum became a suspect in the murder of his wife.

Her body was found at a motel in Prince George's County last week, along with two vehicles police had been searching for in connection with the case.

A spokesman for the Maryland State Police told ABC2 News the agency did not receive a request from police in DC to issue an amber alert.

“One of our child recovery unit investigators was at the scene of the homicide (in Prince George's County) and asked investigators if they needed our assistance and he was told, 'No,'" said Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police.

Shipley said despite the lack of an official "Amber Alert" the agency is providing assistance to the investigation through its missing persons unit.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has Relisha Rudd on its web site but a representative says it is up to local police to spread the word about Amber Alerts.

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