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“We Did What We Could, Two Weeks Behind”: Inside The Search For Relisha Rudd

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WAMU 88.5
Jonquilyn Hill
March 4, 2021


Natalie and Derrica Wilson are no strangers to missing persons cases. The sisters-in-law are co-founders of Black and Missing, Inc., an advocacy organization that assisted with the search for Relisha Rudd after she was last seen with Kahlil Tatum.

Black and Missing was one of several groups that searched Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens after the Metropolitan Police Department received a tip.

“I was hopeful as we were looking. I just knew that we were going to find something or a clue that could help bring her home,” Natalie says.

But things changed quickly, Derrica remembers. “Before we were able to get into the meat-and-potatoes of the search, it concluded within about 40 minutes. Because that’s when Tatum’s body was discovered.”

Tatum was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was gone, and a lot of information was gone with him. The search for Relisha continued, but as time passed with no new information, it began to wind down.

Jonathan Rosnick is a former MPD detective who worked on Relisha’s case, and he says they lost a lot of time because of the 18-day gap when Relisha was last seen and when she was reported as missing. “We did the best we could do, two weeks behind,” he says. “There’s only so much that law enforcement can do in that situation.”

In the latest episode of Through The Cracks: What was the search for Relisha and the investigation into her disappearance like? What roadblocks did it hit? And how was this case different from other missing persons cases?

Photo credit: WAMU

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