Digital billboards aiding in search for 8-year-old
by Jessica Gresko, Associated Press
March 27, 2014 02:00 PM | 544 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This undated handout image provided by the FBI shows the wanted poster for Kahlil Malik Tatum. Washington D.C. police are searching for 8-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd, below, who was reported missing last week, and Tatum, who is charged with killing his wife in Maryland. Law officers issued arrest warrants for Tatum after he was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. (AP Photo/FBI)
This undated handout image provided by the FBI shows the wanted poster for Kahlil Malik Tatum. Washington D.C. police are searching for 8-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd, below, who was reported missing last week, and Tatum, who is charged with killing his wife in Maryland. Law officers issued arrest warrants for Tatum after he was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. (AP Photo/FBI)
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This undated photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Relisha Tenau Rudd. On Monday, March 24, 2014, authorities released more photos of Relisha, 8, who was reported missing in Washington last week, and a man who may be with her, 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum. Police in Prince George's County, Md., obtained a warrant on Friday charging Tatum with murder in the death of his wife, whose body was found in an Oxon Hill, Md., motel room. (AP Photo/FBI)
This undated photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Relisha Tenau Rudd. On Monday, March 24, 2014, authorities released more photos of Relisha, 8, who was reported missing in Washington last week, and a man who may be with her, 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum. Police in Prince George's County, Md., obtained a warrant on Friday charging Tatum with murder in the death of his wife, whose body was found in an Oxon Hill, Md., motel room. (AP Photo/FBI)
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This undated photo combo of images provided by the Prince George's County Police Department shows Kahlil Malik Tatum. Prince George’s County Police said Friday, March 21, 2014, that Tatum, 51, of Washington, has been charged with killing his wife and may be traveling with an 8-year-old girl, Relisha Tenau Rudd, who has been reported missing. (AP Photo/Prince George's County Police Department)
This undated photo combo of images provided by the Prince George's County Police Department shows Kahlil Malik Tatum. Prince George’s County Police said Friday, March 21, 2014, that Tatum, 51, of Washington, has been charged with killing his wife and may be traveling with an 8-year-old girl, Relisha Tenau Rudd, who has been reported missing. (AP Photo/Prince George's County Police Department)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Digital billboards along the East Coast from Georgia to Maryland are displaying photographs of a slaying suspect from the Washington, D.C., area and a missing girl authorities say could be with him.

FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said Thursday the agency is "casting a wide net" in looking for 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum, who is charged with killing his wife in Maryland. Officials believe Tatum may be traveling with 8-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd, who officials have been looking for since last week. Tatum had been a janitor at the Washington homeless shelter where Rudd's family lived.

Last week, the girl's repeated absences from school led authorities to go looking for her, though her family had not reported her missing.

Relisha was last seen in school on March 5, said Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for the mayor's office. Two days later, she was seen picking up her younger brothers at their school, Payne Elementary, but wasn't in school herself. Family members said she was ill and provided a phone number for Tatum, who they said was Relisha's doctor.

Tatum spoke with social workers on March 10, telling them the girl had a neurological illness and would be in and out of school. He was told documentation would be needed. When Relisha reached 10 unexcused absences March 13, it triggered and investigation.

Social workers went out to the homeless shelter March 19 to gather more information. They learned Tatum was not a doctor and got police involved in the case, Ribeiro said.

A document charging Tatum in the death of his wife says authorities went to a motel in Oxon Hill, Md., on March 20 as part of a missing child case. There, they found 51-year-old Andrea Tatum inside a motel room dead of a gunshot wound to the head. The document says Andrea Tatum's daughter told authorities that her mother was having domestic problems with her husband and was contemplating leaving him. Kahlil Tatum was last seen at a Metro station in Suitland, Md., the document says.

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Associated Press reporter Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko



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