CRIME

Relisha Rudd disappearance: ABC7 I-Team obtains alerts

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A day after D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier first confirmed to ABC7 News that the Metropolitan Police Department did not request other states to issue an Amber Alert, the ABC7 I-team has obtained the actual alerts sent on Thursday, March 20 and Saturday, March 22. 

The body of Khalil Tatum’s wife was found that Thursday morning, just hours after police were made aware 8-year-old Relisha Rudd was unaccounted for. 

According to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, MPD made their initial request for the Washington, D.C. Amber Alert around noon. After following up by email, D.C. HSEMA sent the alert at approximately 12:20 p.m. Thursday. It was transmitted to the nearly 200,000 subscribers of Alert D.C. via text/email, the District Roam Secure Area network, which provides information to D.C. public safety organizations, service providers, transportation organizations (including WMATA), and the Regional Incident Communication and Coordination System Roam Secure Area Network that pumps information to federal and regional operation centers and regional partners in Virginia and Maryland. 

This Amber Alert resulted in digital freeway signs like those on I-295 to carry the lookout for Tatum and Rudd as well as a vehicle description for a 1976 GMC truck. 

Updated alerts were sent to those groups at 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday. 

It wasn’t until Saturday, March 22 that MPD requested that alert be sent to authorities outside of the metro area. At approximately 3 p.m., a new updated alert about Relisha Rudd was sent through EMnet, which D.C. HSEMA describes as “a satellite and internet-based warning system serving state and municipal government operation centers, police, fire, broadcasters, hospitals and/or other organizations across the nation that are used to coordinate public warning via the Emergency Alert System.” 

The document obtained is titled, “EMnet Emergency Message” and the first line reads “Subject: Amber Alert: Relisha Rudd.” 

D.C. HSEMA says the Amber Alert was broadcast to radio and TV stations in the District of Columbia and a copy of the D.C. Amber Alert was sent to authorities in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. 

The EMnet Emergency Message that was sent reads: “UPDATE: The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in locating Relisha Rudd. She is described as a 8 year old female medium complexion 4' feet in height and 70 to 80 pounds. She may be in need of medication. She may be traveling with Kahlil Malik Tatum also known as Carl Malik Tatum. He is described as a Black Male Height 5'9", Weight 200 lbs. He should be considered armed and dangerous.” 

On Thursday, law enforcement officials in Pennslyvania, Deleware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida confirmed to ABC7 News they were never asked to issue Amber Alerts in their jurisdictions, but did receive notice that D.C. had issued the alert. That information was passed along to law enforcement officers in those states, but did not result in widespread public alerts on traffic signs, cell phones or local media.

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