The Washington Post reports Relisha was living with her family at the homeless shelter inside an old D.C. General Hospital when she vanished. She was last seen on surveillance cameras near a Holiday Inn Express with janitor Kahlil Malik Tatum. Relisha’s mother Shamika Young didn’t report the young girl missing until three weeks after her disappearance. Tatum was later found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 2, 2014.
Police believe Tatum killed himself after abducting Relisha and murdering his wife in a Maryland hotel room.
Officials have not explained why they’ve launched a new search, but they are planning to issue K-9 units and employ 60 members in a search crew. The 15-acre construction site where the search is being conducted is a short distance from where Relisha went missing.
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier addressed the media Wednesday morning, saying the search would involve divers on water areas around the arboretum. The chief has vowed that police will not stop searching for Relisha until all leads had been exhausted.
The construction lot was once considered for a Walmart store and was more active at the time Relisha went missing in March 2014. Police said at the time that a fence that now surrounds the area was not there, allowing easy access. The cadets spread out at arm’s length and trod over the lot, stopping at anything that looked suspicious or interesting — such as a discarded sweatshirt — and marking them with red ribbons.