WASHINGTON (WJLA) - D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier updated the public on the ongoing search and investigation into the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd from Kenilworth Park in D.C. late Thursday morning.
Lanier said the update she had to give was bittersweet, because although officers are "relieved" they didn't find Relisha in the park - as they did the dead body of her alleged abductor, Kahlil Tatum days ago - she said it is still "heart-wrenchingly frustrating" that she is still missing.
This mother of eight-year-old triplets traveled from Glen Bernie on Thursday morning in hopes of helping in the search:
"I just couldn't imagine losing [them], I would be out of my mind," said Shannon Sauter.
Lanier said their search of the park and discovery of Tatum's body has unfortunately given them no information at all that may help lead them to Relisha's whereabouts.
Lanier did announce that the investigation is still "very active" and ongoing, with officials following new leads every day, and she said the department plans to release information on a few of those leads within the next 24 hours in hopes that the public will be able to help provide them with more tips.
Lanier also stressed the fact that, if investigators learn of anyone aside from Tatum that committed a crime and contributed to Relisha's disappearance, that they would definitely be charged.
She added that the investigation was hindered by the fact that Relisha was missing for so long before it was reported, leading authorities to get a "very late start" in their search that was proving to be "hard to catch up on."
Officials also announced that Kenilworth park and aquatic gardens could be reopened to the public again as soon as Thursday night.