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Relisha Rudd’s mother responds to criticism

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Mike Conneen, John Gonzalez
April 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) – It’s been nearly two months since eight-year old Relisha Rudd vanished. And her mother is on the defensive after questions about her actions – or lack thereof – before and since the little girl’s disappearance.

Kenneth Warren created The Finding Relisha Rudd Show on the internet. Shamika Young recently called in to defend herself and fire back against her critics.

“Let me just say this to you ma’am,” Young said during the call-in program. “I have three other kids I have to stay strong for too.”

She continued, “Can’t nobody can put their feet in my shoes. Don’t nobody know what’s going through my mind and what’s running through my head.”

Reacting to her radio show comments, Young gets little sympathy from viewers on our Facebook page. Most are suspicious of the young mother. Some wonder why she has not been charged with any crimes.

“Yeah we can’t put ourselves in her shoes and yeah we don’t know what’s running through her head,” Dawn McCoy wrote. “Not many of us would put our children in a situation she did!”

Dana Banks wrote, “She needs to be placed in an interrogation room until she cracks—-PERIOD!!!”

Lakeya White wrote, “Got one word for her ‘Trifling.'”

But Edna Sherrill wrote, “I am not her judge or juror…God is. My heart still hurts for Relisha and if blaming someone or something could bring her home, I would.”

Meanwhile, volunteers dedicated to finding the little girl are not giving up hope. One local woman is working closely with MPD to bring Rudd home.

Derrica Wilson spent ten years as a law enforcement officer in Northern Virginia. In 2008, she created Black And Missing Foundation Incorporated hoping to generate more awareness in the media and among law enforcement about missing persons of color – cases that might otherwise get overlooked.

“So many people have failed [Relisha],” Wilson said. “The system failed her. More importantly, her parents failed her. And we need people looking for her.”

In recent weeks, Wilson’s Black and Missing Foundation was one of the few local organizations selected to help D.C. Police in their massive search effort at Kenilworth Park where suspect Khalil Tatum was found dead from an apparent suicide.

Having been part of that search, Wilson said she is confident nothing was missed or hidden there. “It seemed like a pattern that [Tatum] if in fact did kill his wife and if in fact did kill himself why would someone go through extreme measures to hid this little girl?”

Nearly two months after Rudd was last seen, Wilson is hopeful that the little girl is still alive. Her theory is that Rudd was sold, that this is a human trafficking case with more players than just Tatum and she is very suspicious of Rudd’s parents.

“And just for someone to allow their daughter to go away with a complete stranger is just mind-boggling to me,” Wilson said.

Photo credit: Homeless Children’s Playtime Project

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