Where Is Relisha Rudd?

     In 2014, eight-year-old Relisha Tanau Rudd resided in the D.C. General homeless shelter in Washington with her 27-year old mother, Shamika Young, her stepfather, and her three brothers. The family had lived in the shelter a year whe…

     In 2014, eight-year-old Relisha Tanau Rudd resided in the D.C. General homeless shelter in Washington with her 27-year old mother, Shamika Young, her stepfather, and her three brothers. The family had lived in the shelter a year when Relisha's mother, on March 1, 2014, arranged to have 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum and his wife Andrea take the girl in and care for her. Kahlil Tatum worked at the homeless shelter as a janitor where he had a reputation of paying a lot of attention to the young girls who lived there.

     On March 19, 2014, after Relisha missed several days of school, the authorities launched a missing persons investigation. Mr. Tatum had also vanished. The janitor and the girl were caught on a D. C. area Holiday Inn Express surveillance camera walking down a hallway on February 26, 2014, a few days before the girl's mother gave her  up.

     Detectives learned that Tatum, on March 2, 2014, had purchased a carton of black, 42 gallon, self-tie contractor trash bags.

     Police officers, on March 20, 2014, found Andrea Denise Tatum's body in a motel room at an Oxon Hill, Maryland Red Roof Inn. She had been killed by a gunshot to the head. Her husband and Relisha Rudd were nowhere to be found. Homicide detectives uncovered evidence linking the dead woman's husband, Kahlil Tatum, to the homicide.

     A Prince George's County prosecutor charged Kahlil Tatum with first-degree murder. On March 26, 2014, the FBI added the fugitive homicide suspect to its "Most Wanted List" and offered a $70,000 reward for information regarding his whereabouts. The Prince George's County Police Department posted a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

     On March 27, 2014, shortly after a witness reported having seen a man meeting Tatum's description with a girl in Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in northeast D.C., a party of more than 100 officers searched the 700-acre park. Four days later, a searcher came across Mr. Tatum's body. He had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with the gun used in the murder his wife. Searchers found no signs of Relisha Rudd. On April 3, 2014, the park search was called off.

     The D.C. City Council Committee of Human Services, in the course of reviewing the hiring policy at D.C. General, found that Kahlil Tatum possessed an extensive criminal record. He had been convicted in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991, and 1993 of various crimes including breaking and entering and grand larceny. He was last convicted of a crime in 2004. In those days he went under his birth name, Karl Lee Tatum.

     According to the administrator in charge of hiring at the D.C. homeless shelter, Tatum, because his last conviction was ten years old, was eligible for employment at the facility. Had any of his offenses involved children, he would have been automatically excluded regardless of the date of the conviction.

     Social service authorities, following Relisha Rudd's disappearance, took away Shamika Young's three boys and placed them into foster care. The mother, who herself had grown up in the Virginia foster care system, had been shuttled between foster homes, group homes and mental health facilities. Diagnosed in middle school as "mildly retarded," Shamika reported hearing voices telling her to kill her foster family and herself. She also suffered from depression and a variety of other emotional problems.

     After Shamika Young signed herself out of foster care at age 18, she gave birth to four children from two men. She had no training on how to be a good mother and no way to make a living. Prosecutors over the past few years, on three occasions, have charged Young with child abuse and neglect. The cases were all dismissed.

     Since Relisha's disappearance, Shamika Young fought to get her three sons out of foster care. This created a heated debate among child protection advocates and Young's extended family, some of whom blamed her for Relisha's disappearance.

    In January 2018, the police received a tip that led to a six hour search for Rudd's body in parts of the Anacostia River. The effort failed to locate the missing girl's remains.
     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Police Investigate Why WI Teen Was Kidnapped, Held

A 21-year-old man killed a Wisconsin couple in a baffling scheme to kidnap their teenage daughter, Jayme Closs, then held the girl captive for three months before she managed to escape as he drove around looking for her.

A 21-year-old man killed a Wisconsin couple in a baffling scheme to kidnap their teenage daughter, then held the girl captive for three months before she managed to escape and reach safety as he drove around looking for her, the Associated Press reports. Jayme Closs, 13, was skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approached a stranger and pleaded for help Thursday in the small town of Gordon, where police said she was being held by Jake Patterson. Within minutes, Patterson was pulled over and jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges for what authorities said was his meticulously planned shotgun attack at the girl’s home in October.

The news that Closs was safe set off relief 60 miles away in her hometown of Barron, population 3,300, ending an all-out search that gripped the state. Closs told a neighbor in Gordon who took her in that she had walked away from a cabin where she had been held captive. She said Patterson “killed my parents and took me,” said another neighbor, Kristin Kasinskas. Investigators are trying to figure out what happened during her captivity and why she was seized, and gave no details on how she escaped except to say Patterson was not home at the time. He said there is no evidence Patterson knew Jayme or her family or had been in contact with her on social media. Kasinskas called 911 to report the girl had been found after another neighbor out walking her dog encountered Closs and brought her to Kasinskas’ house. Patterson was apparently out looking for her when he was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy based on a description of his vehicle from Closs.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Missing Wisconsin Teen Found, Suspect in Custody

Missing Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs, 13, was found alive. She was missing Oct. 15 when sheriff’s deputies, responding to a 911 call, found the door to her family’s home kicked in. Her parents, James, 56, and Denise, 46, were found shot to death.

Missing Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs was found alive and a suspect is in custody, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Closs vanished Oct. 15 when sheriff’s deputies, responding to a 911 call, found the door to her family’s home kicked in. Her parents, James, 56, and Denise, 46, were found shot to death, but Jayme was missing. She had not been seen or heard from since.

A suspect was taken into custody shortly after Closs, 13, was located. She apparently escaped from a home and approached a neighbor, identifying herself and asking the neighbor to call 911. “I mean I’m shocked,” her aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, told Minneapolis TV station KARE 11. “I figured that if they hadn’t found her by now that the person that did this didn’t want her dead, so I had hope.”  She was found late Thursday afternoon in the town of Gordon.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Video Cameras Lead to Suspect in Iowa Student’s Murder

An undocumented immigrant who allegedly followed Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts her while she jogged had been charged with her murder. Cristhian Rivera is being held on a $1 million cash bond.

An undocumented immigrant who allegedly followed Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts her while she jogged had been charged with her murder, reports the Des Moines Register.  The news shattered hopes in the small central-Iowa town that the smiling 20-year-old featured on thousands of red-lettered “Missing” posters would somehow be found safe. Authorities said Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, admitted to following and then confronting Tibbetts on while she jogged on July 18, but he claimed he blacked out after that. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Rick Rahn said Rivera led law officers to the body, which was hidden beneath cornstalks in a field outside the town of Guernsey. Rivera is being held on a $1 million cash bond. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a detainer with the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office on Rivera to make certain he would not be released.

Rahn said Rivera had immigrated illegally to the U.S. and had been in the Brooklyn area four to seven years. Rahn said the case was solved with the help of video recordings from  security cameras. The recordings showed Tibbetts running by, and also showed a black Chevrolet Malibu repeatedly passing through the area. Investigators traced the car to Rivera. He admitted he followed the jogger in his car, got out and started running after her, Rahn said. Rivera told investigators that as he ran alongside Tibbetts, she grabbed her phone and threatened to call police. Rivera said he panicked, got mad and ‘blocked’ his ‘memory,’ which is what he does when he gets very upset,” said a charging document. Tibbetts had been caring for dogs at the home of her boyfriend and his brother when she went for an evening jog on July 18. Her abrupt disappearance drew nationwide attention. Nearly $400,000 was raised for a reward for information about her whereabouts.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Video Cameras Lead to Suspect in Iowa Student’s Murder

An undocumented immigrant who allegedly followed Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts her while she jogged had been charged with her murder. Cristhian Rivera is being held on a $1 million cash bond.

An undocumented immigrant who allegedly followed Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts her while she jogged had been charged with her murder, reports the Des Moines Register.  The news shattered hopes in the small central-Iowa town that the smiling 20-year-old featured on thousands of red-lettered “Missing” posters would somehow be found safe. Authorities said Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, admitted to following and then confronting Tibbetts on while she jogged on July 18, but he claimed he blacked out after that. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Rick Rahn said Rivera led law officers to the body, which was hidden beneath cornstalks in a field outside the town of Guernsey. Rivera is being held on a $1 million cash bond. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a detainer with the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office on Rivera to make certain he would not be released.

Rahn said Rivera had immigrated illegally to the U.S. and had been in the Brooklyn area four to seven years. Rahn said the case was solved with the help of video recordings from  security cameras. The recordings showed Tibbetts running by, and also showed a black Chevrolet Malibu repeatedly passing through the area. Investigators traced the car to Rivera. He admitted he followed the jogger in his car, got out and started running after her, Rahn said. Rivera told investigators that as he ran alongside Tibbetts, she grabbed her phone and threatened to call police. Rivera said he panicked, got mad and ‘blocked’ his ‘memory,’ which is what he does when he gets very upset,” said a charging document. Tibbetts had been caring for dogs at the home of her boyfriend and his brother when she went for an evening jog on July 18. Her abrupt disappearance drew nationwide attention. Nearly $400,000 was raised for a reward for information about her whereabouts.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Missing Iowa College Student Found Dead

Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, 20, has been found dead, just over a month after she was reported missing. She was last seen July 18 jogging near her home in the central Iowa town of Brooklyn. Her family reported her missing the next day when she didn’t show up for work. Her disappearance set off a massive investigation.

Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts has been found dead, just over a month after she was reported missing, CBS News reports. The 20-year-old was last seen July 18, jogging near her home in the central Iowa town of Brooklyn. Her family reported her missing the next day when she didn’t show up for work. Her disappearance set off a massive investigation and weeks of fruitless searches. Last week, authorities said they were focusing their investigation on five areas in and near Tibbetts’ hometown.

Those areas reportedly included her boyfriend’s home in Brooklyn, a car wash, a truck stop, a farm more than three miles from downtown Brooklyn, and another farm more than six miles away. Tibbetts’ father said he believed his daughter may have left willingly with someone she knew. “I think someone went to the house that Mollie knew or that Mollie trusted and that she left with them willingly,” Robert Tibbetts said. Police  scheduled a news conference for 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Tuesday on the case. No details have been released about where she was found or the possible cause of death.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Death BY Hospital Negligence: The Lynne Spalding Case

     On September 19, 2013, Lynne Spalding, suffering from a bladder infection, checked herself into the San Francisco General Hospital. The 57-year-old native of Peterlee, England worked in San Francisco’s tourist industry. The thin, fr…

     On September 19, 2013, Lynne Spalding, suffering from a bladder infection, checked herself into the San Francisco General Hospital. The 57-year-old native of Peterlee, England worked in San Francisco's tourist industry. The thin, frail divorced mother of two seemed confused and disoriented, perhaps from the effects of  her medication. Members of the hospital staff assigned to her care were under orders to look in on Spalding every fifteen minutes.

     When one of Spalding's friends showed up at the hospital on September 21 for a visit, Spalding was not in her room. Hospital employees searched the immediate area and couldn't find her. Maybe she had checked herself out. The friend went to Spalding's apartment and found it vacant. When Spalding didn't return to her dwelling, the friend filed a missing persons report with the police.

     Over the next few days, the missing woman's friends and members of her family looked for her at various places in the city. They posted missing persons flyers around as well. One of her friends created a "Find Lynne" Facebook page. Deputies with the sheriff's office, the agency in charge of hospital security, conducted a search of the giant medical complex. It seemed this woman had vanished into thin air.

     At ten in the morning of October 8, 2013, seventeen days after Lynne Spalding went missing from her hospital room, a hospital employee discovered the body of a middle-aged woman lying dead in a stairwell used as a fire escape. Todd May, the chief hospital medical officer tentatively identified the dead woman as Lynne Spalding. (I presume she was wearing a hospital identification bracelet.)

     The job of determining when, where, and exactly how this woman had died rested in the hands of the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office. The principal determination involved Spalding's manner of death. While it was not unreasonable to presume that this hospital patient's death occurred naturally, the forensic pathologist looked for signs of physical trauma that suggested a struggle. The pathologist who performed the autopsy also looked for physical evidence of a sexual assault.

     Assuming the absence of foul play in this unusual death, the Spalding case presented the obvious question as to how this sick woman had gotten from her room to the stairwell without being observed by hospital staff. Unless the stairwell where Spalding's body was found was located in an extremely remote section of the hospital, someone should have detected the odor of decomposition.

     San Francisco General Hospital spokesperson Todd May, at a press conference held on October 8, 2013, said, "What happened at our hospital is horrible. We are here to take care of patients, to heal them, to keep them safe. This has shaken us to our core. Our staff is devastated."

     David Perry, Lynne Spalding's friend and the family spokesperson told reporters that "We need to know what Lynne's condition was. We need to know what she was being treated for and frankly we need to know what medications she was on and what state of mind she was in. We're not trying to place blame. We're trying to find answers."

     On Thursday, October 10, San Francisco General Hospital Chief Operating Officer Roland Pickens announced that pursuant to the medical examiner's office report, the corpse in the stairwell was Lynne Spalding's body. A second hospital spokesperson revealed that the stairwell in question was located several hundred feet from the unit where Spalding was being treated. According to this spokesperson, Spalding was being treated in a unit where patients are not watched closely. This contradicted previous information regarding the fifteen minute patient check-ups.

     In a private ceremony held on October 21, Spalding's body was cremated. (This meant, of course, that there would be no second autopsy if one became necessary.)

     On October 22, 2013, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that four days before sheriff's deputies responded to the dead woman found in the city-owned hospital's stairwell, an orderly had twice stepped over her body thinking she was a homeless person. To reporters, Haig Harris, the attorney representing Spalding's children, said, "This is a hospital. Why didn't somebody put their hand on the body to see if there was a pulse?"

     David Perry, a Spalding family spokesperson said this to reporters: "The family is angry and frustrated and out of patience. While we understand the need for a thorough investigation, it has now been one month and three days since Lynne Spalding went missing....The time for answers and real solutions that will protect lives of future patients is long past due."

     A woman who had been visiting her son at the hospital in June 2013 said she had been locked in the same stairwell. She had taken the stairs instead of the elevator, entering the fifth-floor stairwell without realizing it was an emergency exit. The woman walked down to the ground level, but the door sounded an alarm when she opened it. She slammed the door shut and went back upstairs where she pounded on the door window to attract attention. A nurse who happened by let her back inside. No one had responded to the exit alarm.

     Investigators and hospital authorities did not reveal if Spalding had changed into her street clothes before leaving her room. (The fact the orderly presumed she was a homeless person suggests that she had.) While the coroner still had not revealed Spalding's cause of death, the family was assured she had not been the victim of foul play.

     Dan Cunningham with the San Francisco Police homicide unit announced on October 28, 2013 that four days before Spalding's body was discovered, an Asian man in his thirties wearing a hospital name tag told a hospital supervisor that he had seen a person lying in the stairwell. The supervisor checked out the stairwell but didn't see anyone there. Homicide investigators were trying to identify this man for questioning. (It's not clear if the Asian man was the orderly who stepped over the body on October 4, 2013.)

     On December 15, 2013, the medical examiner's office released the results of Spalding's autopsy. According to the San Francisco medical examiner, Spalding had died of "probable electrolyte imbalance with delirium clinical sepsis." In other words, she had died from a chemical imbalance related to chronic alcoholism. According to Dr. Thomas Shaughnessey, the electrolyte imbalances, in combination with a liver that is unable to compensate form the imbalance, resulted in a collapse of Spalding's heart or brain resulting in her death. The forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy was not able to say exactly when she died.

     Members of Spalding's family immediately disputed the allegation that she was an alcoholic. They were therefore outraged by the contents of the medical examiner's report.

     In February 2014, the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency that decides whether hospitals meet minimum standards to be eligible for Medicare payments, announced the results of its extensive investigation into the Spalding tragedy. According to the report, hospital nurses failed to act on a doctor's order that this patient be watched around the clock. Federal investigators also blamed the sheriff's department for not having an emergency plan worked out with hospital staff. Investigators concluded that the hospital's "chaotic and poorly coordinated response had contributed to patient Spalding's death."

     The sheriff, in the wake of the hospital scandal, fired one member of the agency's hospital staff and suspended two others. Five more deputies were disciplined administratively. No hospital employees were punished for the Spalding fiasco.

     The Spalding family filed a wrongful death suit against the hospital and the city. In December 2014, the city of San Francisco settled the case for just under $3 million.

     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Legally Dead But Still Alive: The Brenda Heist Missing Person Case

     In 2002, forty-three-year-old Brenda Heist and her husband Lee were going through an amicable divorce. The couple had two children, a daughter who was eight, and a twelve-year-old son. They lived in Lititz Borough, a small Lancaster…

     In 2002, forty-three-year-old Brenda Heist and her husband Lee were going through an amicable divorce. The couple had two children, a daughter who was eight, and a twelve-year-old son. They lived in Lititz Borough, a small Lancaster County town in southeastern Pennsylvania. Brenda worked as a bookkeeper at a local car dealership.

     In an effort to finance her own apartment, Brenda applied for state housing assistance. The agency denied her request. Depressed, overwhelmed, and distraught, Brenda, after driving the children to school one day in February 2002, drove to a nearby town and parked her car in a bus station lot. From there she walked to a park where she sat on a bench and cried.

     Brenda did not go back to her car and drive home that day. To her family and friends, and to the local police, she became a missing person.

     Four days after Brenda dropped her children off at school, police found her car parked in the bus station lot. When a mother takes her kids to school and doesn't return home, the police assume that she has been abducted. As days went by without anyone hearing from or seeing Brenda Heist, detectives began to think that she may have had been murdered. At this point the missing persons case turned into a homicide investigation. As in most missing wife cases, the suspicion in Brenda's disappearance fell on her husband.

     As psychic detectives and other whack-job callers flooded the Heist missing persons investigators with false leads, homicide investigators focused on Lee Heist as their primary murder suspect. Mr. Heist  had to quit his job. He ran into financial difficulties, and eventually lost his home. After several years as a suspect in his wife's disappearance and murder, investigators, after a series of polygraph tests, cleared Lee Heist of wrongdoing in the case. His wife remained missing, however, and was presumed dead.

     In 2008, the Lancaster County Major Crimes Unit began investigating the Brenda Heist disappearance as a cold-case murder. Two years later, Lee Heist petitioned a Lancaster County Court to declare his wife legally dead. With Brenda officially declared "missing and possibly deceased", Mr. Heist was able to marry another woman.

     As it turned out, while Lee Heist was put through hell as a suspect in his wife's murder, Brenda was alive in south Florida. On the day of her disappearance, she was approached by two men and a woman who saw her crying on the park bench. After she related her tale of woe, they invited her to join them on a hitchhiking trip to Florida. She accepted their offer.

     Brenda Heist spent her first two years in Key Largo, Florida living under bridges and eating restaurant garbage. She entered a new phase in her life when she moved into a camp trailer with a man she met on the street. For the next seven years Brenda lived with this man in Key West. They both worked as day laborers cleaning boats and doing odd jobs for cash.

     In 2011, after her relationship with her trailer roommate soured, Brenda was back on the street. She worked odd jobs and hung out on the beach. In December 2012, under her alias Kelsie Lyanne Smith, Brenda got a job as a live-in housekeeper for a family in Tampa Bay. (According to her employer she had good references.)

      A few months after landing the housekeepers job, a police pulled Brenda over for driving with an expired license plate. The officer found drugs in her car. She served two months in Pensacola County Jail on the drug possession offense. Following her release from jail, she spent a few weeks behind bars in Santa Rosa County on an identify theft charge. At one point she lived in a tent community run by a Florida social service agency.

     On Friday, April 26, 2013, Brenda Heist surrendered herself to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Thinking that there were warrants for her arrest out of Pinellas County, the 54-yar-old told the Monroe County deputies that she was at the end of her rope, and tired of running. She informed the officers that eleven years ago she had walked out on her family in Lititz Borough, Pennsylvania.

     The Florida authorities called Lititz Borough Sergeant John Schofield with the news that Brenda Heist was not dead, and no longer missing. Her children, now college students, still had a mother.

     On May 3, 2013, Brenda was sent back to the Santa Rosa County Jail on various theft related charges. Morgan Heist, her 19-year-old daughter, has told reporters that she has no interest in reuniting with her mother.

     On June 11, 2013 a judge in Pensacola, Florida sentenced Heist, known in the Santa Rose court system as Kelsie Smith, to one year in jail in connection a probation violation. She pleaded no contest to failing to check in with authorities after leaving the Pensacola area following her release from jail in April. She'd been on probation for using someone else's identification during a traffic stop.
     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

45 Missing Kid Cases Daily Involve Suspected Abductions

Publicity over the search for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts has focused on a high number of missing juveniles in Iowa, 48 in July. Only a small number of missing children cases involve abductions.

As the search for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts continues, 48 Iowa juveniles have went missing so far in July, a development that has prompted a flood of social media warnings and theories, reports the Sioux Falls, S.D., Argus Leader. Heavy news coverage of Tibbetts’ disappearance from Brooklyn, Ia., 60 miles east of Des Moines, has led to more focus on missing children. Last year, 4,311 Iowa juveniles were reported missing to the national missing persons clearinghouse, about 12 kids a day. Most of them are believed to have run away. And a single juvenile can be listed in several cases throughout the year.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children assisted law enforcement and families in more than 27,000 cases of missing children last year. That averages about 75 a day. More than 9 in 10 were runaways, and 1 in 7 of those youth were likely victims of sex trafficking, the center said. Of those, 88 percent were in the care of social services when they went missing. Strangers kidnap about 100 children annually, a fraction of 1 percent of missing-children cases, according to the Polly Klaas Foundation, a Petaluma, Ca.  nonprofit. Klaas, 12, was kidnapped Oct. 1, 1993, from her home; her body was found two months later. The FBI’s National Crime Information Center says that 2.5 percent of more than 650,000 missing children cases opened last year involved suspected abductions, a little more than 45 a day nationwide.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Kenia Monge Disappearance: Turns Out ‘Good Samaritan’ Travis Forbes is a Pervert

  ​ Breakfast reading from the True Crime Report archives: Surveillance video showed Forbes turning off the cameras at a bakery where he rents space. And a neighboring employee saw several men burning something in a 55-gallon barrel behind the bakery. Westword has the story.

The post Kenia Monge Disappearance: Turns Out ‘Good Samaritan’ Travis Forbes is a Pervert appeared first on True Crime Report.

  ​ Breakfast reading from the True Crime Report archives: Surveillance video showed Forbes turning off the cameras at a bakery where he rents space. And a neighboring employee saw several men burning something in a 55-gallon barrel behind the bakery. Westword has the story.

The post Kenia Monge Disappearance: Turns Out ‘Good Samaritan’ Travis Forbes is a Pervert appeared first on True Crime Report.

from http://www.truecrimereport.com