D.C. Mayor Gray Orders Thorough Review in Relisha Rudd Case

dc.gov | 4/9/2014, 4:30 p.m.
Relisha Rudd (Courtesy of mpdc.dc.gov)

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray reiterated his deep concern Wednesday about the disappearance of Relisha Rudd, an 8-year-old girl who has now been missing for weeks and whose family resides at the D.C. General shelter.

Although the case remains primarily a law-enforcement matter, Gray vowed to ensure a thorough review of the actions of all District government agencies that had contact with the girl prior to her disappearance.

The mayor issued the following statement on the matter Wednesday:

“I continue to be distressed over the fact that Relisha Rudd remains missing, and my thoughts and prayers remain with her family and loved ones. While there is no indication that District government agencies or staff failed to fulfill their duties, I will make sure that the District government responded to the facts of this case in a way that was both appropriate and responsible. With that in mind, I’ve directed Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services BB Otero and Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith to conduct a complete review of all the facts in this matter and to make recommendations if any reforms to the District’s policies and practices are warranted.

"In addition, my administration is committed to moving as many families out of the D.C. General shelter as quickly as possible through our 500 families, 100 Days initiative, and I’ve also asked Deputy Mayor Otero and Department of Human Services Director David Berns to develop a plan to close the D.C. General shelter and provide alternative emergency shelter options for District families. We must continue to do everything in our power to protect the District’s most vulnerable children.”