Missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd has dropped off the news grid, and it doesn’t appear that she will be found anytime soon. But during this whole episode one man’s story has gone unreported. That story is of Relisha’s biological dad, Irving Rudd. Many people know about Relisha’s troubled mother, but they do not know that Irving Rudd had been trying to get custody of Relisha before she vanished with Khalil Tatum.
But why would the courts deny a stable father custody over a homeless, drug-addicted mom? Simple, because Irving Rudd murdered one of his daughters 20 years ago.
Rudd was 23 in 1992 when he killed 17-month old Tarricka Rudd. Two witnesses testified that Rudd grabbed the child by the neck and threw her against the wall because the toddler would not stop crying. After further abusing Tarricka, she arrived at Children’s Hospital with a split lip, a fractured skull and bruises all over her body, and she eventually died.
Rudd was charged with involuntary manslaughter for his crime and served 10 years of a possible 15-year sentence.
Now Rudd is trying to get custody of his biological son, age 7, and his son’s half brothers, ages 5 and 4, who have been in foster care since March.
It is now up to D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Janet Albert to determine if the children will stay in foster care or if Rudd will be given sole custody.