Not far from the quiet state of Maryland, police in the nation's capital found the body of a male in a local park. They believe he is a murder suspect, last seen with a missing 8-year-old girl. The 51-year-old man was a janitor at the homeless shelter where the child lived with her mother and other siblings.
The little girl had been recently been given permission by her mother to spend time in the janitor's company. He was popular at the shelter and kind to the children there. However, when the school reported the girl had been absent for several days, police began searching for her in earnest. Shortly after that, the janitor's wife was found shot in the head. Later, reports surfaced of domestic unrest and a separation.
While the body in the park is still being identified, early reports indicate this is the man who possibly abducted a little girl, murdered his wife and then killed himself. The child is still missing. Her mother's lack of action may be her undoing.
The mother had been living with in the shelter with her children. She had allowed the girl to go home with the janitor on numerous occasions. The mother hadn't reported the child missing, in part because she trusted the man, but also out of fear her other children would be taken away from her living conditions of squalor. The grand jury is likely to charge the mother with obstruction of justice in her daughter's abduction case.
Officials are also investigating his possible relationships with other young girls at the shelter. Fraternization between staff and residents is expressly forbidden, but witnesses say the man frequently gave the girls money and confirmed he spent a lot of the time with an 8-year old girl who suddenly disappeared.
Losing a son or a daughter is a heart-rending experience for a mother. Accusing her of being an accessory to that abduction must be unimaginable. Every criminal defense case is unique. A homeless mother with several children will do whatever she can to help her family survive. Every parent deserves to have her case examined by someone well-versed in the law who can help protect her rights.
Source: Peter Hermann, "Body found in park appears to be that of alleged abductor of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd" Peter Hermann, Mar. 31, 2014