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Police: Kidnapping suspect is dead

  • Body of man suspected of kidnapping 8-year-old Relisha Rudd found in Washington DC park
  • Cops: Suspect was seen buying garbage bags after disappearance

While searching for missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, police found the remains of an adult male in a Washington, DC park. On Tuesday, police positively identified the body as kidnapping suspect Kahlil Tatum.

Rudd was allegedly abducted by Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where her family stayed.

During a press conference Monday in the search area, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said it appears that he took his own life.

"It appears that the person we found here today was Mr. Tatum and this appears to be in fact a suicide," Lanier said, adding that, “Everything we have is consistent with what we know about his appearance.”

Taking to Jane Velez-Mitchell on Monday evening, Cameron Thompson, a reporter for WNEW 99.1 FM said police told reporters there that they don’t normally identify a body this early, but “they’re making an exception because of this case. The official confirmation will still have to come from the medical examiner.”

Police say Tatum killed his wife and took off with Relisha.  She was last seen by her family on February 26, but police were not told she was missing until almost a month later.  Their search took them to a hotel, where they discovered the body of Tatum’s wife.  Police issued an Amber Alert and Tatum was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list.  

For more on this story, watch Jane Velez-Mitchell weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on HLN. Follow the show on Facebook, and follow Jane on Twitter.

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