WASHINGTON (AP) - The District of Columbia police chief says a search of a park for a missing 8-year-old girl is a "recovery operation," although police haven't given up hope of finding the child alive.

Chief Cathy Lanier says Relisha Tenau Rudd has not been seen since March 1. Police are looking for 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum, who was a janitor at a homeless shelter where Relisha lived.

Despite a hope of finding Relisha alive, Lanier said at a Thursday afternoon news conference at the park that "we can't ignore the possibility he may have killed her."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read or Share this story: