The Metropolitan Police Department said in a press release that 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum of Washington was found in Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens at approximately 12:30 p.m. Monday. Police say he sustained an apparent gunshot wound and did not show any signs of life.
Officers and volunteers continue to search for Relisha Rudd, who police say was last seen March 1 with Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where the family had been staying. Relisha's mother reportedly allowed Tatum, who she has called Relisha's godfather, to take the girl to his home.
An Amber Alert was issued for the child March 20 after school officials continued to inquire about Relisha missing class.
On Monday, Police Chief Cathy Lanier tentatively identified the body as that of Tatum.
"Tentatively it appears the person we found here today is in fact Mr. Tatum," she said.
Officials said the cause of the death is likely a suicide. "It still appears at this time, it is a suicide," she said.
The body was found in a storage building during the search for evidence in the missing girl's case, sources said. Kenilworth is a national park that has been closed because of the search. It is filled with wetlands and ponds, and divers have been searching through multiple bodies of water there. Other officers have been using underwater cameras, overhead surveillance and other methods while hundreds of officers searched the grounds.
Officers have been searching Kenilworth park since last week when they learned that Tatum had spent time there. Tatum is suspected of buying a shovel, lime — which helps accelerate the decomposition of bodies — and extra large garbage bags March 2 before spending hours at the park, about a block from his home.
Tatum was on the FBI's Most Wanted list for the murder of his wife, Andrea Denise Tatum, 51. Her body was found March 20 in an Oxon Hill, Md., motel room.