MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – The mother of the Miami Norland Senior High School employee whose body was found floating in a Miami Gardens canal made a tearful plea for information that could help police in their homicide investigation.
Linda Russell spoke with 7News, Thursday morning, in hopes that somebody watching could provide detectives with valuable information about the murder of her daughter, identified as 41-year-old Kameela Russell.
Video: Mother Of Kameela Russell Asks Public For Help Finding Her Daughters Alleged Killer
Confirmed death of Norland High test proctor stuns Miami Gardens; teen found body
She was my only child, she said while holding back tears. I just hope that somebody out there can help me to have some closure for me and her two girls.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is deeply saddened about the painful and shocking news involving the passing of a Miami Norland Senior High School teacher, she wrote. The entire M-DCPS family is heartbroken. We ask that the community join us as we keep Kameela Russells loved ones in our prayers.
Body found in canal confirmed as high school staffer and mother of two
The Miami Norland Senior High employee was originally reported missing from her aunts home along the 800 block of Northwest 203rd Street, May 15.
305-376-3559 Since 1989, David J. Neals domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
Her decomposed body was found 10 blocks away, in a canal near Northwest 207th Street and 15th Avenue, Saturday.
Darren Caprara, the Miami-Dade County medical examiners director of operations, told the Miami Herald that Miami Gardens police, the lead investigating agency, confirmed via fingerprints that the body found Saturday down the street from where she was last seen is Russell, a 41-year-old mother of two.
Family friend speaks out after body found in Miami Gardens identified as missing school employee
This is very, very difficult cause, with her personality. She was always friendly. Everybody loved her, Russell said, and for this to happen, its a total shock. I just dont understand any of it.
Video: Medical Examiners Identified Body Found In Miami Gardens As Missing Kameela Russell
Body of missing Miami teacher found in canal, death ruled a homicide
Detectives searched the home of Kameelas former colleague who lives near the canal but have not made any arrests.
The @MGPDFL is requesting the publics assistance in the Homicide of Kameela Russell. Anyone with information is urged to call MGPD Detective P. Valdes at 305-474-1454 or if youd like to remain anonymous call @CrimeStopper305 at 305-471-TIPS(8477). pic.twitter.com/vembWbSmF7
According to the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office, Kameela died after a fatal blow to the head.
“For someone to just discard her like a piece of garbage, like that, there is nothing left for me to see to get closure,” said Linda. “I don’t know who could be so heartless or cold to do something like that.”
“I knew immediately because I saw the legs,” he said. “I went to go to the neighbor’s house to go tell them what I saw and tell them to call the police.”
Video: ME: Body Found In Miami Gardens Canal Is Missing Woman Kameela Russell
In a tweet posted Thursday afternoon, a Miami Gardens Police Officer said they are looking for tips from the public.
If you have any information that could help police, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
If you have any information on this homicide, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
Like any other Miami teenager would on the sweltering Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, Juqwan Brown plotted to sneak out for a dip in the pool. The 16-year-old packed a bag and threw it off the balcony of his familys second-story apartment.
It landed near a body — and helped authorities unravel the mystery of a missing Miami-Dade school test proctor whose two-week disappearance baffled the Miami Gardens community.
Kameela Russell was last seen May 15 pulling into her aunts driveway just around the corner from where Brown discovered her a week and a half later. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiners Office on Wednesday confirmed that her body was the one Brown found, washed up on the banks of a canal squeezed between Floridas Turnpike and the tucked-away gated neighborhood of Andover.
Juqwan couldnt tell from the clear plastic tarp that encased the body exactly what he had stumbled upon, but the gray leggings that poked out were a giveaway. So was the stench, he said Wednesday.
He ran and told his neighbor, who called police. Miami Gardens police, the lead investigating agency, confirmed it was Russell via fingerprints. The Medical Examiners Office said she died of blunt head injury.
Rumors have swirled about what happened to Russell, the 41-year-old single mother of two who worked as a testing coordinator at Norland Senior High in Miami Gardens.
Two law enforcement sources told the Miami Herald that police are investigating a former colleague of hers at Norland, who also lived in the gated community. The two had been friends since he was 10 years old, Russells mother, Linda Russell, told the Herald.
Russell was last seen by family leaving the 800 block of Northwest 203rd Street. The body was spotted in a canal along the 1500 block of Northwest 203rd Street. That is across the street from the listed residence of the former colleague.
A statement by Miami-Dade County Public Schools reads, “Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is deeply saddened about the painful and shocking news involving the passing of a Miami Norland Senior High School teacher. All available counseling resources will be deployed to the school immediately to assist students and staff during this extremely difficult time. School district staff and Miami-Dade Schools Police will continue to work with the Miami Gardens Police Department, which has been handling this case since the employee’s disappearance from her home. The entire M-DCPS family is heartbroken. We ask that the community join us as we keep Kameela Russell’s loved ones in our prayers.”
The Miami-Dade County school district sent an automated phone call to parents Wednesday morning informing them of Russells death. Students said there was no announcement made to the student body.
She was really nice; she did our tests every year, said Kamya Jones, a 16-year-old sophomore at Norland. I still dont believe shes dead.
An unbearably painful week for @MDCPS. We ache for Kameela Russell’s grieving loved ones and pray they find the strength to bear the pain of this heartbreaking loss. District Crisis team has been deployed to @MiamiNorlandSHS to help students and staff during this difficult time.
While many students suspect that a former colleague was romantically involved with Russell and is connected to her disappearance, others were adamant that couldnt be the case.
“I have been taking care of her since she was a baby,” said Blyden. “She knows the bond we have. It’s unusual for Kameela not to get her children when it’s time to get them. I keep praying that Kameela comes back to us.”
Ms. Russell was not the type of person to have a relationship, said Otis Ridley, a 15-year-old freshman.
Ms. Russell was always in her office, said Nathaniel Douglas, a 14-year-old freshman. Sometimes shed be so overwhelmed shed ask us to get her something.
Otis Ridley, 15, and Nathaniel Douglas, 14, both freshmen at Miami Norland Senior High in Miami Gardens, talk after the confirmation of the murder of Kameela Russell, the schools testing coordinator, at the school on Wednesday. Alexia Fodere for The Miami Herald
Otis and Nathaniel said Russells daughter, a 15-year-old freshman, told them the day after Russell went missing about her mothers disappearance. Russells mother told the Miami Herald Tuesday that her granddaughter is now enrolled in virtual school.
A woman at the home of Russells aunt, where Linda Russell was staying, said Russells mother was not willing to speak with the media.