A former assistant principal has been arrested and charged with the murder of teacher and mother of two, 41-year-old Kameela Russell. On June 3, her body was found floating in the Miami Gardens Canal. Her death was reportedly caused by blunt head trauma.
The Miami Herald reports, 39-year-old Ernest Joseph Roberts was booked on “a first-degree murder charge as authorities revealed they had recovered Kameela Russell’s car, her keys and the note, hidden by Roberts in a school file cabinet five days after the killing.”
The outlet reports the warrant claims Roberts told a school janitor “to go to a specific file cabinet inside of conference room 908.” There were car keys and a handwritten note that read, “Do you know anyone that can chop up a car? If so or make it ‘disappear’ take these keys. Its behind the speedway racetrack on 441 by County line. Friends are gone and need it to disappear. If not leave it + I’ll work it out later. THROW THIS NOTE AWAY!”
Then, he called the janitor at Lentin and “directed [him] to go to a specific file cabinet inside of conference room 908,” according to the warrant. Inside was a set of car keys and the handwritten note. The alarmed employee called Miami Gardens police officers.
The janitor immediately told detectives and said Roberts asked for advice on how to clean blood from a floor, alleging that he killed an intruder with a baseball bat.
The note reportedly lead to DNA blood evidence, surveillance footage and phone records, according to an arrest warrant. As of now, a motive is not clear and Roberts is maintaining his innocence. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, “There’s more work for us to do. We all want to know what led to this.”
The two did work together at Northwest Miami-Dade high school, had known each other since childhood and he was the godfather of her children. Russell was at test proctor. In February, Roberts was transferred to Linda Lentin K-8 Center in North Miami.
Tests showed the blood in the Roberts’ house matched Russell’s DNA. The Miami Herald also reports, “Cameras from a neighbor’s house showed Russell pulling up to his house that night, shortly after she left her aunt’s home, the warrant said. She walked into the home — but was never seen leaving.” It’s not clear why Russell went to Roberts’ home.
We hope Kameela Russell gets justice.