A Former Norland High school assistant principal has been charged with murdering Kameela Russell.
Police detectives took Ernest Joseph Roberts, 39, into custody early Friday morning after obtaining an arrest warrant for a charge of first-degree murder.
Russell, whose body was found floating in a Miami Gardens canal was an educator at the same high school. She went missing for more than a week before a teenager found her washed up on the banks of a canal squeezed between Florida’s Turnpike and a nearby gated neighborhood called Andover. The canal is across the street from the suspect’s home.
Sources say investigators believe they found forensic evidence that Russell died inside Robert’s home and that he then disposed her body and car which was later found by detectives. Phone records also placed Kameela at Robert’s home when she disappeared.
According to the Miami Herald, investigators immediately honed in on Roberts, the ex-assistant principal at Norland, who Russell’s family says has known the woman since childhood. Her family initially told the Miami Herald that they did not believe Roberts had anything to do with Kameela’s disappearance.
Kameela Russell, a 41-year-old mother of two, was last seen alive on May 15th pulling into her aunt’s driveway, before abruptly driving off. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Russell died of blunt-force trauma.
Roberts posted on social media after the body was found, calling for anyone with information to come forward and to not rely on rumors about the death of a woman who he claimed was like a sister to him.
“Kameela was more than my sister. For 20 years she’s been at my side,” he wrote. “Both our families and close friends know the bond that we’ve had. If you know her, you know her spirit. The life of the party. Always there to lean on. The pain can’t be put into words. It’s almost too heavy to handle. Rumors are dangerous. Anyone with facts please reach out. We lost a beautiful mind and a great spirit.”
Ernest Roberts has been charged with first degree murder.