The mother of a woman whose body was found in a canal nearly two weeks after she disappeared in Miami Gardens is pleading with the public to find the person responsible for her death.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed on Wednesday that the body of 41-year-old Kameela Russell was found, after she had been last seen on May 15 in the 800 block of Northwest 203rd Street at the home of her aunt.
"I just wanna beg the public, if anybody saw her that day or saw where she went or saw if anybody was following her — you know somebody must’ve seen something or heard something," the victim's mother Linda Russell said to reporters on Thursday. "I'm just hoping that someone would speak out and do something about it and just report it if they know."
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Kameela Russell had arrived at the home to pick up her daughter but never went inside. She did not show up to work over the course of the next week at Miami Norland Senior High School, where she worked as a test administrator.
"It's very difficult because she was my only child to begin with," Linda Russell said. "I know she was well loved by everybody, by her co-workers at the school and even at previous schools that she worked at. She was a very popular person."
The medical examiner's office said the death has been ruled a homicide as a result of blunt force to the head. Few other details have been released.
"I don't know why, but that's my question. Knowing her and the person that she was, I just, I just don’t understand it. I just don’t understand it," her mother said. "I just hope they find the person, 'cause like I said, I can’t even imagine what would cause this to happen."
Miami Gardens Police pulled a body they said was "badly decomposed" from a canal less than a mile from the scene on Saturday. Police later confirmed that the body was Russell.
Kameela Russell was a single mother with two daughters, ages 15 and 6. Linda Russell said she's now trying to comfort her grandkids as much as she can.
"The 15-year-old said, 'Can we all sleep in the same room tonight?' because normally we sleep in different rooms, and I said, 'Yes, we can all sleep in the same room,'" she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.