The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identity of the decomposed body as 41-year-old Kameela Russell, a Miami Norland Senior High School employee.
The announcement came days after investigators received an anonymous tip that led them on May 25 to a badly decomposed body floating in the Miami Gardens canal, shortly before 5 p.m. CBS reported that when Miami-Dade Undercover Recovery Officers retrieved the remains, neither the sex nor the race of the body could be immediately determined.
Citing the Medical Examiner’s report, WSVN reported that Russell had suffered a blunt head injury.
Investigators are treating the case as a homicide.
Police are desperately searching for Kameela Russell. She has been missing for nearly a week. Russell was supposed to pick up her daughter from a family member, but never showed up. @WPLGLocal10: https://t.co/4iho9TAiEf pic.twitter.com/Al3P34X1AW
— HLN (@HLNTV) May 21, 2019
The missing mother of two was last seen on May 15.
Russell was supposed to pick up her younger daughter at her aunt’s house, NBC6 reported.
Her older daughter, Skye, told the network, “She told me she was going to pick up my sister and then she never came.”
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Donna Blyden, Russell’s aunt, was the last one to see her alive.
Blyden told NBC6 she saw Russell’s black Audi pull into her driveway to pick up her daughter to take her to gymnastics class.
“When I looked again five minutes after, she didn’t come in, that’s when I got worried,” Blyden told the station.
Speaking via NBC6, her daughter offered up a message of hope to her mother: “Everybody’s fighting for you. People who I haven’t even seen in years are coming out just to try and help you. Your students, we need you. Just come back.”
Russell’s body was found just down the street from her aunt’s home.
One of the men who discovered the body described his feelings.
“It was crazy to see just a life, you know, just gone, wasted, just laying there decomposing,” the man said, WSVN reported.
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Miami-Dade County Public Schools issued a statement on Wednesday:
“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.”
Beating of Special Education Student Caught on Video
Meanwhile, footage has surfaced of the brutal beating of a special education student in Long Beach, Calif.
The video showed several boys knocking another boy to the ground, before repeatedly kicking and punching him as he tries to shield himself from the blows.
Rasheena Mccord, the boy’s mother, told the Long Beach Post that her son was attacked by a group of teenagers as he was walking home from school on Wednesday, May 15.
Mccord said her son tried to run away when the teens confronted him, but they caught up to him and beat him for several minutes.
*WARNING: graphic video
According to Long Beach police cited by CBSLA, officers were called to an area hospital following reports of the beating. Police said they were investigating the incident as gang-related.
The victim’s mother told the Long Beach Post that incidents of groups of teenagers attacking other teens have been on the rise recently.
She and other parents gathered on Monday in front of the Long Beach Polytechnic High School to call for school administrators and police to take action to protect their children from attacks.
“I’m told it’s being investigated, but I would like to hear more from school and police,” said one parent. https://t.co/Pbxd6P1YEF
— Long Beach Post (@LongBeachPost) May 21, 2019
Authorities have increased the frequency of patrols in the area, according to CBSLA.
Mccord said her son suffered scrapes, bruises, and a torn eardrum.