MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – A family friend is speaking out after a body found floating in a Miami Gardens canal was identified as Kameela Russell, a Miami Norland Senior High School employee who went missing.
Friends and loved ones had hoped detectives would have found Russell alive after she disappeared from her aunt’s driveway along the 800 block of Northwest 203rd Street, May 15.
Tamara Hospedales, Russell’s longtime friend of 27 years, said she prayed every single day.
“In a way, you feel angry because you want to know why would someone do something like this to such a beautiful, always smiling person,” said Hospedales.
Russell’s family isn’t ready to talk, but Hospedales got permission from them to share her memories of the mother of two.
More than a week after the 41-year-old went missing, police recovered a decomposed body in a canal near Northwest 207th Street and 15th Avenue, just before 5 p.m., Saturday.
A 16-year-old witness, who did not want to be identified, told 7News what happened when he discovered the body.
“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.”
The body was found less than a block away from where Russell had disappeared.
On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Russell as the deceased victim.
The medical examiner concluded that Russell died from a blunt head injury and that her case has been classified as a homicide.
“Kameela would not even hurt a mosquito, so why would someone do something like this to hurt her?” said Hospedales. “Whoever did this to her, they need to be punished.”
Police have not released any details regarding their investigation or if there are any suspects.
7News sources said detectives had searched a former colleague’s home along Northwest 15th Avenue last Tuesday near the area where Russell’s body was found.
Meanwhile, a crisis team visited Miami Norland Senior High to help students and staff with their grief.
Hospedales said she hugged her friend on Mother’s Day not knowing it was going to be their last embrace.
“Kameela was a loving person, a caring mother,” Hospedales said. “She was always there for her two daughters.”
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.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.