Waldorf woman found dead at same motel where she was beaten days earlier

A Waldorf woman was found dead at the same Charles County, Maryland, motel where she was beaten days earlier by a former boyfriend, who authorities say died by suicide.

It happened at the Super 8 Motel on the 3500 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf. Last Saturday after 1:30 p.m., a motel employee was checking on the occupants of a room and found the bodies of Robert Ralph Russell Jr., 47, of King George, Virginia, and Rachel Rae Africa, 39, of Waldorf.

The couple was supposed to check out of the motel on Saturday.

The medical examiner ruled Africa’s death as a homicide and Russell’s death a suicide.

Last week on March 23, Russell faced multiple charges after Africa told Charles County Sheriff’s officers Russell beat her and threatened to kill her the day before, while also threatening to kill himself at the same motel.

According to a Charles County district court document, on or about March 22 and March 23, Russell punched Africa in the face, strangled her and also stole her money and jewelry when she visited him at the motel.

The document detailed a violent encounter in which Russell also tried to kill himself with pills and by hanging.

Russell was released on his own recognizance last Wednesday, three days before his body and that of Africa’s were found.

The investigation on what happened is ongoing, and anyone with information should call Det. J. Long with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office at 301-609-6502.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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