Charles Co. Detectives Investigating Murder / Suicide at Motel

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Diane Richardson
Media Relations Office
(301) 609-6557 or (240) 682-1658

On March 28 at 1:37 p.m., officers responded to the Super 8 motel in the 3500 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf for the report of a death investigation. A preliminary investigation revealed a motel employee entered the room to check on the occupants who were scheduled to check out earlier in the day. Upon entering the room, a man and a woman were found deceased. The male was later identified as Robert Ralph Russell, Jr., 47, of King George, VA. The woman was identified as Rachel Rae Africa, 39, of Waldorf. An autopsy was performed on March 29 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. Africa’s death was ruled a homicide and Russell’s death was ruled a suicide. Detectives are working to establish a motive; however, there was recent history of domestic violence in which Russell was charged with assaulting Africa on March 23. He was arrested but released on personal recognizance on March 25. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective J. Long at (301) 609-6502. The investigation is ongoing.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at or by using the P3Intel mobile app, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips. For more information about the P3 program, click on this link:

Disclaimer: In the U.S.A., all persons accused of a crime by the State are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. See: Additionally, all of the information provided above is solely from the perspective of the respective law enforcement agency and does not provide any direct input from the accused or persons otherwise mentioned. You can find additional information about the case by searching the Maryland Judiciary Case Search Database using the accused's name and date of birth. The database is online at . Persons named who have been found innocent or not guilty of all charges in the respective case, and/or have had the case ordered expunged by the court can have their name, age, and city redacted by following the process defined at

jazz lady

~*~ Rara Avis ~*~
PREMO Member
Rachel was a friend of mine and had so much to live for, including a wonderful young son and a bright future ahead of her. Please get help if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

As of March 30th, 2020, the Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy is working hard to continue to provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while also doing our part to keep our community safe by helping to minimize the spread of disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note the following changes to services:

-Protective Orders: Interim protective orders can still be filed at the court commissioner’s office, located at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. Most temporary hearings will not be scheduled until May 4th or May 5th, but a judge can review the petition and decide to expedite the hearing if it involves an order to vacate the home, child custody, or a firearm. The petition to file for a protective order can be found online at…/import/courtforms/joint/ccdcdv001.pdf.

-Victims Advocacy: While our advocate’s office in the District Courthouse is currently closed, advocates are still available by phone or secure video chat to help with the filing of protective orders and safety plan creation. You can contact our advocate Marcus at (240) 925-8550 or our advocate Sarah at (240) 925-8554. We also recommend checking out the following articles about staying safe in your home during the pandemic

-Legal Services: Our on-staff attorneys are currently unable to meet face-to-face for consultations or to represent clients in court due to social distancing recommendations. Petitioners in protective order cases can, however, still fill out an intake for legal guidance over the phone or through secure video chat. An electronically fillable form is available online at Once you have filled out an intake, please scan and email it to along with any accompanying court documents. If you have any problems submitting an intake, please contact our Office Manager Rosie at (240) 925-8456.

-24-Hour Emergency Crisis Intervention: Our 24-hour crisis intervention services, including our emergency shelter and short-term crisis intervention for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, is still up and running through referral from local law enforcement, MedStar of St. Mary’s, and the Department of Social Services. If you are fleeing imminent danger as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault, please contact local law enforcement to be referred to our 24-hour hotline.

-Sexual Assault Examinations: Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations, or SAFEs, are still being conducted by local hospitals. If you are a victim of sexual assault, please contact the local emergency room by phone at (301) 475-6111 to receive guidance as to what your next steps should be. Additionally, the hospital will contact our on-call advocate through the 24-hour emergency hotline to speak with the victim.

-Case Management: Our case management team is still doing its best to assist clients with securing food and long-term shelter, as well as with applying for social services benefits. Many of our usual resources have been put on hold at this time, but we are doing what we can with what is available.

-Abuser Intervention/Anger Management: Because these classes are held in groups, all classes have been postponed until further notice. SMCFA is working on a long-term solution for holding the classes remotely. In the meantime, we urge participants to contact the National Hotline for Domestic Violence ((800) 799-7233) or the Safe Horizons Hotline ((800) 621-4673) for help releasing anger in a healthy way. You can also check out this article on self-managing your anger…/relationsh…/anger-management.htm.

As always, the services listed above are provided free of charge (except for Abuser Intervention and Anger Management programs).
The Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy thanks you for your patience during this time of uncertainty. Questions or concerns related to these services may be directed to the Center by phone at (301)-373-4141 or online at If a victim is in crisis and in immediate need of shelter, please call our 24-hour emergency line at (240)-925-0084.

Contact: Taylor Spencer Davis
Deputy Director