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Murder-suicide discovered at Waldorf hotel

Police line

An apparent murder suicide took place over the weekend at a Charles County motel, according to a press release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, Charles County officers responded to a report of a death at the Super 8 motel in Waldorf.

An employee of the motel went to check on the occupants of the room — scheduled to leave earlier in the day — and discovered two dead bodies.

Based on an autopsy performed March 29 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, the male occupant, identified as Robert Ralph Russell, 47, allegedly murdered the victim, Rachel Rae Africa, 39, and then took his own life, according to the sheriff’s office.

As of now, no motive has been uncovered. However, a history of domestic violence is present between the two stemming from a March 23 incident in which Russell was charged with assault, arrested and released two days later, according to the sheriff’s office press release.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information on the case is asked to call Detective J. Long at 301-609-6502. Additionally, tips can be submitted anonymously online at

Twitter: @MDunlopSOMD

Twitter: @MDunlopSOMD