The man in the driver’s seat, they say, was her boyfriend, 52-year-old Fredrick Lee Ford Jr. Ford was charged Wednesday with murder and armed robbery in connection with Russell’s death.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Russell’s daughter told police her mother was preparing to leave Ford. Two days prior to her death, she said, her mother had told Ford he had to find another place to live.
Russell’s daughter also told police she’d heard Ford brag in the past about being “a killer and a robber.”
Police eventually located Russell’s car abandoned near 14th and Kealing streets. Her purse, jacket and .357-caliber revolver were found in an alley nearby.
Ford wasn’t able to be located for several days. Family members said he never returned home following the shooting. He didn’t report to work either.
Detectives learned on Feb. 1 that Ford was interested in coming in for questioning. He eventually did so at 6:30 a.m. the following day.
According to the affidavit, Ford said he had been in the car with Russell on the day of her shooting, but that they had gotten into a fight and she had left him approximately 22 blocks away from the shooting.
Ford denied ever touching Russell’s gun, but did admit to wearing a dark-colored shirt similar to that described by all three eye witnesses to the shooting.