Family of missing UC professor speaks out - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Family of missing UC professor speaks out

Russ' family spoke to FOX19 NOW about the recent developments on the disappearance of Randy Russ (FOX19) Russ' family spoke to FOX19 NOW about the recent developments on the disappearance of Randy Russ (FOX19)
Within hours of the Kentucky State Police's press conference about Black, another family would discover their loved one, Norma Brown, who also acquainted with Black and Howard was missing too (FOX19) Within hours of the Kentucky State Police's press conference about Black, another family would discover their loved one, Norma Brown, who also acquainted with Black and Howard was missing too (FOX19)
FLEMINGSBURG (FOX19) - Charles Black and Kevin Howard pled not guilty in a Flemingsburg courtroom on Friday to charges of murder, kidnapping and robbery in the case of missing University of Cincinnati professor Randall Russ.

Housed in two separate jails and appearing at two separate times, Charles Black and Kevin Howard are being held on a $1 million cash bond.

Russ was reported missing back in August. At that time, his family contacted FOX19 NOW hoping someone would come forward with answers.

[Related: UC computer science professor reported missing from N. Ky]

Now, the family spoke with FOX19 NOW to talk about what happened to Russ.

"We was wanting to pass out flyers to see if anybody has seen him in the area," Connie Fetters, Russ' sister, said.

It just didn't make sense.

UC professor Randy Russ disappeared from his Dry Ridge home on Aug. 17.

More than a month had gone by and finally on Oct. 1, the first suspect was found.

"Interviews provided in Fleming County provided information about a murder and the disposal of a body detectives were taken by a suspect Charles Black to that location and found the burial site," a Kentucky State Police Officer said.

Black told police Russ and Howard were at his home in Hillsboro on Aug. 15.  Howard asked Black to leave and when he returned, Black found Russ bound, gagged and beaten to death. The two men then loaded Russ into his own car and drove him to a remote location near Grange City in Fleming County burying him in a shallow grave.

[Related: Police seek second suspect connected to missing UC professor]

"Mr. Black was charged with murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence and theft by unlawful taking auto over $500," a Kentucky State Police Officer said.

Within hours of the Kentucky State Police's press conference about Black, another family would discover their loved one, Norma Brown, who also acquainted with Black and Howard was missing too.

"I'm hoping he ain't done nothing to her because she would have called home if she could," Sharon King, Brown's mother, said.

The mother of Brown told police she hadn't seen her daughter since September.  The last person she was seen with was Howard, a man now wanted for murder.

"He was a neighbor and also Norma had..I think at one time they had dated years ago so we know'd it from back then," Genie Hardin, Brown's sister, said.

On Oct. 8, police found Howard near Lexington and arrested him.

A grand jury indicted both Black and Howard, and on Dec. 5, they stood before a judge.

[Related: Suspects in UC professor's death plead not guilty]

Russ's family looked on as both men pleaded not guilty.

"It was a lot harder than I thought it would be," Kate Russ, Randy's daughter, said.

"The faces. It was hard," Fetters said.

They are two names Russ' family never knew until detectives told them.

People they believe he knew through a friend. Lured to Black's home to help him move then robbed beaten and killed.

"Those was the last set of eyes my brother seen so therefore I wanted to make sure they knew we was here and that they will see our eyes," Fetters said.

The two men are now behind bars, but justice still months away from fully being served.

"When you take a life and it's capital murder, I honestly feel the same should be done to you," Fetters said.

The body found in Fleming County has still yet to be identified as Randall Russ.

His family says they are still waiting for dental records and DNA results to come back from the military.

The family has written to Senator Mitch McConnell's office hoping he can help speed up the process so they can give their father and brother a proper burial.

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