A 24-year-old Baltimore man has been charged with murder in the death of his roommate, who had been reported missing a day earlier by concerned family members.

Police said Markis Russell, 24, of the 3100 block of Mary Ave., in Northeast Baltimore has been arrested and charged in the killing of 22-year-old Jeffrey Brooks Jr.

Jeffrey Brooks, Jr.
Jeffrey Brooks, Jr. (Baltimore Police Department)

Family members reported Brooks missing after he didn’t show up for work Thursday morning. They told police that his car was missing and he wasn’t answering his cell phone, and that Brooks had gotten into an altercation with his roommate the night before, police said in a news release.

Missing person’s detectives were initially summoned, but homicide investigators soon took over the investigation.

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According to charging documents obtained by WJZ, the roommates clashed on Wednesday over money. Russell told investigators that Brooks confronted him about money that he was reportedly owed for the apartment, which Russell was planning to move out of. Russell said he and the Army reservist argued, then fought, and that he shot him after Brooks approached him with a knife, the news station reported, citing charging documents. He said he then put Brooks in the back of his car and drove it to behind a gas station and ran home. The following day, Brooks’ father reportedly saw Russell leaving the apartment with a wet vacuum, according to documents.

Police said they located Russell on Friday and that he gave a “full confession about what occurred and directed them to Jeffrey Brooks Jr.’s remains.”

Brooks’ body was located after 10:30 p.m. Friday in the back of his 2009 Subaru Outback in the 6800 block of Harford; he had a gunshot wound.

Markis Russell, 24, of the 3100 block of Mary Ave., has been charged with murder in the death of his roommate, who was reported missing on March 23, 2023.

The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, police said.

Authorities credited the family with Russell’s prompt arrest. “Had it not been for the active participation and cooperation of the Brooks family, this case would not have been solved, Jeffrey Brooks, Jr., would still be missing and his killer would still be at large,” police said in a news release Saturday.

WJZ, a media partner of The Baltimore Banner, contributed to this report.