Russell County Sheriff: Woman kills accomplice in botched church burglary

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UPDATE: Saturday, 8 p.m. — The car that Russell County authorities were looking for in connection with a Thursday morning murder was found about 5 p.m. Saturday in Lee County, Sheriff Heath Taylor tells News 3.

It was found in a parking lot off U.S. Highway 431 about a mile past the Lee County Flea Market.

The car was towed to the Russell County Sheriff’s Office where a search warrant will be acquired Sunday before it’s searched, Taylor said.

ORIGINAL STORY:

RUSSELL COUNTY, Alabama (WRBL) – New details are coming out in a Russell County homicide as deputies have a 28-year-old woman in custody and are looking for additional suspects.

Samantha Malasig was arrested Friday and charged with the murder of 37-year-old Christopher Roper. Investigators believe the shooting happened during an argument between Malasig and the victim during a suspected botched burglary attempt at a church.

“I think we can show they were friends for a little while, at least,” Taylor said. “We don’t know how long they have known each other. We are trying to put some of that together. What started the argument depends on which story of hers you believe,” Taylor said.

Sheriff Heath Taylor said in a Saturday morning news conference in Phenix City investigators believe Roper was shot to death in the early morning hours Thursday during a burglary attempt of the church. Roper’s body was found about 12:30 p.m. Thursday behind the church under construction in the Kitetown area of Russell County between Seale and Fort Mitchell.

Samantha Malasig, 28, arrested on murder charges

“I believe we can prove who killed him,” Taylor said. ”The question now is putting the rest of it together. Were there other accomplices with her? Were there other people involved and helped do something with this case? I think that’s a big issue.”

Masalig was known to live at multiple addresses in Phenix City and near Seale. Russell County authorities are looking for the vehicle that Malasig and Roper were believed to be in the morning of the murder. It is a burgandy, maroon colored Honda Civic.

“It has a distinctive look,” Taylor said. “There is no front bumper, and a black back bumper.”

Malasig has not been able to provide accurate information about the car.

“She hid it, took it,” Taylor said. “She has tried to tell us and remember where she put it, she does not. I am assuming that is potentially because of the drug use at the time.”

If you have any information on where that vehicle can be found, call 334 298-6535 or email htaylor@rcso.org.

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