Carlee Russell (Image source: Facebook – Carlee Russell)
Carlee Russell, the woman who set off a frantic nationwide search by claiming she was kidnapped after trying to help a baby she saw walking on an Alabama highway, now admits what many were already thinking: she lied.
Russell, 25, told police in Hoover, Alabama, that she made up the stories but she has yet to indicate the reason for her behavior.“My client apologizes for her actions to this community, to the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well,” the statement said from her attorney, Emory Anthony, that was obtained by NBC News.
The statement was read by Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis at a news conference on Monday night, July 24, 2023. He said his office is in consultation with the district attorney’s office to determine if and what criminal charges will be filed against Russell. Russell’s boyfriend, meanwhile, stated on his Instagram page that his family is “disgusted” that his girlfriend manufactured such a story. He also added that she is now his “ex.”
“Carlee’s actions created hurt, confusion and dishonesty. I was made aware of the false narrative after coming to the defense of my ex Carlee Russell,” Thomar Simmons wrote.
Russell told authorities in Hoover that she was abducted after following a wandering toddler on the highway on July 13, 2023. She returned home on July 15 without a scratch on her, which made Hoover cops suspicious.
Russell was scheduled to be interviewed by police with her attorney on Monday, but they sent her statement instead. The department wants to speak with Russell soon to ascertain the entire story from her.
“We’re still trying to determine where she was during those 49 hours, but I am glad that we received this … at least puts some of the social media super sleuths hopefully at rest for a little bit as far as … what everybody thinks took place,” Derzis said. “We know that by her own admission, it didn’t happen.”
Police said Russell told them she was forced into an 18-wheeler truck and taken to a home where a man and a woman made her get undressed and then took photos of her.
Russell’s story began to unravel when local and federal investigators, including the Secret Service, analyzed Russell’s cellphone in the days before she disappeared. The feds found that Russell’s internet searches included Amber Alerts, how to steal from a cash register without getting caught, and the movie Taken.
Source: Rolling Out