Carlethia “Carlee” Russell (Image source: Facebook – Carlee Russell)
Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell is alive.
The 25-year-old Black woman who was reported missing in the Hoover, Alabama, area on July 13 returned home late July 15 on foot.“We are so grateful to each of you for all the acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion you have shown,” Talitha Robinson-Russell, Russell’s mother, said on Facebook. “Our baby is safe!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Father God.”
Shortly after returning home, Russell was sent to the UAB Hospital to be evaluated. She was released hours later on the morning of July 16.A crowd of people waited outside of the hospital to get the latest update on Russell. Her story immediately went viral and received national news coverage due to the alleged circumstances surrounding Russell’s disappearance.
According to investigators, a 911 call, an on-scene witness and a family member, Russell left her job on July 13 in Birmingham and stopped to get food before driving back to Hoover. On her drive home, she saw a toddler wandering alongside a busy highway. She called 911 and a family member to report the child before a family member on the phone with Russell lost contact, but the line remained open. Once officers arrived on the scene, Russell’s vehicle, phone and other belongings were there, but the toddler and Russell weren’t. There also was no report of a missing toddler in the area. A witness said they saw a man near Russell’s car before police arrived.
With so much attention on her missing status, some social media users wondered how Russell returned home safely, so quickly. Some influencers and online commenters went as far as calling the situation a hoax.
Russell’s mother was not trying to hear any of it.
“Just as we made a commitment to not entertain negative thoughts during the time our daughter was missing, we surely will not entertain negative thoughts/statements, unvalidated opinions, or sheer ignorance at such a joyous time,” Russell’s mother posted on Facebook.
Yeah…if I am #CarleeRussell’s family, the moment her wellbeing is assessed I am IMMEDIATELY calling a lawyer and sending cease and desists to these broke YouTubers and TikTokers claiming this was a hoax. Have you no shame?
— Gabrielle A. Perry, MPH (@GeauxGabrielle) July 16, 2023
Her boyfriend, who identifies himself as “Thomar Latrell Simmons” on Facebook, said she was kidnapped and fought for her life for 48 hours.
“I was straight tunnel vision, even when I would get on social media on my downtime & see some of the false allegations & assumptions about me having something to do with her abduction would have me discouraged at times I didn’t give up & kept my faith!” Simmons posted. “She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically & mentally stable again she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment.”
Source: Rolling Out