June 19, 2024

Carlee Russell update: Alabama police throw cold water on dramatic kidnapping story during press conference

Carlee Russell’s mom speaks up

Alabama police are expected to hold a press conference about the mysterious disappearance of Carlee Russell today amid major questions about what happened to her.

Nursing student Ms Russell, 25, went off the side of Interstate 459 in Hoover just after 9.30pm on July 13, minutes after she called 911 to report seeing a toddler alone on the road.

A massive search operation was launched as her family appealed to the public to come forward with information. Two days later, Hoover Police said they received a 911 call saying Ms. Russell had suddenly returned home on foot.

Although the authorities refused to give details of the circumstances of her disappearance and return, Miss Russell’s family alleged that she was the victim of a kidnapping.

On Tuesday night, Hoover Police cast doubt on one of the key elements of the case – saying there is no evidence a child was walking on the highway. They also said investigators obtained a video of the moment Ms. Russell returned home.

Officers are expected to provide further details on the progress of the investigation at a 2.30pm press conference on Wednesday.


Police say there is limited evidence that a toddler is walking across interstates

Before Carlee Russell went ‘missing’, she called 911 to report to the police that she saw a three- to four-year-old child walking alone, barefoot, in only a diaper and a t-shirt along the interstate.

According to Miss Russell, she got out of her car to help the small child and was kidnapped by a man.

Police said no one else driving along the interstate noticed the child or called police and no children had been reported missing in the area, casting doubt on Ms. Russell’s story.

Then during a press conference on Wednesday, Hoover police chief Nick Derzis said she traveled about 600 yards (the size of six football fields) while following the child in Ms. Russell’s brief phone call with police.

Authorities used location tracking information from her cell phone to determine that she had not pulled onto the interstate and that she was likely not following a small child.

Ariana Baio19 July 2023 21:06


The police hold a press conference

The Hoover Police Department is hosting a press conference to update the public with the latest information on Carlee Russell.

The news conference will begin at 3.30pm ET / 2.30pm CT.

Ariana Baio19 July 2023 20:30


Police say no children have been reported missing

Investigators with the Hoover Police Department said they have found “no evidence” of the child 25-year-old Carlee Russell said she saw walking along the Internet alone.

Ms. Russell left after reaching the intersection to help the child and called 911 to report it.

However, police said there have been no reports of missing toddlers and no other motorists on the busy road have reported a lone child.

Ariana BaioJuly 19, 2023 20:00


Carlee Russell fought for her life

At this time it is not clear what happened to Carlee Russell, aged 25, when she went missing last Thursday around 9.30pm.

But when she returned home two days later, on foot – it was clear she was in trouble.

Ms. Russell returned home “unresponsive but breathing,” according to authorities at the Hoover Police Department.

Miss Russell’s mother, Talitha Russell, said WVTM that her daughter needed medical treatment when she first arrived.

“We tried to hug her as best we could, but I had to stand back, because she was not in a good condition, so I had to stand back and let medical professionals work with her,” said Talitha.

Talitha told TODAY that her daughter “definitely fought for her life” saying she was abducted.

“There were moments when she had to physically fight for her life and there were moments when she had to mentally fight for her life.”

Ariana Baio19 July 2023 19:30


A boy claims that a woman who disappeared on the side of the highway was kidnapped

The boyfriend of an Alabama woman who went missing after stopping to help a child on the highway and mysteriously returned two days later has said she was kidnapped.

Ariana BaioJuly 19, 2023 19:00


Unanswered questions about Carlee Russell’s disappearance

Carlee Russell’s mysterious disappearance and return has prompted many questions.

The 25-year-old was allegedly ‘kidnapped’ for two days after she pulled off the side of the interstate to help a toddler she claimed was walking alone in a diaper.

Police found Ms Russell’s vehicle unlocked and unattended when they arrived at the scene. For 49 hours, there was an extensive search for Ms Russell.

But just two days later, Miss Russell returned home on foot, “unresponsive but breathing.”

Police have now said they have no evidence of a toddler walking along the road, or that any toddler has been reported missing.

The questions about the case remain: Why did Miss Russell pull over if there was no child? Did she really see a toddler and if not, what did she see? Was she kidnapped? Who kidnapped her? What happened to her? How is she doing now?

The Hoover Police Department is expected to answer some questions regarding Ms. Russell this afternoon at a press conference.

Ariana Baio19 July 2023 18:30


Carlee Russell

A 911 call indicated that Carlee Russell was ‘unresponsive but breathing’ when she returned to her home in Hoover, Alabama

(Hoover Police Department)

Ariana BaioJuly 19, 2023 18:00


Surveillance video shows Carlee Russell returning home

Detectives with the Hoover Police Department said they obtained surveillance footage of Ms. Russell returning home two days after she was ‘kidnapped’.

The footage, obtained from a neighbour, shows Ms Russell “walking down the path alone”.

Police were sent to Miss Russell’s home when she returned where they found her “unresponsive but breathing”.

Miss Russell mysteriously disappeared after pulling her car off the intersection to help a toddler she claimed was walking on the interstate alone and in a stroller.

It is not clear what happened to Miss Russell in the two days she was missing but police are expected to provide an update this afternoon.

Ariana Baio19 July 2023 17:30


Carlee Russell’s employer breaks silence on ‘sensitive’ inquiry into her disappearance

A beauty spa where nursing student Carlee Russell was working the night she disappeared from an Alabama interstate says it is cooperating with a “sensitive” police investigation into her disappearance.

Miss Russell, 25, left the Woodhouse Spa in the luxury Summit shopping center in Birmingham at around 8.20pm on July 13, according to authorities.

In a statement to WVTMWoodhouse Spa owner Stuart Rome said he turned over “everything he found” to the Hoover Police Department.

Ariana BaioJuly 19, 2023 17:00


Police say they can discuss previously undisclosed ‘details’

I post on FacebookThe Hoover Police Department said they can discuss some details about Carlee Russell’s case that they have not previously discussed.

This includes how the authorities found no evidence of a missing toddler or toddler walking down the intersection nor did they find evidence that Ms. Russell had stopped to get a snack before she went missing.

Police also said they obtained surveillance video from Ms. Russell’s neighborhood showing her walking down the sidewalk alone before arriving at her family’s home.

“We understand that there are a lot of rumors and misinformation happening on both social and traditional media. While we understand the public’s interest in this incident, we must maintain the integrity of the case, so we are limited in terms of the information or statements we can release or confirm at this time,” police wrote.

Ariana Baio19 July 2023 16:30

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