Police Share New Details in Carlee Russell Disappearance
Police have released more information about the case of Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell, a 25-year-old nursing student who went missing in Hoover, Alabama for over 48 hours. She was found at her parents’ house on Saturday night.
On Thursday night, Russell disappeared after allegedly checking on a toddler in a diaper on the interstate. She called 911 and a family member to report the child. The family member heard her screaming after checking if the child was okay. The police arrived shortly after, but Russell was nowhere to be found despite her belongings being in her vehicle. Later on, she appeared on foot at her parents’ house, but it’s unclear what happened while she was missing.
According to a press release from the Hoover Police Department, Russell made a stop at a Target store to purchase snacks before her disappearance. The authorities stated that these snacks were not found in her vehicle or along with her cell phone and wig at the place where she was last seen.
The police department clarified that no evidence of a toddler walking on the interstate has been found. They also mentioned that no new reports about the toddler have been received, even though many vehicles have passed through the area as shown in a traffic camera video.
In addition, it was revealed that Russell was discovered by first responders “conscious and speaking and was transported [to the hospital] in that condition,” despite the initial dispatch referring to the patient as “unresponsive but breathing.”
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Public release of Russell’s testimony to police after she got home has not yet occurred.
The Hoover Police Department said in a press statement that this is the only information they can share for now. “We understand that there are numerous rumors and misinformation making the rounds in both social media and traditional media,” the release said. “While we understand the public interest in this incident, we must maintain the integrity of the case, thus we are limited in what information we can release or confirm at this time.”
On Tuesday morning, Russell’s parents told NBC in an interview that their daughter had been “abducted” and claimed that while she was missing, Russell was struggling both physically and mentally to stay alive.
“She’s having to deal with the trauma of people just making completely false allegations about her,” Russell’s mother, Talitha Robinson-Russell, responded to speculation and doubts about her daughter’s disappearance.
“She found her way back to us,” Robinson-Russell said. “However, we can’t discuss the details of that.”