Photo credit Carlee Russell/Hoover Police Department.
Attorney Apologizes for Kidnapping Hoax On Behalf of Carlee Russell
25-year-old Alabama woman Carlee Russell reportedly lied about being abducted on the Hoover Interstate. In the aftermath, she’s been ousted from her job and an attorney has apologized on her behalf.
Details about Carlethia "Carlee" Nichole Russell’s disappearance have officially been cleared up. During a news conference on Monday (July 26), her attorney, Emory Anthony, admitted in a letter that the 25-year-old woman didn’t see a toddler wandering on Alabama’s Hoover Interstate and staged a kidnapping, which led nationwide efforts to search for her.
Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis read the statement during the news conference, where the lawyer explained more about the hoax that began on July 13. Russell was missing for 49 hours before she returned to her parents' home, but it was discovered that she hadn’t left the Hoover area.
"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 read.
Russell’s attorney also stated that she acted alone, calling 911 just after 9:30 p.m. to report seeing a toddler on Interstate 459 South. The woman also had contact with a relative before she went missing for just over two days, saying that she was going to help the child.
The Hoover Police Department is now consulting with the district attorney’s office for possible criminal charges against Russell. Last week, it was found that in the days prior to Russell’s disappearance, she Google-searched topics about paying for Amber Alerts, purchasing bus tickets from Birmingham to Nashville, and the 2008 movie Taken, where the protagonist’s daughter is abducted in Paris.
Russell, a nursing student at Jefferson State Community College, has also been fired from her former job at the Woodhouse Spa in Birmingham. Staff members were furious with the woman for falsifying her disappearance, to which they passed out flyers during off times. Russell’s ex-boyfriend, Thomar Latrell Simmons, initially defended her, asking the public to stop “bullying” her, but has since released a statement about falling for a “false narrative.”
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