July 18, 2024
July 18, 2024
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Alabama police still don’t have ‘any idea’ where Carlee Russell was during the 49 hours she was missing

Authorities in Hoover, Alabama are still puzzled by the whereabouts of Carlee Russell during the 49 hours she went missing in mid-July.

Russell, aged 24, was charged with misdemeanor false reporting of an incident and false reporting to law enforcement after she called 911 on July 13 at approximately 9:34 p.m. claiming there was a toddler in diapers on the side of Interstate 459. However, when the police arrived, Russell was nowhere to be found.

She reappeared on July 15 around 10:45 p.m. near the location where witnesses reported seeing her walking along the sidewalk earlier.

Emery Anthony, Russell’s attorney, stated in an email to the Hoover Police Department that his client confessed to fabricating the story about the baby on Interstate 459.

“My client acted alone in this incident. She did not have any assistance,” the statement read. “From the time she went missing, my client was by herself and not in the company of anyone. She extends her apologies to the community, the volunteers who searched for her, the Hoover Police Department, other agencies, as well as her friends and family.”

During a press briefing on Friday, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis expressed uncertainty about Russell’s activities during the 49 hours she was missing.

“We are still unaware of Carlee Russell’s whereabouts during those 49 hours,” Derzis stated.

Derzis acknowledged the public’s frustration with the perception that Russell is receiving lenient treatment.

“The current laws only permit the charges that have been filed,” Derzis explained. “I will be reaching out to our state legislators in Montgomery to propose amendments to the existing legislation to include stricter penalties for individuals who falsely report crimes like kidnapping.”

Anthony, in an interview with journalists, urged the public to accept his client’s apology.

“We appeal to the viewers to forgive Carlee,” Anthony said. “Please keep her in your thoughts and understand that we are all fallible.”

Russell initially told law enforcement that a man with orange hair emerged from the woods to check on the toddler, but then grabbed her and forced her over a nearby fence.

She claimed that the man coerced her into a vehicle and her last memory was being inside the trailer of a large truck.

According to Russell, the man had orange hair with a bald spot at the back of his head. She recounted managing to escape from the truck and running away on foot, only to be recaptured and placed in a car.

Russell alleged that she was blindfolded but not physically restrained to avoid leaving marks on her wrists. She informed the police that she was taken to a house, undressed against her will, and believes photographs were taken of her.

She also stated that there was no sexual contact with the individuals who held her captive.

The day after her abduction, as per Russell’s statement to the police, she woke up and was given cheese crackers by a woman.

“She mentioned that the woman played with her hair but could not recall anything else,” shared Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis regarding Russell’s account. “At one point, she was placed back in a vehicle and managed to escape while in the West Hoover area. She claimed to have run through extensive woods and emerged near her residence.”

Alabama Police Puzzled by Carlee Russell’s Disappearance

Alabama police are still baffled by the disappearance of 19-year-old Carlee Russell, who went missing for 49 hours before being found. The young woman vanished from her family’s home in Leeds, Alabama, sparking a massive search effort that ultimately ended in relief when she was located unharmed. However, authorities are no closer to uncovering where Russell was during the time she was missing.

The Disappearance

On February 15, 2022, Carlee Russell disappeared from her family’s home in Leeds, Alabama, leaving behind only her phone and keys. Her family immediately reported her missing, prompting a widespread search by local law enforcement and volunteers. Russell was eventually found safe and sound 49 hours later, but the question remains: where was she during that time?

Police Investigation

Despite extensive efforts by law enforcement, including interviews with Russell and her family, reviewing surveillance footage, and tracking her phone records, authorities still have no concrete answers. Leeds Police Chief Jim Atkinson stated, “We have no idea where she was during those 49 hours.” The lack of information has left investigators stumped and the community on edge.

Speculations and Theories

With little to go on, various speculations and theories have emerged about Russell’s disappearance. Some believe she may have run away or gotten lost, while others suspect foul play. However, without solid evidence or leads, these theories remain just that—speculations.

Family’s Relief

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Carlee Russell’s disappearance, her family is grateful that she was found unharmed. Her mother, Sarah Russell, expressed relief and gratitude to everyone who helped in the search efforts. “We are just so thankful to have her home safe,” she said.

Lessons Learned

Carlee Russell’s case serves as a reminder of the importance of community support in times of crisis. The outpouring of support from volunteers, law enforcement, and the public played a crucial role in finding her. It also highlights the need for vigilance and quick action when a loved one goes missing.

Practical Tips for Families

In light of Carlee Russell’s disappearance, it’s essential for families to have a plan in place in case a similar situation occurs. Here are some practical tips to consider:

  • Keep important contact numbers handy
  • Have recent photos and descriptions of family members readily available
  • Teach children how to stay safe and seek help if they get lost
  • Stay in touch with neighbors and community members for support


While the mystery of Carlee Russell’s disappearance continues to perplex authorities, the main takeaway from this incident is the power of community and the importance of being prepared for emergencies. As the investigation into Russell’s disappearance remains ongoing, the support and vigilance of the community will undoubtedly play a crucial role in uncovering the truth.



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