Carlee Russell’s claim of being forced into an 18-wheeler sounds completely made up, a former FBI agent said.
Russell, 25, initially went missing after placing a 911 call on July 13 at 9:34 p.m., telling the operator that she saw a 3- to 4-year-old toddler walking along the southbound side of Interstate 459 near Birmingham, Alabama, according to the Hoover Police Department.
After calling 911, Russell called a relative and abruptly stopped talking, but the line “remained open,” according to police. She returned home at around 10:45 p.m. July 15, and was taken to a local hospital before being released. Police said there was no evidence that a toddler was on the interstate.
Russell allegedly told police in an interview that a man with orange hair came out of the woods to check on the toddler, but picked up Russell and made her go over a nearby fence.
Russell said that the man allegedly “forced her into a car” and the last thing she recalls is being inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler.
The man, according to Russell, had orange hair with a bald spot on the back of his head. She said that she was able to escape from the truck and fled the area on foot, but was captured again and placed into a car.
Russell then claimed she was blindfolded but “not tied up” since her alleged captor didn’t want to leave wrist imprints. Russell then told police she was taken by people to a house and forced to get undressed, and believes pictures were taken of her.
She also allegedly told police that the individuals didn’t have any sexual contact with her.
The following day after being taken, according to Russell’s conversation with police, she woke up and was “fed cheese crackers by the female.”
“She said the woman also played with her hair but could not remember anything else,” Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said of the interview with Russell. “At some point, she was put back in a vehicle she claims was able to escape while it was in the West Hoover area. She told detectives she ran through lots of woods, just came out near her residence.”
Detectives also noticed during the interview that Russell had a “small injury to her lip” and also “claimed that her head was hurting.”
Russell had $107 in her right sock when detectives interviewed her.
Former FBI Special Agent Jonathan Gilliam told Fox News Digital the claims by Russell sound made up in her mind.
“The whole thing doesn’t make sense. It almost sounds like a fantasy in her own mind,” Gilliam said.
Gilliam specifically questioned the portion of Russell’s claim where she says that her abductors didn’t tie her hands to avoid imprints from being left.
“Why would they care if there were marks on her wrists? Why would that be an issue for them? I mean, if you’re going to abduct somebody. I mean, it’s going to be known that they were abducted. So why would you worry about the marks on her wrist? That doesn’t make any sense to me,” Gilliam said.
Surveillance video showed Russell walking along the sidewalk before she went to her house July 15, officials said. No evidence of a toddler on the side of a highway was found by police during its investigation into Russell’s disappearance.
Police also said that data from Russell’s Life 360 application showed that the woman traveled 600 yards during the 911 call.
Derzis also said that Russell took a “dark-colored bathrobe, a roll of toilet paper” and other items that belonged to her employer, the Woodhouse Spa Birmingham, on July 13 at around 8:20 p.m.