Carlee Russell, the 25-year-old Alabama woman whose reported kidnapping led to a nationwide search, has revealed that her abduction was a hoax.
During a press conference on July 24, her lawyer, Emory Anthony, said the nursing student submitted a statement to the Hoover Police Department recanting her previous story about witnessing a toddler wandering on the side of a highway and being kidnapped.
“There was no kidnapping on Thursday, July 13, 2023,” Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis said, reading the statement. “My client did not see a baby on the side of the road. My client did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person. My client did not have any help in this incident, but this was a single act done by herself.”
Russell apologized to her community, the volunteers, the Hoover Police Department and other agencies that assisted in search efforts to locate her.
“As for her friends and family, we ask for your prayers for Carlee as she addresses her issues and attempts to move forward, understanding that she made a mistake in this matter. Carlee, again, asks for your forgiveness and prayers,” the statement concluded.
Derzis said that authorities are speaking with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office about “possible criminal charges related to this case” and police will provide another update “when and if they are filed.” The department also plans to meet with Anthony about the case.
The police chief shared that Russell was supposed to be interviewed by the police with Anthony on July 24, but the statement was sent instead.
Russell’s admission comes a few days after police said they were “unable to verify” most of the information she had shared with them about the kidnapping and that there was “no reason