Alabama Woman Admits To Lying About Seeing Toddler On Side Of The Road, Abduction

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An Alabama woman admitted Monday to faking her two-day “abduction” after she allegedly tried to help a toddler on the side of the road.

Carlee Russell, 25, said via a statement from her lawyer, Emory Anthony, that she was not abducted from the side of I-459 on July 13. Russell also said that despite earlier claims to the contrary — including a 911 call — she had not seen an abandoned toddler wandering along the side of the interstate when she stopped her vehicle, The New York Times reported.

“There was no kidnapping on Thursday, July 13, 2023. 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 — this was a single act done by herself,” Anthony stated in a letter read by the Hoover Police Department at a news conference July 24.

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After calling 911 on July 13 to report a wandering toddler on the side of the road, Russell made a call to family members in which she could allegedly be heard asking the child if he was okay. Moments later, family members reported hearing Russell scream and contacted authorities, who found Russell’s still-running vehicle  abandoned on the side of the highway. Russell’s alleged disappearance from the side of the interstate resulted in a two-day search before she inexplicably appeared on the doorstep of her home, after allegedly “fighting for her life” and escaping her purported abductor on foot. (RELATED: Woman Spent Two Days ‘Fighting For Her Life’ After Allegedly Being Kidnapped Along Alabama Highway)

“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,” Anthony’s statement continued. “Carlee again asks for your forgiveness.”

The Hoover Police Department has been in contact with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office about possible criminal charges against Russell for the apparent hoax, police chief Nicholas Derzis said at the news conference.