Carlethia ‘Carlee’ Russell has been charged with filing a false police report and filing a false statement to law enforcement authorities after admitting that she lied about being kidnapped when she went missing for two days earlier this month.

In a press conference on Friday, the Hoover Police Department announced the charges and revealed that Russell turned herself into the police earlier that day and was released on a $2,000 bond. Police Chief Nick Derzis also said they had not uncovered more information about her whereabouts during her time missing or her motive to claim false kidnapping. He also said they were unable to confirm if she had acted alone.

The new charges come just days after Russell’s attorney, Emory Anthony, stated the 25-year-old had not been abducted as she and her family previously claimed.

“My client has given me permission to make the following statement on her behalf. 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 Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person. My client did not have help in this incident, that this was a single act done by herself. My client was not with anyone or any hotel with anyone from the time she was missing,” read Chief Derzis. “My client apologizes for her actions to this community, the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well as to 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.”

On July 13, Russell called 911 and told the responder she saw a toddler walking along Hoover, Alabama’s Interstate 459. She then called her brother’s girlfriend, telling her the same story before pulling onto the side of the road. According to Russell’s mother, Talitha, Russell was then heard on the phone asking if someone was all right before letting out a scream. “[Her brother’s girlfriend] never heard the child say anything, but then she heard our daughter scream,” Talitha told local news organization “From there, all you hear on her phone is background noise from the interstate.”

Following Russell’s reappearance two days later, authorities took her to a local hospital and she was released after an evaluation, according to a statement from Hoover Police.


Her disappearance fueled speculation and conspiracy theories on social media, and Russell’s family previously maintained that their daughter was abducted, telling the Today show last week they believed her alleged abductor was “absolutely” still out there.