Carlethia ‘Carlee’ Russell, a woman who disappeared for two days and was found earlier this month, was not kidnapped, according to her attorney.

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis read a statement from Russell’s attorney Emory Anthony, which 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.”

Derzis ended the press conference by saying that Russell’s admission would not alter their ongoing investigation into her whereabouts the night she claimed to have been abducted. The motive for Russell’s abduction claims has not been revealed.

On July 13, Russell called 911 and told the responder she saw a toddler in a diaper walking along Hoover, Alabama’s Interstate 459. After hanging up the phone, she called her brother’s girlfriend, telling her the same story before pulling onto the shoulder of the road. According to Russell’s mother Talitha, the last thing that could be heard on the phone was Russell asking someone if they were all right. “[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, according to a statement from Hoover Police.  After an evaluation, she was released. 

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.


Chief Derzis stated on Monday that authorities are discussing possible criminal charges against Russell.

This is a developing story…