Missing Alabama woman, Carlee Russell, is back at home with family. Local police say she returned home on foot and alone on Saturday, July 15, after an unplanned stop in traffic led to her sudden disappearance on Thursday, July 13.
RELATED: Alabama Authorities Searching For Woman Who Went Missing After Reporting A Toddler Walking Along An Interstate
Amid her return home, Russell’s boyfriend also publicly denied involvement in her disappearance. Hoover Police Department investigators are withholding details of their interview with Carlee, per a statement released on Facebook.
Police Say Carlee Russell Returned Home Alone, Still Reviewing Traffic Camera Footage
Russell had been missing for two days after reportedly making a 911 call on July 13 to report a missing toddler wearing a diaper walking on the side of Interstate 459, as previously reported by The Shade Room.
Hoover Police Department says Carlee left work at 8:20 p.m., ordered food from a nearby business, and encountered the child after picking up her food. Police say they’ve confirmed no one was with Carlee from when she left The Colonnade area–where she got food from–until she made the 911 call. She contacted the police at 9:34 p.m. After hanging up, Carlee phoned a relative. During that call, she went missing, per the police statement.
“She went missing during that conversation sometime after 9:36 PM after telling both the 911 operator and the relative she had seen a male toddler in a diaper on the side of I-459 and was stopping to check on him,” Hoover Police Department’s statement said. Traffic camera footage was obtained, which depicted this portion of the incident, and that footage is still being analyzed as part of the investigation in conjunction with the 911 call to accurately determine the timeframe. Carlee’s 911 call remains the only timely report of a child on the interstate.”
The 25-year-old nursing student reportedly showed up at her parent’s house alone, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis told AL.com. Their statement added that their 911 center received a call from Carlee’s residence at 10:44 p.m. on July 15. They were told Russell had returned home on foot.
“Hoover Police and Fire responded to the residence where Carlee was located. She was immediately transported by the Hoover Fire Department to UAB Hospital to be evaluated and was treated and released. Detectives responded to the residence and to UAB to take an initial statement from Carlee,” the statement said. “The details of that statement are a part of the ongoing investigation, which is expected to continue over the next few days. During the initial portion of the investigation, detectives were able to retrace nearly all of Carlee’s steps until the point she went missing, and are confident that will continue to be the case.”
Local police say they’ve released all the details they can and will continue to provide updates, including press conference information. Meanwhile, the Independent reports that her family claims the alleged kidnapper(s) used the toddler as bait to kidnap her.
Carlee Russell’s Parents Speak Out About Her Safe Return Home
Carlee’s parents celebrated her safe return in a Facebook post on Sunday (July 16).
“Great morning!! My husband and I want to make this statement again as we did last night,” wrote Carlee’s mom, Talitha Robinson-Russell. “It’s nothing more to add or take away from how we’re feeling right now. God is faithful and He has answered our prayers We are so grateful to each of you for all the acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion you have shown Our baby is safe!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Father God”
Carlee’s mother asked for privacy as they attempt to heal from the traumatic event. Her family hasn’t slept for three nights, she said, while thanking the media for covering her daughter’s alleged abduction. The mother added that the family will be giving a general statement soon.
Carlee Russell’s Boyfriend Denies Involvement In Her Alleged Abduction
Meanwhile, Carlee’s boyfriend, Thomar Latrell Simmons, says he had nothing to do with her disappearance.
“I don’t even know how to start off this post but to only say thank you to my lord & savior Jesus Christ for saving my girlfriend’s life!” the post read. “Even when I would get on social media on my downtime & see some of the false allegations & assumptions about me having something to do with her abduction would have me discouraged at times, but I didn’t give up & kept my faith!”
Simmons went on to ask everyone to “respect Carlee’s situation.” He added that she is not in the right state to provide information on her alleged kidnapper.
“She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically & mentally stable again, she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment.”
According to Hoover police, one witness reportedly saw a male standing outside Ms. Russell’s car at the time of the incident. Authorities have not identified that man since Monday (Jul. 17). No arrests have been made. However, authorities say an investigation is ongoing.
This is a developing story. Be sure to check back in with The Shade Room for more updates as they come.