Carlee Russell Arrested After Confessing to Faking Her Own Abduction

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Jul. 28 2023, Published 3:33 p.m. ET

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26-year-old Carlee Russell was taken into police custody and charged with two misdemeanors after confessing to faking her own kidnapping earlier this month.

During a Friday, July 28, press conference, Hoover, Ala., Police Chief Nicholas Derzis revealed Russell turned herself in to the Hoover Police Department, where she was arrested for falsely reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident.

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Following her arrest and booking, Russell posted bond and was released from jail while she awaits further legal proceedings. If convicted, Russell could face up to one year in jail for each charge.

As OK! previously reported, the young woman seemingly disappeared on Thursday, July 13, after making a 911 call reporting that she'd stopped on the side of the I-459 Highway after allegedly witnessing a small child in a diaper walking alone on the side of the road. By the time authorities arrived at the scene, neither Russell nor the child were anywhere to be found.

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Following a frantic state-wide search, Russell returned to her parents' home alone and on foot on Saturday, July 15, claiming that she'd been kidnapped by a man who supposedly forced her to take lewd photos without any clothing on.

The Hoover PD stated they were "unable to verify" a majority of Russell's story and further discovered suspicious Internet searches about Amber alerts, one-way bus tickets out of town and research on the kidnapping-themed thriller Taken.

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On Monday, July 24, Russell's attorney confirmed their client had confessed to faking the abduction.

"There is 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," the lawyer said in a statement at the time.

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"This was a single act done by herself," the statement continued. "My client was not with anyone or any hotel with anyone from the time she was missing."

"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, [and] 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," they concluded.


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