What Happened to Carlee Russell? Cops Detail What Alabama Woman Told Them of Time Missing, Her Search History
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis shared new information about the incident surrounding the disappearance and return of 25-year-old Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell in Alabama.
Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell returned home 49 hours after the 25-year-old called 911 to report a toddler walking alone on the side of the road, and then called a family member to tell them the same, according to police. As the family member was on the phone with Russell, they heard her scream then the line went blank, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis told reporters Wednesday as he shared new information about the incident surrounding Russell's disappearance.
After a two-day search, Russell was found alive outside her home. She was taken to the hospital to be evaluated and gave police a statement.
Derzis said that Russell told them that while she was on the phone with her family member, a man came out from the trees, grabbed her and forced her into a car.
Police said Russell told them that over the next two days, she was moved to the trailer of an 18-wheeler, escaped and was recaptured. Authorities said Russell told police she was taken to a home where she was made to get undressed and that she believes pictures were taken of her. She said she then was put into a vehicle, from which she finally escaped and was able to find her way back to her house, officials said.
Police noted that she had an injury to her lip and a tear in her shirt, and Russell told them that her head was hurting, according to Derzis.
Russell has not spoken to the police since she gave her initial statement, but investigators had requested additional interviews, Derzis said. Police said they have found no evidence of a toddler walking along the highway.
As part of the investigation, Hoover Police partnered with several other agencies in an attempt to find Russell and continued to work with them to determine what happened to her during the 49 hours she was missing.
Derzis said that internet search history from the day of and days prior to Russell’s disappearance are “very relevant to this case.”
Russell's alleged searches included questions related to if you had to pay for an Amber Alert, how to steal from a register without getting caught, a search about the movie "Taken" and searches for bus tickets to Tennessee for the day of her disappearance, according to Derzis.
There were other searches that investigators believe could shed light on Russell's mindset but Derzis said he would not be sharing them out of respect for her privacy.
At this time, investigators have been unable to verify most of what Russell initially told police, Derzis said.
“We have no reason to believe that there is a threat to public safety related to this particular case,” Derzis said.
The investigation is ongoing.
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