A local lawyer has said he cannot believe that Carlee Russell, who claims she was abducted from the side of a road, has not yet been arrested.
Russell, 25, claims she was kidnapped in Alabama and held captive for two days, but local police have said they cannot corroborate any of her claims.
Now Alabama attorney Eric Guster has said police are using every means possible to avoid saying she lied, but he thinks it’s clear Russell wasted police time and money.
‘She says that she was abducted, and that an abduction did not occur. [They say] our citizens are safe. There is no hijacker out there. Therefore, they use all the other synonyms for lying, except saying that she lied, told WVTM.
Student nurse Russell has now stopped cooperating with police, but initially told authorities she was abducted by a white man with ‘orange hair’ who appeared from the trees on the side of I-459 after he saw a ‘baby in diapers’ walking down the road last Thursday around 9:30 p.m.
Carlee returned home 49 hours after she went missing, and her parents said she was “in bad shape.” Carlee is now refusing to be interviewed by the police a second time after initially claiming that she was kidnapped.
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said Carlee’s story could not be proven.
Guster says Police Chief Nick Derzis has outlined three crimes they believe Carlee committed: robbery, lying to authorities, and filing a false police report.
He says that in light of that, he’s surprised she hasn’t been arrested yet.
Guster also told the outlet that she is concerned that this case could affect future missing persons cases, particularly for African-American women.
“It’s going to be a lot harder for African-American women to be believed, and it may actually decrease the amount of actual reporting of things because people are already afraid of not being believed,” she said.
Guster said he expects Carlee to be charged with filing a false police report, but says police are likely waiting to complete their investigation first.
‘They cannot force her to testify or testify. What I think will happen is that Hoover will continue to investigate this case.
“I expect Carlee to be charged at some point, at the very least, for making a false statement. But they have to make sure they finish the full investigation,’ she said yesterday.
It comes after the mother of kidnapped and murdered Alabama teen Aniah Blanchard struck back at Russell.
Angela Harris, who is campaigning to help raise awareness about kidnappings after her own daughter was kidnapped and murdered in 2019, helped search for Carlee Russell. She said Tuesday that the truth about Russell’s baffling case will eventually emerge.
Carlee reappeared Saturday night at her parents’ house. It remains a mystery what happened to her.
Carlethia ‘Carlee’ Nichole Russell, 25, is seen pulling into the side lane in her red Mercedes with her blinkers on. Police say she drove 600 yards before stopping, the distance of six football fields, and she claimed that the whole time she was looking at a little boy.
The mysterious disappearance and reappearance of Carlee Russell in Alabama last week
Angela Harris, whose 19-year-old daughter was kidnapped and brutally murdered in 2309, led the desperate search to find Carlee Russell before she turned up alive, and now she has warned the family: “Things will come out.”
Harris seemed emotional as she issued a 10-minute TikTok statement after Russell’s comeback over the weekend.
“Things will work out,” he stated in the video.
“But I’d do it all over again, in a heartbeat, I’d get up and walk away.”
Exhausted after the weekend search, Harris, who suffers from an autoimmune disease, said she was delighted that Russell was now home.
Emotional, tearful and, at times, visibly furious, Harris told her followers on social media that they should always be on their guard, regardless of this case, repeatedly warning that there were “predators everywhere.”
“I’m not going to address what happened, what didn’t happen,” said Harris, whose daughter was brutally murdered by 32-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed after she was last seen at a gas station in October 2019.
But put yourself in the place of a mother. It’s a miracle that, for two days, her son is gone, and then she gets it back.
Angela Harris’s daughter, Aniah Blanchard, was last seen on October 23, 2019 at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama, before she was kidnapped and killed by 32-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed.
“That’s so overwhelming I can’t even tell you how I broke down.”
Harris said that whatever emerged from Russell’s story, the essential lesson was vigilance.
‘Yes, we are in danger,’ he said. This situation doesn’t matter. It matters that you are aware.
Harris said she will speak more about the case on Thursday and thanked her followers on Facebook.
Aniah’s father, Elijah, also said that her wounds had been reopened and that it was not right to bring her family on the search.
Writing on Facebook, the grieving father wrote: ‘Please understand that it is not okay to put my family through this by bringing Aniah Blanchard through this. My daughter was kidnapped and she was really fighting for her life. People don’t want this kind of damage.
Police said they tracked Russel’s every move and corroborated her story until the 911 call where Carlee reported seeing a young child on the interstate. Police have found no evidence to support that sighting.
“We know almost exactly what happened from the time he left work until he got the 911 call,” said Derzis, the Hoover police chief.
Carlee’s parents say she “knocked on the door” on Saturday at 10:45 p.m. and was in “disrepair.”
“Carlee has given her statement to detectives so they can continue to pursue her kidnapper,” her mother Talitha Russell (left) said in an interview Tuesday.
Carlee Russell, seen with her boyfriend, reappeared at her parents’ home in Hoover on Saturday night, 48 hours after disappearing off the side of an interstate highway.
‘We can see getting out of the car on the interstate in that video.
‘After that, I think only she knows. We do not.
He added: ‘We have asked to interview Carlee a second time, but that request has not been granted.
‘As you can see, many questions remain to be answered, but only Carlee can provide those answers.
“What we can say is that we have not been able to verify most of Carlee’s initial statement to investigators and have no reason to believe that there is a public safety threat associated with this particular case.”
Detectives stopped short of accusing her of malicious lying, but instead questioned her state of mind, saying they were now struggling to believe her story.
Carlee’s parents, Talitha and Carlos Russell, are said to shield her from further questioning.
Carlee’s parents bought her whole story and repeated it on the TODAY show Monday after Carlee reappeared at their house with a split lip and in “bad shape.”
“She fought for her life,” said her father Carlos, vice president of underwriting at BBVA bank.
Now, they have gone ashore.
Questions linger over whether the 25-year-old nursing student and spa worker may be criminally involved, while friends and neighbors who have joined the family demand answers.
Filing a false police report in Alabama is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $6,000 fine.
The owner of the spa where she now worked also wants to know if the $102 in cash found in her sock came from her cash register.
Hoy told Good Morning America that Carlee was a pleasant employee who got along well with the rest of the staff.
It also emerged that Russell researched the Liam Neeson film ‘Taken’ and whether he was too old for an Amber Alert, as well as looking for a one-way bus ticket to Nashville.