Found Alive AL - Carlethia “Carlee” Russell, 25, 911 call reported toddler walking on side of interstate, car found, she & toddler gone, Birmingham, 13 Jul ‘23 #3

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Absolute respect for Hoover AL PD.
Sad and concerned for Carlee.
i think she is extraordinarily vulnerable and I hope a close eye is being kept upon her.

Public humiliation at this level is likely to drive her deeper into whatever problem she has.
Her nursing career is over, she will be unable to find any kind of work now.

I think for her own sake and the sake of the resources she has abused that it would be best if she received a custodial sentence with appropriate psychiatric care and a rehab programme geared for former prisoners will be her best chance to restart her life.

She's still a victim, a victim of her own delusions and cruel words won't do anything except add to her problems.

I feel utter compassion for her parents.
I do believe they believed her.
I hope they, too, get the love and support that they need.

There are no winners and Carlee is the biggest loser.
Even though she created this situation.

I'm also concerned about all the others who never get a thread or a mention on MSM, the victims who are not believed and all the unfound.
CR's last Tweets were on July 13, 2023, and when I first heard she located a toddler in a diaper on the Interstate, I thought of her final tweet (Tweets are posted in PT):

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ETA: All of Alabama is Central Time Zone-- add two hours to posted time.

<modsnip: Quoted post was modsnipped>
I am not Twitter savvy, but the time stamps appear ok to me. the last, about God watching out for her shows 8:55pm. If I add two hours the tweet would have occurred during those 49 hours she claims she was the victim of a crime.
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<modsnip: Screenshot not allowed>

As outrageous as it sounds, I wonder if something as simple as this set this whole sequence of events in motion. She was feeling ignored/dismissed by someone and decided to bring attention to herself in a BIG way. She didn't want to slip quietly off the grid for a few days; she easily could have driven herself up to Nashville if that's where she wanted to go. She wanted the attention of an Amber Alert, police lights, panic, utter chaos and intentionally set up a scenario that would draw a huge amount of worry and fear - for her, for the toddler, fear of a kidnapper.

People keep asking, "But, why would she do something so ridiculous?" The 100% entire answer to that question is she wanted someone's attention. I don't think she wanted (or correctly calculated) the attention of the entire public - like a school or mass shooter - I think she wanted the attention of a particular person. Who that might be I have no idea, but I think it's very specific.

My opinions only.
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Good question. I’m not aware of any reports of what she was wearing, but in today’s presser the Police Chief said when EMT’s responded to her house she had a small cut on her lip and her shirt had a tear in it.
I figure that there is a fence back there that she climbed over. In the dark, she probably hit her lip and tore her shirt in the process. Sorry, but I don't believe that the trucker carried her over the fence. My husband would break his back trying to lift me. That's my reference.

I'm not sure Carlee really wanted to be a Nurse or if her Psychology degree may have had credits that pushed her in that direction. From her 2020 post, it sounded like she applied to several Nursing programs and was rejected. Do you get rejected because of your grades? What are the requirements for getting into Nursing school?
Actually, nursing credentials such as the LPN and RN are based on successfully passing a national licensure examination, and pre-license nursing education programs vary.

For example, she's reportedly enrolled in Jefferson Community College for their prelicensure program per the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) reports a 95% NCLEX pass rate. Jefferson CC also has a low GPA and test score entrance requirement.

On the other hand, a Baccalaureate Degree (BSN) RN Program at Auburn Univ - Montgomery where Carlee reportedly earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, the ABN cites a 84.82% pass rate.

CR's last Tweets were on July 13, 2023, and when I first heard she located a toddler in a diaper on the Interstate, I thought of her final tweet (Tweets are posted in PT):

<modsnip: screenshots not allowed>

ETA: All of Alabama is Central Time Zone-- add two hours to posted time.
<modsnip: Quoted post was modsnipped>
The timestamps are in the timezone of the person that's seeing the tweets.
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Yikes. Car license plates? We usually are in rental cars or Uber. We have never been asked for license plates. I don't think?? Our rooms are usually paid in full before we even arrive. I think that the policy says that you have 48 hours to cancel and get a refund. We travel quite a bit, oftentimes with my husband's job.

He is in Birmingham right now and I'm sure doesn't have a clue about Carlee or the aftermath. In fact, I know a lot of people there; and they are not familiar with her case, which I find kind of strange.

They ask for license plates if you're gonna use their parking spots. Nothing weird here.


- Thank you and good afternoon for you all coming today. You know, 6 days ago, our community learned about the disappearance of Carlee Russell, and it sent fear and pandemonium, not just through our city, but the entire state and the nation as well. The media quickly joined us to get the word out about Carlee. Our community sprung into action and they organised search parties, arranged prayer vigils and they took other steps that I'm not even aware of, to help in this situation. The Hoover Police Department quickly rallied multiple partner agencies, stopping at nothing, to find Carlee.

I'd like to take this time to say thank you, first to the Hoover Police Department, our partner agencies, our wonderful community and to all those that aided in some way in connection with this situation.

As the days have gone on and more information has been shared, we know everyone has questions. The Hoover Police Department is known for being very methodical and thorough with investigations. For that reason, we did not feel comfortable speaking in detail, publicly, until now. It is important that we share this information, now, so that our community can be put at ease. So at this time, I'll turn the microphone over to Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis.

CHIEF - Thank you everyone for being here today. Beside me, stands a team who played a significant role in this investigation. I want to thank our department, members of surrounding local law enforcement agencies, the FBI, Secret Service, United States Marshals and Alia, for their assistance in this case. We said, from the evening of July 13th., our focus would be the safe return of Carlee Russell. That occurred on Saturday July 15th., approximately 49 hrs. after she called 911 and disappeared. From that point, our focus has been to determine Carlee's whereabouts during that time and what exactly took place.

Let me say up front, this investigation is not over, we're still working this case and we'll be working this case until we uncover every piece of evidence that helps us account for the 49 hrs. that Carlee Russell was missing. However, through the public interest, and in some cases, public fear that this story has generated, we owe it to our citizens to tell them the facts that we have uncovered. So, I will give you the facts that we know today.

On July 13th., at approximately 8:20 pm., Carlee left work from a business at the Summit, surveillance video from her place of employment shows Carlee concealed a dark coloured bathrobe, a roll of toilet paper, and other items belonging to the business, prior to her departure. She ordered food from Taziki’s at the Colonade and travelled there. She then travelled to Target on 280, where she purchased some granola bars and cheeses. From there, she remained in the parking lot, at that shopping centre, until 9:21 pm., when she drove to I-459.

Carlee communicated, on her cell phone, with individuals known to her while in her path of travel, up to the point of calling 911 at 9:34 pm., and at this time, we will play the 911 call in its entirety.

(911 call is played. Full transcript of call from link @arielilane provided here Found Alive - AL - Carlethia “Carlee” Russell, 25, 911 call reported toddler walking on side of interstate, car found, she & toddler gone, Birmingham, 13 Jul ‘23 #3)

Carlee called a relative after speaking with the 911 operator. She went missing during that conversation, sometime after 9:36 pm. Traffic camera footage was obtained which depicted this portion of the incident and that footage was analysed as part of the investigation in conjunction with the 911 call and cell phone data to accurately determine the timeframe. Carlee's 911 call remains the only report of a child on the interstate, despite numerous vehicles passing through the area at that time. No one has called a report that a child is missing and the Hoover Police Department did not locate any evidence of a small child walking down the interstate. Data from Carlee's phone, including her Life360 app shows that she travelled approximately 600 yds., in her vehicle, while she was on the phone with 911, stating that she was following a child; 600 yards - that is 6 football fields straight - 600 yards. The Hoover 911 centre received a second call from Carlee's mother stating that a relative was on the phone with her when they heard Carlee scream and then they had an open phone line.

Hoover police officers arrived on the scene within five minutes of being dispatched, and several other officers arrived shortly. They located Carlee's wig and cell phone in the grass, near the vehicle. Her purse was located in the front seat of her vehicle with her Apple Watch in the purse. The food she ordered, from Taziki’s, was also in the car. The items she purchased from Target, as well as the items taken from her place of employment, were not in the vehicle, nor were they located anywhere around the scene.

Hoover police deployed all available assets, from the point in the search for Carlee. Additional resources were called in, to include; our own drone unit, crime scene investigators, numerous detectives responded to the scene. Throughout the day, Friday, officers from surrounding local and federal agencies assisted Hoover police in the search for Carlee Russell. Officers returned to the scene on 459 to conduct a thorough line search for evidence. K-9 teams from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department responded to check for any sign of Carlee, the child that she claimed to see and anything else that could be considered evidence in this case; those searches all turned up empty.

Private citizens, including: search parties, organised by her family, friends, began looking everywhere that they could to find any trace. These searches took place throughout the day Friday and again on Saturday, yielding nothing. At 10:44 pm. on July 15th., the Hoover 911 centre receives a call from Carlee's residence, stating that she returned home, on foot. In subsequent investigations, detectives obtained surveillance footage of Carlee walking down the sidewalk, alone, prior to arrival at her residence. She was conscious and speaking with paramedics when she was transported to UAB. Detectivess were able to obtain a brief statement from her, prior to being treated and released. During this statement, she told detectives, that while travelling down the interstate, she saw a baby walking down the side of the road and called 911. She stated, when she got out of her vehicle to check on the child, a man came out of the trees and mumbled that he was checking on the baby. She claimed that the man then picked her up and she screamed. She stated he then made her go over a fence, she claims he then forced her into a car and the next thing she remembers is being in the trailer of an 18 Wheeler. She stated that the male was with a female, however, she never saw the female, only hearing her voice. She also told detectives she could hear a baby crying. She told detectives the male had orange hair with a big bald spot on the back. She said she was able to escape the 18 Wheeler and fled on foot, only to be captured again and then was put in a car. She claimed she was then blindfolded but was not tied up, because the captor said they did not want to leave impressions on her wrists. She said that they took her into a house and made her get undressed. She believes they took pictures of her but she does not remember them having any physical or sexual contact. She stated, the next day she woke up, and was fed cheese crackers by the female. She said the woman also played with her hair, but could not remember anything else. At some point, she was put back in a vehicle. She claimed she was able to escape while it was in the West Hoover area. She told detectives she ran through lots of woods until she came out near her residence. During this interview, detectives noted that Carlee had a small injury to her lip and she claimed that her head was hurting. She also had a tear in her shirt. Detectives also noted that she had $107 cash in her right sock. Out of respect for Carlee and her family, detectives did not press for additional information in this interview and made plans to speak with her in detail after giving her time to rest.

Detectives continued analysing data from Carlee's cell phone, that was left behind at the scene. We enlisted the help of United States Secret Service in conducting this analysis. Part of that data includes several internet searches, in the days leading up to her disappearance, that I think are very relevant to this case.

  • On July 11th., at 7:30 am., the term 'you have to pay for an Amber Alert' was searched.
  • On July 13th., at 1:03 am., the day of her disappearance, the term 'how to take money from a register without being caught', was searched.
  • On July 13th., at 2:13 am., the day of her disappearance, the term 'Birmingham bus station', was searched.
  • On July 13th., at 2:35 am., a search for a one way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville was conducted with a departure date of July 13th.
  • On July 13th., at 12:10 pm., a search for the movie 'Taken' a film about abduction, was conducted.

There were 2 searches later to Amber Alerts on a computer at Carlee's place of employment, including one regarding the maximum age of an Amber Alert. There were other searches on Carlee's phone that appeared to shed some light on her mindset, but out of respect for her privacy, we will not be releasing the content of those searches at this time.

We've asked to interview Carlee a second time but have not been granted that request. As you can see, there are many questions left to be answered, but only Carlee can provide those answers. What we can say, is that we've been unable to verify most of Carlee's initial statement made to investigators, and we have no reason to believe that there is a threat to the public safety related to this particular case. Thank you very much.

REPORTER - Chief, do you expect any charges against Carlee Russell in connection with the disappearance and anything that was taken from the Woodhouse Spa?

CHIEF - Right now, our focus is to determine those 49 hrs., so the investigation continues. So, to be perfectly honest with you that hasn't even entered our mind or been discussed.

REPORTER - Is it surprising to you that the family has not been cooperative (inaudible) Carlee to be questioned?

CHIEF - Well, I think the fact the family stated to us that they didn't think that in her mental state right now, because of trauma of the incident, that she's not ready to talk, is what we've been told.

REPORTER - You stated that the abductor had orange hair - was this abductor a black male, was it a female, black female, white female?

CHIEF - I believe it's a white male.

REPORTER - Is this alleged abductor on the loose in the Hoover area?

CHIEF - I don't believe so.

REPORTER - Has a toxicology report been done? and were any drugs or illegal substances found in her system?

CHIEF - We have no report of that.

REPORTER - Is there any indication of mental illness in this case?

CHIEF - Not that I'm aware of.

REPORTER - There's been a concern in the community that if this turned out not to be a true story, that the next time a young woman of colour was missing, that it might not be taken seriously. How would you respond to that?

CHIEF - I'd respond to say that - we investigate every crime to the fullest, just like we have this one.

REPORTER - Was she travelling with anyone since the time she disappeared, to your knowledge?

CHIEF - Not to my knowledge.

REPORTER - Chief, I know you said you weren't able to verify a lot of aspects of the story - where do you think she went? and how would you characterise what happened here?

CHIEF - You know, that's the $100 question. You know, we pretty much know exactly what took place from the time she left work, until she got on the 911 call and we can see her getting out of that car on the interstate, from that footage, and after that - I think she only knows, we don't know.

REPORTER - One quick follow-up - her parents; Did you speak with Carlee's parents and why do you think it is they were so adamant that there was an abductor?

CHIEF - Yeah. I think the parents are believing what their daughter's saying and we've had a very good rapport with the parents; met with them on several occasions. I've talked to them today a few times to make them understand that we're under pressure from our community, not only in our community of the state, but nationally when this story hit, and I just wanted them to understand that today we were going to have a press conference and what we were going to detail today are facts and everything that I've told you today is actual facts. It's not innuendos. It's not what I think, it's not what these detectives think, it is the factual information that we have.

REPORTER - How much time do you think you'll give the family before going back to Carlee for a 2nd interview?

CHIEF - Well, I think our detectives have talked to the parents and we're ready to talk as soon as she's ready. So you know, if she called right now, we're ready.

REPORTER - If you had one word to describe what went on - what would that word be?

CHIEF - How about.. unknown. We know the facts that we have, everything else is unknown at this time.

REPORTER - What have the past few days been like for you and your department? This has been a stressful search hasn't it?

CHIEF - Well absolutely, and again, the focus of the investigation, that Thursday, when she went missing, of course, the focus was to get Carlee home. That's what we all wanted, we wanted her safe and sound and that's all happened. And then, of course, this has gotten to be, not only a local state story but a national story. So you know, it is, it's a lot of stress on everyone in the Hoover Police Department, the Mayor, to every citizen here. We want to know the truth.

REPORTER - As you stand here, are you frustrated?

CHIEF - I wouldn't say I'm frustrated. I mean, I'm very happy that Carlee's home, that was the main ingredient here, and then we'll figure it out, I promise you that, we'll end up figuring it out.

REPORTER - Any idea about the number of manpower hours or the expense of the drones and all the rest of the searches that might have cost the city and the state and federal government?

CHIEF - We haven't had time to consider that but, again, these detectives that are here, this is just a small group of people that have been associated with this case. We have put every available resource that we have on this case, because we wanted to make sure that we found out everything, we wanted to get her home and we have.

REPORTER - Chief was there any prior indication of mental health problems?

CHIEF - Not that I'm aware of.

REPORTER - Can you just expand on the people from the state, federal resources brought in - what were they doing exactly as you all were searching for her, can you expand on that?

CHIEF - Yeah, sure. From the FBI side - several agents helping us interview, I mean, as you well know, on a case like this, especially when it goes national, we got hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of calls and when you get those calls, some of them may just be outlandish, but you've got to follow up on them because you never know that you may get that one tidbit and I'd also say too that we had a great cooperation with the family. The family received hundreds and hundreds of tips and every time they got a tip they sent it to us.

REPORTER - Would you say a crime has been committed?

CHIEF - No, we have not determined that, no.

REPORTER - With all of the searches that you mentioned that were on Carlee's phone - does that kind of give you an indication of her mind state during this ordeal in the 48 hrs. that she went missing?

CHIEF - Yes. Well, again, we want to talk in facts and I do think it's highly, highly unusual, the day that someone gets kidnapped, that 7/8 hrs. before that, that they're searching the internet, googling the movie 'Taken' about an abduction. I find that very, very strange. Yes.

REPORTER - Do you feel confident... do your investigators feel confident that you know why Carlee Russell may have done this?

CHIEF - No. We do not know, absolutely not.

REPORTER - Can you explain to us - while Carlee was on the phone to 911 she was travelling the length of 6 football fields, which tells you what?

CHIEF - Which tells me that - I've had kids, and I'm sure a lot of people here have, and it's very very again, she said it, and I'm not saying it couldn't happen, because I've always been one of these guys never say never, but 6 football fields. I like athletics, I like football, 6 football fields - to think that a toddler, barefoot, that could be 3 or 4 yrs. old is going to travel 6 football fields, without getting in the roadway, without crying, without any... just moving down, it's just very hard for me to understand.

REPORTER - Chief, have you used any technology to enchance that video from 4.59? and did you see a man grab her?

CHIEF - From what we can tell, we don't see anybody on the interstate, other than her car and then someone getting out of her driver's side. We have sent that off to the FBI for enhancement, it has not been returned.

REPORTER - Do you think in this case that charges will be forthcoming towards Carlee Russell? and how serious of a crime is it to not only fabricate a 911 call but to lie to law enforcement during an investigation?

CHIEF - Again, that's not something that we've discussed as we're still going through the investigation, but people have to understand that when someone says something like this, we put every available resource, everybody comes together, like I say: state, local federal, it's just a lot of work and the gentleman earlier said frustrated, it's a little frustrating to think that all this has been done and we can't find anything out.

REPORTER - Did anyone see her calling in from the side of the road when she made that 911 call?

CHIEF - Not to my knowledge.

REPORTER - Is this investigation held up until you can speak, once again, to Carlee Russell?

CHIEF - Well, there's a few things that we're still doing, but obviously we want to talk to Carlee as soon as we can and do an in depth interview and at that time, I think we'll have these investigators doing some other things.

So that's all the questions we're gonna answer today. We appreciate you guys coming and we'll be following up with you all later. Thank you so much.

A bit surprising that they have no report that toxicology was done.
I am not Twitter savvy, but the time stamps appear ok to me. the last, about God watching out for her shows 8:55pm. If I add two hours the tweet would have occurred during those 49 hours she claims she was the victim of a crime.
@Cubby, if you are reading the tweet on WS, my post is timestamped in PT.

However, if you click on the post and read the tweet on Twitter, the timestamp will be based on your respective time zone.

In other words, if you see 8:55 pm for my post at reading 6:55 pm, I believe you are in the central time zone and no adjustment is required.
It just dawned on me that some of you are reading the tweets in your time zone 9:55pm. In Alabama time thats 8:55pm right or am I wrong?
Im ET, at first i was like - wait what? 9:55pm on 7/13? She was performing the disappearing act at tht time. But even now its showing my time zone in Ga. Is that a screenshot too or link? Im not sure why this had me so floored lol
Emphasis mine.
Snipped for focus .
Thank you so much for transcribing all of this !
I found the bolded part to be of interest.
6 football fields !

What is also sad is that if there is a genuine abduction , the next time people may not take it so seriously.
This could hamper searches for future victims.
Maybe it's already been posted, but if the 911 call is 2 minutes long (??), then the car was covering 15 FEET per SECOND while she was on the phone with dispatch. That seems an unlikely walking pace for a toddler to keep up for so long, even if she and the child were separated by a gap that was closing, and the child wasn't (of course) walking at a fixed pace compared to her.
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