UPDATE (July 16, 2023): Carlee Russell has been found safe!
It’s with great concern that I report Carlee Russell of Alabama has vanished after calling 911 to report a toddler walking on the highway in Hoover.
According to the Hoover Police Department, the 25-year-old, whose full name is Carlethia Nichole Russell, called 911 emergency dispatchers just after 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.
She informed them that she had stopped to check on a young child she saw walking on the side of Interstate 459 between the flyover to the Galleria and Highway 150.
After speaking to 911, Carlee Russell immediately called her brother’s girlfriend to tell her what was going on.
Carlee’s mother, Talitha Russell said:
My son’s girlfriend heard her asking the child, ‘Are you OK?’
She never heard the child say anything but then she heard our daughter scream.
All you hear on her phone is background noise from the interstate.
Responding officers located Carlee’s abandoned red Mercedes Benz – still running, but vacant.
Her car door was open.
They found her phone on the ground, along with her wig and her hat…
Her purse was still in the car.
Her Apple watch was in her purse and her Air Pods as well.
Police Lt. Daniel Lowe said in a news conference Friday:
A single witness has reported possibly seeing gray vehicle with a light-complected male standing outside of Carlee Russell’s vehicle.
But, we have no further information on that individual or the vehicle at this time.
Talitha Russell said a tip was called in from a trucker.
He saw a gray car with a tall brown-skinned man with khaki shorts on leaning over in the car.
The police did find some tire tracks in the grass.
They said because it was not a muddy area, they were not able to determine what type of vehicle it could have been.
Lowe said a massive search was ongoing involving local, state, and federal agencies.
A large group of volunteers organized by Carlee’s parents were also assisting in the search effort.
An anonymous donor has put up $20,000 and Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000.
Carlee Russell is 5 feet and 4 inches tall. She weighs between 150 and 160 pounds.
She was last seen wearing a black shirt, white Nike shoes, and black pants.
If you have any information about Carlee Russell please contact Detective Brad Fountain at 205-444-7562.
You can also call Sergeant Drew Mims at 205-739-7274, or Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama at 205-254-7777.
Please join me in praying for Carlee’s safe return.