Carlee Russell has been arrested and charged in connection to her kidnapping hoax earlier this month.
On July 13, the 25-year-old called 911 and reported seeing a toddler walking on Interstate 459 in Hoover.
After making the call, Carlee vanished for over 49 hours sparking a massive search for her whereabouts by law enforcement and her community.
Carlee Russell returned to her parent’s home on foot on Saturday, July 15, and told detectives she had been kidnapped by a man and a woman.
She stated she managed to escape and make her way home.
The Hoover Police Department conducted a thorough investigation with the assistance of the FBI and other agencies and peeled Carlee’s lies back like layers of an onion.
Days later, through her attorney, Carlee Russell admitted that she lied about seeing the child on the interstate and she lied about being kidnapped.
The Hoover Police Department charged Carlee Russell with filing a false police report and filing a false statement to law enforcement authorities.
Both are Class A misdemeanors.
Carlee turned herself in on Friday, July 28, and was arrested.
She smiled big and pretty in her mugshot photo.
Carlee was later released on a $2,000 bond – $1,000 per charge.
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said he knows the public will be disappointed with Carlee’s misdemeanor charges.
Judging from the amount of phone calls and emails that we have received from all over the country, I know that many are shocked and appalled that Miss Russell is only being charged with two misdemeanors, despite all the panic and disruption her actions caused.
Let me assure you, I, too, share the same frustration, but existing laws only allow the charges that were filed to be filed.
Derzis also noted the impact Carlee Russell’s hoax had on the loved ones of real kidnapping victims.
This story opened wounds for families whose loved ones really were victims of kidnappings, some of which even helped organize searches in hopes that they could find Carlee alive so that her family would not experience the pain and suffering that they felt when their loved ones never returned home.
Watch the Hoover Police Department press conference announcing Carlee Russell’s charges below.