Hoover Police: Carlee Russell charged with lying about kidnapping

Carlee Russell

An Alabama woman who went missing earlier this month in what was later determined a kidnapping hoax is facing charges, Hoover Police announced today.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said Carlee Russell, 26, turned herself in to police Friday and has been charged with making a false report to law enforcement and falsely reporting an incident.

Each crime is a Class-A misdemeanor and each carries a $1,000 bond. Russell bonded out immediately after her arrest. Each has a maximum punishment of a year in jail.

Derzis said he understands the public’s thirst for justice, and recognizes many will be disappointed with the charges.

“Existing laws only allow the charges that were filed to be filed,” Derzis said.

Information on Russell’s whereabouts during the time she was missing are still being investigated, Derzis said.

Russell went missing the evening of July 13 after calling 911 to report seeing a toddler walking alone on the side of Interstate 459 in Hoover. She returned home late July 15.

In a brief interview with investigators the same night she returned home, Russell said she’d been kidnapped be a while man with orange hair and a bald spot and was kept in the back of an 18-wheeler while blindfolded. Russell said there was a woman she never saw and that she’d escaped and ran home through a large wooded area.

On Monday, Hoover Police hosted a news conference and read a statement from Russell’s attorney Emory Anthony, in which he revealed Russell’s kidnapping had been a hoax.

On Tuesday, Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama announced it’s returning a little over $63,000 raised for seeking information leading to Russell’s safe return.

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