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Woman who vanished after 911 call to report toddler on highway is found safe

Gregory Robinson

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman who vanished after 911 call to report toddler on highway is found safe

Featured Image Credit: Hoover Police Department

A woman who was reported missing after reporting a child walking on the highway returned home late on Saturday (15 July) and taken to a hospital for evaluation, police confirmed.

The Hoover Police Department in Alabama said Carlethia 'Carlee' Nichole Russell, 25, made a 911 call on Thursday (13 July) to report that she saw a child around three or four years old walking on the side of Interstate 459 in Alabama at around 9:30 pm.

Russell then called a family member, who lost contact with her while the phone line remained open, police said.

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When officers arrived at the scene, they found Russell’s car and some of her belongings, but they could not find Russell or the child she reported seeing.

Carlee Russell has been found alive after vanishing from an Alabama highway. Credit: Hoover Police Department
Carlee Russell has been found alive after vanishing from an Alabama highway. Credit: Hoover Police Department

“We currently are investigating every possibility,’’ Hoover Police Department public information officer Lt Daniel Lowe said during a press briefing on Thursday. “We’re certainly leaving nothing off the table.”

Russell’s mother, Talitha Russell, said her daughter left The Woodhouse Day Spa before stopping at Taziki’s at 9 pm. on Thursday to pick up food, AL.com reports.

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Russell called her brother’s girlfriend to tell her about the child she reported seeing.

Her mother 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.

“From there all you hear on her phone is background noise from the interstate.”

The woman reported signing a missing child on the highway. Credit: Hoover Police Department
The woman reported signing a missing child on the highway. Credit: Hoover Police Department
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An officer was dispatched to the scene where Russell pulled over within three minutes.

“Her car door was open, the engine was running, and they found her phone on the ground, along with her wig and her hat,’’ Talitha Russell told AL.com. “Her purse was still in the car. Her Apple watch was in her purse and her AirPods as well.”

Police said they had not received any additional calls regarding a missing child.

One witness reported seeing a gray vehicle and a male standing outside of Russell’s car at the time, according to Hoover police.

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Carlee Russell was found on Saturday (15 July). Credit: Hoover Police Department
Carlee Russell was found on Saturday (15 July). Credit: Hoover Police Department

“He saw her red car with the door open and he saw a grey car with a tall brown skinned man with khaki shorts on leaning over in the car,’’ Russell's mother said.

“The police did find some tire tracks in the grass,’’ she added. “They said because it was not a muddy area, they were not able to determine what type of vehicle it could have been.”

Rewards totalling $25,000 were being offered to locate Russell, with $20,000 from an anonymous donor and $5,000 from Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama.

Topics: News, US News

Gregory Robinson
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