Carlee Russell charged with faking her own abduction as she grins for mugshot
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Featured Image Credit: Hoover Police Department
The woman who confessed to fabricating her own abduction was charged on Friday (28 July).
Carlee Russell, a 26-year-old nursing student from Alabama, has been handed charges of one count of false reporting to law enforcement and one count of falsely reporting an incident after she 'vanished' on 13 July.
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said at a press conference on Friday that both counts are class A misdemeanors that have a maximum penalty of one year behind bars and a $6,000 fine.
Russell turned herself in with her attorney, Emory Anthony, at Hoover City Jail where she was booked and released after posting a $2,000 bond, Derzis confirmed.
The Hoover Police Department’s ‘monumental’ work during the 49 hours Russell was believed to be missing was praised by Attorney General Steve Marshall, who said: “We don’t see this as a victimless crime.”
Marshall also noted the ‘significant hours spent’ and ‘resources expended’ in the search for Russell.
“We intend to fully prosecute this case and look forward to working with the Hoover Police Department moving forward,” he concluded.
Russell then called a family member, who lost contact with her while the phone line remained open, police said.
But after two days of concern and uncertainty, Russell returned home on 15 July and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
In a police interview following her return, she claimed that a man with orange hair had come out of nearby woods to check on the toddler. However, he had then picked Russell up and made her go over a fence which was nearby.
She then claimed that the man forced her into a car and after being blindfolded and made to undress, she was able to escape from the trailer but was then recaptured and put into a car.
But in a statement released to authorities, Russell admitted that she in fact lied about the entire ordeal.
In an email to the Hoover Police Department, Russell's attorney, Emory Anthony, said: "My client did not have any help in this incident. This was a single act done by herself.
"My client was not with anyone or any hotel with anyone from the time she was missing. My client apologizes for her actions to this community, the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well and to her friends and family."
Although Russell has admitted the story was a lie, authorities are still unsure about what happened during the 49 hours Russell was nowhere to be found.