Carlee Russell heard on 911 call along Alabama interstate moments before disappearance

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Carlee Russell told a 911 dispatcher that she would stay on the interstate until police officers arrived, new audio of the call released by police shows.

Russell, 25, went missing on July 13 after telling a 911 operator at around 9:24 p.m. that she saw a 3 to 4-year-old toddler in a diaper walking along the side of Interstate 459 South near Birmingham, Alabama, according to the Hoover Police Department.

After calling 911, the 25-year-old called a relative and abruptly stopped talking but the line “remained open,” according to police. She returned home at around 10:45 p.m. on July 15 and was taken to a local hospital before being released. Police said there was no evidence that a toddler was on the interstate.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Hoover police released audio from the 911 call Russell made before disappearing.


“I am on Interstate 459 and there just a kid just walking by their selves,” Russell told the 911 operator.

When asked how old the toddler looked, Russell said “maybe like three or four.”

“It’s a white T-shirt, and it doesn’t look like he has any pants on. It looks like a diaper,” Russell said of what the toddler was wearing.

She also told the 911 operator that she would stay with the toddler until police officers arrived. When officers arrived, they found a running car with Russell’s possessions inside, but she was nowhere to be found.


Russell told police in an interview that a man came out of the tree to check on the toddler, but picked her up and made her go over a nearby fence.

She said that the man allegedly “forced her into a car” and the last thing she recalls is being inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler.

The man, according to Russell, had orange hair with a bald spot on the back of his head. She said that she was able to escape the truck and fled the area on foot, but was captured again and placed into a car.

Russell then claimed she was blindfolded but “not tied up” since her alleged captor didn’t want to leave wrist impressions. She then told police that the individuals took her to a house and forced her to get undressed, and believes that pictures were taken of her.


The following day, according to Russell’s conversation with police, she woke up and was “fed cheese crackers by the female.”

“She said the woman also played with her hair but could not remember anything else,” Hoover Police Capt. Keith Czeskleba said of the interview with Russell. “At some point, she was put back in a vehicle she claims was able to escape while it was in the West Hoover area. She told detectives she ran through lots of woods, just came out near her residence.”

Russell had $107 cash in her right sock, detectives noticed when they interviewed her.

Czeskleba during the press conference that Data from Russell’s phone through her Life 360 application shows she traveled 600 yards while on the phone with 911 claiming to be following a toddler.

Russell is accused of taking a “dark-colored bathrobe, a roll of toilet paper” and other items that belonged to her employer, the Woodhouse Spa Birmingham on July 13 at around 8:20 p.m., Czeskleba said.

The police chief also said that Russell searched “do you have to pay for an Amber Alert” on July 11 at 7:30 a.m. On July 13 at 1:03 a.m., Russell searched “how to take money from a register without being caught.”

Russell also searched for the movie “Taken” on July 13 at 12:10 p.m., he said. “Taken” is a movie about a retired CIA agent who travels around Europe to save his daughter who was kidnapped while on a trip to Paris, according to IMDB.

Czeskleba said it’s “highly unusual” for someone who gets kidnapped to have searched for the movie “Taken” just hours before.

At 2:35 a.m. on July 13, she searched for a one-way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville with the departure date being July 13.

She also allegedly used a work computer to search for the “maximum age of an Amber Alert.”

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group PLLP.

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