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Carlee Russell, the 25-year-old nursing student who claimed that she was kidnapped earlier this month while allegedly checking on a toddler on the side of the road in Alabama, admitted to law enforcement that she fabricated her entire story.
Russell attorney Emory Anthony had originally made an appointment for investigators to speak with Russell but, shortly before the interview was set to begin, Anthony provided a statement to law enforcement and asked that authorities read the entire statement at their press conference.
“There was no kidnapping on Thursday July 13,” the statement said. “My client did not see a baby on the side on the road.”
“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, as to her friends and family,” the statement continued. “We ask for your prayers for Carlee, as she addresses her issues and attempts to move forward, understanding that she made a mistake in this matter. Carlee again asks for your forgiveness and prayers.”
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said that investigators are still going to meet with Anthony because they have more to discuss in the case, including the possibility that criminal charges will be filed with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
Derzis said that law enforcement does not know where Russell was during the 49 hours that she was reported missing, and they do not know her motivation for fabricating the story. He said that law enforcement “pretty much” knew that it was a hoax for the last week.
When asked if the parents were under investigation, Derzis said that “anything’s on the table” because investigators still do not know where she was or if she had any help.
“This was an elaborate deal,” he said. “I mean, when you talk about calling a 911, and being up on the interstate.”
Derzis said that the statement from Russell will not alter the course of law enforcement’s on-going investigation.
This report has been updated to include additional information.