The decade's most triggering comedy
The Hoover Police Department announced on Friday that it filed criminal charges against Carlee Russell after she admitted to fabricating a kidnapping story earlier this month.
The 25-year-old nursing student had claimed that she was kidnapped while checking on a toddler on the side of the road in Alabama. Her disappearance lasted for 49 hours.
The Hoover Police Department said that after conferring with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in Bessemer and presenting all of the known facts to them, the case was referred back to the Hoover Municipal Court for charging.
Russell was charged with two Class A misdemeanors: False Reporting to Law Enforcement Authorities and Falsely Reporting an Incident.
If convicted on both charges, Russell faces up to two years in jail and a $12,000 fine. Bond was set at $2,000.
“Her decisions that night created panic and alarm for the citizens of our city and even across the nation as concern grew that a kidnapper was on the loose using a small child as bait,” said Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis. “The story opened wounds for families whose loved ones really were victims of kidnappings, some of which even helped organize searches.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said his office intends to “fully prosecute this case” and that his office will monitor the case for potential additional charges.
Russell attorney Emory Anthony released a statement this week with the permission of Russell that stated: “There was no kidnapping on Thursday July 13. My client did not see a baby on the side on the road.”
“My client did not have any help in this incident. This was a single act done by herself,” the statement said. “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. 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.”