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Carlee Russell, Talitha Russell, Carlos Russell, Newsletter, Kidnapping, Hoover

Source: Carlee Russell/Facebook / Carlee Russell/Facebook

The parents of Carlee Russell said they were filled with “so much joy” when the 25-year-old returned home after she vanished for 48 hours and sent the entire world into speculation about her mysterious disappearance. 

On Tuesday, Carlee’s mother Talitha Robinson-Russell and her father Carlos Russell spoke briefly to NBC News about what happened when their daughter returned home on foot on Saturday.

“We tried to hug her as best we could, but I had to stand back because she was not in a good state,” Talitha said as tears began to well up in her eyes.

On July 13, Carlee disappeared after calling 911 to report a missing toddler walking along I-459. She was driving in Hoover, a city just a few miles south of Birmingham, Alabama.

According to the police, Carlee called a family member after she reported the lone toddler, but when she went to check on the missing child, she lost contact with her family member. According to a report issued by the Hoover Police, Carlee let out a scream before the call dropped. 

Officers arrived at the scene to find the 25-year-old’s vehicle with all of her belongings inside, but Carlee and the child were nowhere to be found. Before the incident, police did not receive any reports about a missing child along the interstate.

Miraculously, on July 15, Police were notified that Carlee returned home on foot. She was taken to UAB hospital for an evaluation, treated and released.

Talitha said they could not share specifics about what happened to their daughter due to the ongoing investigation, but they do believe Carlee’s “abductor” is still at large. She also mentioned that the 25-year-old had to “fight for her life” to break free from her kidnapper.

“There were moments when she physically had to fight for her life and there were moments where she had to mentally fight for her life,” the matriarch added.

Carlee is healing from her traumatic kidnapping day by day, but her father Carlos said she’s currently struggling with “bad dreams” and “moments where some things make her cringe, afraid,” including loud noises. “Just different things that trigger,” Carlos added. 

The parents are now asking for news outlets and social media users to let the investigation play out to avoid misinformation from spreading. Talitha said all of the hysteria surrounding Carlee’s disappearance is only making things worse for her daughter.

“She’s having to deal with the trauma of people just making completely false allegations about her,” Talitha added. “Carlee has given detectives her statement so that they can continue to pursue her abductor.”

Hoover police are currently investigating the alleged kidnapping.


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