Authorities in Alabama appear to be doubting the story of Carlee Russell a woman who seemed to have disappeared for two days after calling 911 to report a toddler walking along a Alabama highway.
Russell told authorities she was abducted and forced into a car Thursday, but they have been unable to verify her story, police said.
“We have no reason to believe that there is a threat to public safety related to this particular case,” said Nick Derzis, chief of police in Hoover, Alabama.
Derzis said investigators couldn’t confirm many things she told them and that many questions were still not answered.
“We want to know the truth,” he said.
The police released the recording of the 911 call on Wednesday. Carlee told a 911 dispatcher that she would stay on the interstate until police officers arrived.
Russell describes the toddler as a 3- to 4-year-old boy wearing a t-shirt.
“It doesn’t look like he has any pants on, it looks like a diaper,” she says.
The dispatcher then asks if Russell can stay near the boy while waiting for the police to arrive on the scene near Exit 10, and she agrees. She says she is in a red Mercedes sedan.
Russell was not there when police arrived about 20 minutes later, the department said. Her vehicle, wig, cell phone, and purse were on the roadway, and her Apple Watch was in her purse.
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.
The police were unable to verify that a child was walking in the area, and Hoover police said they did not receive any other calls of a small child walking on the highway and nobody reported a missing child.
Russell told detectives that when she got out of her vehicle to check on the child, “a man came out of the trees and mumbled that he was checking on the baby.”
“That man then picked her up and she screamed. He then made her go over a fence. He then forced her into a car and the next thing she remembers is being in the trailer of an 18-wheeler. She stated that the male was with a female, however, she never saw the female, only hearing her voice. She also told detectives she could hear a baby crying,” Derzis said.
“She told detectives the male had orange hair with a big bald spot on the back. She was able to escape the 18-wheeler and fled on foot, only to be captured again and put into a car. She was then blindfolded, but was not tied up because the captors said they did not want to leave impressions on her wrists,” the chief said.
Russell has not spoken with investigators since her initial interview, the chief said.
“We have asked to interview Carlee a second time, but have not been granted that request,’’ the chief said. “As you can see, there are many questions left to be answered, but only Carlee can provide those answers.”
Credit: AL, NBC, CNN, USA Today