Carlee Russell’s Parents are not letting false narratives play out!
In an NBC exclusive they shared what they could about what it was like to see their daughter again after she vanished for 48 hours.
They say their daughter was abducted, and they believe her abductor is “absolutely” still at large.
Talitha and Carlos Russell, the parents of Carlethia “Carlee” Russell, shared a written statement during an exclusive interview with NBC News.
“Carlee has given detectives her statement so that they can continue to pursue her abductor,” Talitha Russell read from the statement.
When asked if she believes her daughter’s abductor is still out there, she responded: “Absolutely.”
NBC News has reached out to the Hoover Police Department to ask if investigators are searching for an individual involved in the case.
Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis has only said investigators are following up on all the information Carlee Russell provided.
Russell, a 25-year-old nursing student, disappeared after she called 911 on the evening of July 13 to report a child walking on I-459 South, a highway that runs south of Birmingham, Lt. Daniel Lowe of the Hoover Police Department said.
She pulled over to check on the child while she was on the phone with a family member, police said.
The family member lost contact with Russell on the call, but described hearing Russell scream, police said.
When officers arrived, they found Russell’s vehicle running with many of her personal belongings inside. But officers did not find Russell or the child.
Police have said no children were reported as missing during that time period.
Russell’s parents waited in agony as police led an urgent search for their daughter.
They said they received several phony messages from people claiming to have information about what happened.
“There were actually just so many calls and texts from people who maliciously lied to us,” Talitha Russell said. “I just didn’t know people could be so evil.”
Police said Carlee Russell returned home on Saturday, July 15, alone and on foot around 10:45 p.m. — more than 48 hours after she disappeared.
Russell’s parents described the moment they first laid eyes on their daughter again.
“To me? I mean, just so much joy,” Talitha Russell said.
“We tried to hug as best we could, but I had to stand back because she was not in a good state. So we had to stand back and let medical professionals work with her,” she said, becoming emotional.
Carlee Russell was taken to an area hospital for a complete evaluation, and was later released.
Authorities have not indicated where Carlee Russell was or what happened during the 48 hours she was missing.
Russell’s parents declined to share what their daughter told them after she returned, citing the ongoing investigation.
“Anything leading to the case itself, we can’t discuss that,” Talitha Russell said.
But Russell’s parents said one thing was clear: They believe she fought for her life.
“There were moments when she physically had to fight for her life, and there were moments when she had to mentally fight for her life,” Talitha Russell said. “She made it back.”
Russell’s parents urged the public not to speculate on the details of their daughter’s case.
“She’s having to deal with the trauma of people just making completely false allegations about her,” Talitha Russell said.
The couple said their focus right now is on their daughter’s physical and mental wellbeing.
The parents of Carlee Russell is urging the public not to speculate and to let the investigation play out.
Her mother said there were moments when the 25-year-old had to ‘physically and mentally fight for her life’ pic.twitter.com/BWI8OLthwZ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 18, 2023
They saying the whole city is mad at Carlee Russell for lying chileeee ? pic.twitter.com/x6EcxZvn72
— ❦ (@JAESREVENGE) July 18, 2023
PSA because I don’t want anyone to forget we did our part in bringing awareness to the formerly missing Carlee Russell. We don’t need to immediately ask “what happened?” Or make comments like “she wasn’t found she..” AHHT AHT!! pic.twitter.com/IhsLz4LxUr
— horse girl gooch (@theblackcowgirl) July 16, 2023
It's one thing to be nosey (human nature), but it's nasty work to believe that because your thirst for entertainment has not been quenched by Carlee Russell and her family that something is off. They are entitled to privacy, period. If you're THAT concerned for safety reasons… pic.twitter.com/7pwcof2I2o
— Reecie @BlackWomenViews (@ReecieColbert) July 17, 2023