The police are thinking that Carlee Russell, the Alabama woman who went missing for two days last week, might not the saying the truth about her alleged kidnap after an investigation revealed she searched online for information about Amber Alerts, local bus tickets, and the abduction-based action movie Taken before her disappearance.
Carlee Russell disappeared on Thursday after calling 911 and her brother’s girlfriend to report seeing a toddler wandering alone along the side of the road.
Police after their investigation say they found no evidence of a missing toddler, nor any reports of such a sighting by other drivers along the busy of road.
The police found Russell’s car as well as her personal belongings, including her wig, cell phone, and purse when they arrived at the scene within minutes, but the 25-year-old nursing student was missing.
Russell would return home on Saturday, about 49 hours after her initial disappearance, and tell the Hoover Police that she was kidnapped and held hostage by two people until she was able to escape.
However, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis think Carlee Russell’s alleged abduction is not true and said investigators have not yet been granted permission to interview her.
“There are many questions left to be answered, but only Carlee can provide those answers,” Derzis said. “What we can say is that we’ve been unable to verify most of Carlee’s initial statement made to investigators, and we have no reason to believe that there is a threat to the public safety related to this particular case.”
Why Police Think Carlee Russell’s Kidnap Might Not Be True
According to findings, Carlee Russell made abduction-related internet searches before her disappearance. She used her cell phone on July 11, two days before her disappearance, to search whether you have to pay for an Amber Alert.
On the day she went missing, Russell searched for information about the bus station in Birmingham, which is about 10 miles from Hoover. She also searched for a one-way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville.
She also searched for the movie Taken and how to take money from a register without being caught on the day she was allegedly kidnapped.
“I do think it’s highly unusual the day that someone gets kidnapped that seven hours, eight hours before that, that they’re searching the internet, Googling the movie Taken about an abduction,” Derzis said. “I find that very strange.”
Derzis also said that investigators found other internet searches that might give better information on Russell’s mental state, but that police were not releasing them out of respect for her privacy. Two internet other internet searches on Amber Alerts were also found on a computer at her workplace.
Using the record of the phone conversation between Russel and the police when she called 911 to report the wandering toddler, investigators determined that she moved 600 yards along the highway, as they spoke.
“She said it, and I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, because I’ve always been one of these guys, never said never,” Derzis said. “To think that a toddler — barefoot, that could be three or four years old — is going to travel six football fields without getting in the roadway, without crying … it’s just very hard for me to understand.”
How Carlee Russell Was Allegedly Kidnaped & Escaped
Russell told detectives that she was kidnapped by a man who came out from the trees near her car when she got out to check on the child after she returned home Saturday night.
She said that the man who she described as having orange hair with a bald spot, picked her up and forced her over a fence and into a car. The next thing she remembered was being in the trailer of an 18-wheeler.
She then heard the voice of an adult female and the sound of a baby crying.
Russel continued that she first managed to escape the 18-wheeler and ran on foot but was captured again and blindfolded this time, but her hands were not tied because her captors didn’t want to leave marks on her wrists.
She was then taken to a house and forced to get undressed and believe her captors took photos of her but did not remember any physical or sexual contact.
Russell continued that the female captor gave her cheese crackers to eat, and also played with her hair when she woke up the next day.
She was put in a vehicle again and this time, was able to escape, running through the woods until she emerged near her house.
Detectives noted a tear in her shirt and a small injury to her lip and said she had $107 in cash in her right sock.
However, the police in a statement said that Russell bought some snacks at Target shortly before her disappearance but that they were not found with her other belongings.
Derzis also noted that, before Russel went missing, she left her workplace with a dark-colored bathrobe, a roll of toilet paper, and other items — none of which were found at the scene.
Authorities at the press conference also played Russell’s 911 call, in which she describes seeing a white male toddler in a diaper.
But the surveillance video from Russell’s neighborhood on Saturday shows her walking down the sidewalk alone before returning home.