Carlee Russell Update: Information About Her Faked Kidnapping

Photo of Carlee Russell


Carlee Russell is a woman from Alabama who faked her own kidnapping in July 2023. She was found two days later and admitted to fabricating the story.


  • July 13, 2023: Russell reports seeing a toddler in a diaper on the side of an interstate as she drives in Hoover, Alabama. She then disappears.
  • July 14, 2023: A large-scale search for Russell is launched, involving hundreds of law enforcement officers, volunteers, and search and rescue teams.
  • July 15, 2023: Russell is found safe and sound at her home. She tells police that she was kidnapped by two masked men and forced into an 18-wheeler.
  • July 22, 2023: Russell admits to fabricating the kidnapping story. She is charged with two misdemeanor counts: false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident.
  • October 11, 2023: Russell is found guilty of both misdemeanor charges. She is sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $188,000.

Video and audio released by law enforcement

The police department released audio of Russell’s 911 call on July 13, 2023. In the call, Russell reports seeing the toddler on the side of the interstate, and then says that she is being followed by a car.

The Hoover Police Department also released a video of Russell’s return home on July 15, 2023. The video shows Russell being greeted by her family and friends, and then being taken away by police.

The audio of the 911 call may be disturbing to some listeners.


Russell’s motives for faking her own kidnapping are unclear. Some have speculated that she was seeking attention, or that she was trying to escape from a difficult situation. Russell herself has not publicly explained her reasons.


Russell’s faked kidnapping had a significant impact on the community of Hoover, Alabama. The search for her mobilized hundreds of people and cost tens of thousands of dollars. The ordeal also caused emotional distress for Russell’s family and friends.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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