The Alabama woman who disappeared under mysterious circumstances has been found safe.
The incident, which unfolded over three days, began when Carlee Russell, a 25-year-old resident of Hoover, Alabama, vanished on the evening of July 13, 2023, along Interstate 459 just south of Birmingham.
According to reports, Russell was last heard from that Thursday night after informing a 911 dispatcher that she had seen a toddler walking along the side of the interstate and intended to pull over to help.
She also contacted a family member to relay the exact details. However, communication with Russell was abruptly lost, although the line remained open.
Responding officers, who were already en route to the location of the initial 911 call, discovered Russell’s vehicle and some of her personal belongings at the scene.
However, they were unable to locate either Russell or the child. The ensuing search for Russell was extensive, with Hoover Police giving a briefing the following day about the ongoing efforts.
Her sudden disappearance and its peculiar circumstances sparked widespread attention and speculation, turning Russell’s case into a social media phenomenon.
The incident quickly gained traction on social media, with users widely sharing her story and expressing concern for her safety. The mystery surrounding Russell’s disappearance was further amplified by the fact that she was last known to be attempting to help a child, a detail that added an additional layer of urgency and concern to her case.
The public’s engagement with the case was so significant that nearly $60,000 was offered to Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama as a reward for information leading to Russell’s safe return.
In a surprising turn, Carlee Russell returned home by foot late on July 16, 2023. Her return was as unexpected as her disappearance, and police and medics were immediately dispatched to her home.
“Great morning!! My husband and I want to make this statement again as we did last night. It’s nothing more to add or take away from how we’re feeling right now. God is faithful and He has answered our prayers🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ We are so grateful to each of you for all the acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion you have shown🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾❤️❤️❤️ Our baby is safe!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Father God🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾,” her mother, Talitha Robinson-Russell, said in a statement.
She was subsequently taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Officials have not released any details about where she was during her disappearance, how she returned home, or her current condition.
The whereabouts and well-being of the toddler Russell reported seeing also remain unknown.