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Controversy Surrounds Carlee Russell’s Kidnapping Claims and Reward Money

Controversy Surrounds Carlee Russell's Kidnapping Claims and Reward Money

On July 13, a 25-year-old woman named Russell went missing from a highway in Hoover, which is located approximately 10 miles south of Birmingham. She returned home two days later. Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit that facilitates anonymous reporting of criminal activity, announced earlier this week that it would be returning the $63,378 collected in the search for Russell.

On Monday, however, the group announced that it would not be returning the funds after all. “This investigation is still ongoing, and accordingly, there is no basis to refund any contributions at this time,” Crime Stoppers said. “Furthermore, the Hoover Police Department has not requested for any donor contributions to be released or refunded.”

A nursing student on her way home from work reported a lost youngster she saw on Interstate 459 to the authorities. After making the 911 call, her family claims she called her brother’s girlfriend to indicate she was pulling over. It was stated that Russell yelled at some point during the call before hanging up. The family stated the call went on, but they could only hear noise from the freeway in Alabama.

Later, her running automobile was discovered with the doors open and her belongings still inside, but Russell was nowhere to be found. Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis stated that after Russell showed up at her parents’ house alone on July 15, she was brought to a hospital for assessment.


Russell says a guy and a woman grabbed her and then abandoned her in the woods. At 10:45 p.m. on July 15, Russell’s parents called 911 to report that she was at their house. The nursing student had a little cut on her mouth, her shirt was torn, and she had more than $100 in one of her socks when police came, according to a report in The New York Times.

She stuck to her version that the man who kidnapped her claimed to be checking on the baby, which Derzis elaborated on at the press conference. Later, according to Russell, she was locked up in a house and then a trailer attached to the back of a semi. She said she was forced to strip and that naked images were taken of her by her accused kidnappers, but that there was no other s*xual contact.

According to the nursing student, Russell was also being fed cheese crackers and had her hair played with by another lady who was with the male. Russell alleges she was taken and forced into a car, but that she was able to get out and return home.

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In the hours before she disappeared, Derzis revealed that Russell had been researching kidnappings, abduction alerts, and the kidnapping-themed film Taken. A story claims she was looking for one-way bus tickets from Birmingham to Nashville, Tennessee.

“The only thing I can say is, I want everyone to stop tormenting her,” Russell’s boyfriend Thomar Latrell Simmons. “I know what it seems like what she did. Just stop bullying on social media.” “Think about her mental health. She doesn’t deserve that. She doesn’t. Nobody deserves to be cyberbullied.”

A professional who spoke to The U.S. Sun about Russell’s situation said that he “needs help not punishment” after what happened to him. If Russell’s kidnapping turns out to be a hoax, Dr. Louis B. Schlesinger says the 25-year-old might have a condition shared by other people who have committed similar hoaxes.

There is a condition called false victim syndrome,” Dr. Schlesinger, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said in an interview with The U.S. Sun. “False victim syndrome is often found in stalking cases.” Dr. Schlesinger claims that victims of stalker hoaxes rarely face charges even though doing so is illegal.

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