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Carlee Russell

Source: Hoover Police Department / Hoover PD

Carlee Russell has now confessed that her highly publicized disappearance was a hoax, leading to her now ex-boyfriend distancing himself from her online.

On Monday (July 24th), Hoover Police Department Chief Nick Derzis said that Russell’s attorney, Emory Anthony, provided a statement from the young woman to his office. The statement said that there was no kidnapping, which spurred a flurry of attention nationwide to the case from Alabama. “There was no kidnapping on Thursday, July 13. My client did not see a baby on the side of the road,” the statement said. Chief Derzis read the statement that afternoon at a news conference. It was also expressed that Russell acted alone, and did not leave the city.

“My client apologizes for her actions to this community, the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well, as to her friends and family,” Anthony continued. “We ask for your prayers for Carlee, as she addresses her issues and attempts to move forward, understanding that she made a mistake in this matter. Carlee again asks for your forgiveness and prayers.”

Soon afterward, Thomar Simmons posted a lengthy statement on Instagram, slamming the 25-year-old and referring to himself as her “ex-boyfriend”. “Carlee’s actions created hurt, confusion, and dishonesty,” Simmons wrote. “I was made aware of the false narrative after coming to the defense of my ex Carlee Russell.” While expressing that he and his family reacted with “genuine concern”, the admission left them “disgusted” while acknowledging the volunteers who went out to search for Russell. Simmons also unfollowed Russell on all of her social media accounts and scrubbed any mention of her from his.

When asked by the press, Chief Derzis did state that they are investigating her absence. “We’re still trying to determine where she was during those 49 hours, but I am glad that we received this … at least puts some of the social media super sleuths hopefully at rest for a little bit as far as … what everybody thinks took place,” he said. Derzis also said that Russell could face criminal charges depending on the results of the investigation. She was to be interviewed again

by authorities Monday, but her attorney instead provided the statement.