The Carlee Russell Case: A Detailed Timeline
Nursing student missing for 50 hours found alive in Alabama.
Police investigators in Hoover, Alabama, have provided a comprehensive timeline of the events surrounding the disappearance of Carlethia "Carlee" Nichole Russell, a 25-year-old nursing student. Police Chief Nick Derzis stated at a news conference that they have a clear understanding of what transpired from the moment Russell left work until the time she made a 911 call. Russell herself recounted her ordeal to investigators upon her return home on the night of Saturday, July 15, two days after being reported missing.
In the days leading up to her disappearance, Russell made several "very strange" online searches, according to the police. These searches included topics such as Amber alerts, how to steal money from a register without getting caught, and bus routes from Birmingham to Nashville.
On Thursday, July 13, Russell left her workplace in Birmingham at around 8:20 p.m. local time. She then stopped at a nearby shopping mall to pick up food and made a purchase at a Target store. She remained in the Target parking lot until 9:21 p.m. Russell then made a 911 call at 9:34 p.m. to report a toddler on the highway. While on the phone with the dispatcher, she traveled approximately 600 yards in her car.
Shortly after the 911 call, Russell called a family member, but she went missing during the conversation. The family member reported the incident to the police, stating that Russell had been on the phone with her sister-in-law when her voice abruptly dropped out. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Russell's car, cellphone, wig, and purse, but the snacks she had purchased at Target were missing.
Upon her return home, Russell provided investigators with her account of the events. She claimed that a man emerged from the woods and said he was checking on the child. He then forced her over a fence and into a car. Russell said she found herself in the trailer of a truck with a man who had orange hair and a woman. She could hear a baby crying. Russell stated that she managed to escape, but was recaptured and taken to a house where she was undressed. The next day, the woman fed her cheese crackers and played with her hair. At some point, Russell was put back into a vehicle but escaped while in the West Hoover area and ran through the woods to get home.
During the 49 hours that Russell was missing, a massive search effort was launched involving local, state, and federal agencies. Volunteers organized by Russell's parents also participated in the search. On Saturday, July 15, Russell returned home on foot, and she was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The investigation is ongoing, with authorities determined to uncover every piece of evidence related to the 49 hours Russell was missing.
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