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Crime News Missing Persons

Woman Who Vanished after Calling 911 About Child on the Side of Highway Is Found Alive

“She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours," Carlee Russell's boyfriend said of her disappearance. Police have not released any details of where she was.

By Elisabeth Ford
Photo of Carlethia Carlee Nichole Russell.

An Alabama woman who police say disappeared after calling 911 to report a child walking along the highway has “returned home,” according to authorities.

The Hoover Police Department shared in a statement Saturday that it received a call around 10:45 p.m. that night that Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell, 25, had returned to her home on foot. Police responded to the scene and Russell was then taken to a local hospital by fire medics for an evaluation.

“Additional information will be provided when it becomes available,” police added.

RELATED: Alabama Woman is Missing After Calling 911 to Report a Child Alone Along the Interstate

The news of the woman’s return comes just days after she was reported missing. On July 13, police received a 911 call around 9:34 p.m. from Russell reporting a toddler walking along Interstate 459 South near mile marker 11.

“After calling 911 the caller stopped to check on the child and called a family member to report the same details,” Hoover Police said in a news release. “The family member lost contact with her, but the line remained open.

Russell’s mother, Tabitha Russell, shared with AL.com that her daughter was on the phone with her brother’s girlfriend when she pulled over to check on the child.

“My son’s girlfriend heard her asking the child, ‘Are you Ok?' She never heard the child say anything but then she heard our daughter scream,’’ Talitha said. “From there all you hear on her phone is background noise from the interstate.”

When officers arrived at the scene, Russell was nowhere to be found, and there was also no sign of a child.

Police found Russell’s wig, cell phone and purse on the roadway near her car, according to a statement from authorities.

At the time, Hoover Police said it had not received any calls of someone missing a small child.

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“Many local, state, and federal agencies immediately offered assistance and provided personnel and other resources to the investigation,” police said. “No stone was left unturned and the investigation continued throughout the weekend.

Detectives took a statement from Russell Saturday as a part of their ongoing investigation.

“We rejoice with the Russell family as they continue to rest and recover from this situation and ask for their wishes to be respected regarding their privacy,” police said, adding that they will release more information as they continue with the investigation.

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Russell’s boyfriend, Thomar Lattrel Simmons, said on Instagram Sunday that Russell was “fighting for her life” during the time she was missing.

“I have been going nonstop since I received the call that she was missing on Thursday night. I know she would’ve done the same for me, so I wasn’t going to give up until I saw her face again,” Simmons said, thanking everyone who helped in the search for his girlfriend.

Simmons asked people to be respectful of Russel’s situation, saying: “She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically & mentally stable again she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment."

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