(RepublicanPress.org) – On July 13, then-25-year-old Carlee Russell was driving down I-495 in Alabama when she called 911, claiming she saw a toddler on the side of the road. Between the phone call and when police arrived on the scene, Russell had disappeared, sending authorities and the country on a hunt for the presumed kidnapped woman and the baby she claimed was wandering about near the highway. After resurfacing two days later, Russell finally admitted there was no toddler, and she was never kidnapped. Recently, she faced justice.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 12, 2023
On October 11, a Hoover judge found Russell guilty of filing a false police report and falsely reporting that a toddler was running loose next to I-495 that night. The court recommended a year behind bars for her crimes, restitution of nearly $18,000, and two fines of $831. Although Russell previously admitted to her misdeeds, her attorneys said they are appealing her conviction. They believe prison time is too harsh for a first offender on a misdemeanor charge.
The defendant apologized for her behavior through her lawyer but has not addressed the public directly about her actions. People all over the nation mobilized to find Russell and the fictitious baby, not to mention police resources used to recover them both. Still, her attorney, Emory Anthony, is worried about his client’s mental state, considering the backlash she’s received since her scam was revealed. Even before admitting to the hoax, her story was unraveling after police found Google searches on her computer that indicated the event was researched and planned. According to People, those searches included information about Amber Alerts, one-way travel information, and the movie “Taken.”
Russell has not supplied a motive for her crimes and has not revealed where she was hiding for the 49 hours she was missing. Anthony said the truth will eventually come out, but for now, it remains a mystery.
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