Carlee Russell Searched For Taken, Amber Alert Before Disappearance, Police Say

Carlee Russell—the Alabama woman who returned home after two days missing—searched for info about Amber Alerts and the movie Taken before her disappearance, said police.

By Gabrielle Chung Jul 19, 2023 9:50 PMTags
Watch: Carlee Russell's Internet Search History: Police Share Findings

Further details into the case of Carlee Russell have been released by authorities.

On July 13, Russell—a 25-year-old woman from Alabama—mysteriously vanished during her commute from work after calling the police and a family member to report seeing a toddler wandering on the highway alone. Her disappearance launched a massive search that ended on July 15, when Russell made her way back home on foot.

As investigators continue to work to uncover what happened, police held a press conference on July 19 to share some of their findings, including internet searches discovered on Russell's phone that Hoover Police Department chief Nicholas Derzis said were "very relevant" to her case.

Per Derzis, Russell's phone searched "do you have to pay for an amber alert or search" on July 11. Two days later, the day Russell went missing, she looked up "how to take money from a register without being caught," "Birmingham bus station," "one way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville" and the 2008 film Taken—a Liam Neeson movie about a kidnapping—according to Derzis.

True Crime Documentaries Worth Watching This Summer

Investigators said they also found two searches about Amber Alerts, including the "maximum age" for it to be deployed, on a computer at Russell's workplace.

"There were other searches on Carlee's phone that appear to shed some light on her mindset," Derzis told reporters, "but out of respect for her privacy, we will not be releasing the content of those searches at this time."

Hoover Police Department/ Facebook

Upon Russell's return home, she told authorities that a man came out of the woods and abducted her when she approached the wandering child on the highway, per Derzis. However, Russell has not granted police a second interview about her disappearance.

"As you can see, there are many questions left to be answered, but only Carlee can provide those answers," Derzis said. "What we can say is that we've been unable to verify most of Carlee's initial statement to investigators and we have no reason to believe that there's a threat to public safety related to this particularly case."

The police said they have not determined if a crime was committed. An investigation is ongoing.

For more true crime updates on your need-to-know cases, head to