Carlee Russell Arrested and Charged With 2 Misdemeanors for Faking Her Kidnapping

Carlee Russell, the Alabama woman who recently admitted that she faked her own kidnapping, turned herself into authorities on July 28, officials announced.

By Gabrielle Chung Jul 28, 2023 6:16 PMTags
Watch: Carlee Russell CHARGED for Kidnapping Hoax: See Her Mugshot

Carlee Russell is facing legal repercussions for her kidnapping hoax.

During a July 28 press conference in Alabama, Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis announced that that the 26-year-old—whose 49-hour disappearance sparked nationwide attention before she admitted to faking her own abduction—turned herself into authorities after they obtained a warrant for her arrest.

After surrendering at the Hoover City Jail, Carlee was arrested on two misdemeanor charges: false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident. (Each charge carries up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine if convicted.)

As the police chief noted, Carlee was released from jail after posting bond.

E! News has reached out to the District Attorney's office and to Carlee's lawyer for comment but hasn't heard back.

Carlee was reported as missing on July 13 after calling 911 and a family member to report seeing an unaccompanied child on an Alabama highway. The search for Carlee came to an end on July 15, when the nursing student reappeared at her parents' Hoover, Alabama, residence alone and on foot.

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When initially questioned by detectives as to what happened, Carlee alleged she was taken by a man and a woman, who forced her into a car and held her captive, according to Hoover police. Authorities said Carlee told them she escaped when she and the purported kidnappers were traveling in the west Hoover area, and that she ran through the woods until finding her way back home.

Hoover Police Department

But, in a July 19 press conference, Derzis said investigators were "unable to verify" most of what Carlee told them. Furthermore, detectives uncovered internet searches made on Carlee's phone prior to her disappearance that were "very relevant" to her case, according to Derzis, including queries about Amber Alerts, the 2008 film Taken—which starred Liam Neeson as a father whose daughter was kidnapped—and information about buses in Birmingham.

Hoover Police Department

Shortly before Carlee was scheduled to meet with authorities for a second interview, she issued a statement through her attorney admitting that there was "no kidnapping."

"My client did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person," her lawyer Emory Anthony said in a statement provided to Hoover police on July 24. "My client did not have any help in this incident. This was a single act done by herself. My client was not with anyone or any hotel with anyone from the time she was missing. 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."

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