Black Alabama Woman Found Alive, Family Speaks Out

Photo: Hoover Police

The family of Carlee Russell, an Alabama woman who mysteriously disappeared after she called 911 to report a child on the side of a highway, is speaking out after she was found alive.

Russell, 25, went missing on Thursday (July 13) after she told a 911 dispatcher that she spotted a toddler walking alone on the side of Interstate 459 South, according to Hoover police. Following the 911 call, Russell got out of her vehicle to check on the child and called a family member, who lost contact with her.

Authorities previously said they found Russell's wig, hat, and phone at the scene but weren't able to locate her or the child.

Russell returned home on foot on Saturday (July 15) night, CNN reports. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released.

Police said they took "an initial statement" from Russell regarding her disappearance but didn't provide further details due to an ongoing investigation.

“The details of that statement are a part of the ongoing investigation which is expected to continue over the next few days,” Hoover police said in a statement.

Russell's boyfriend, Thomar Simmons, thanked friends, family, community members, and social media users for their support in a Facebook post on Sunday (July 16), per TMZ.

"All I asked from everyone right now is to be respectful of Carlee’s situation," Simmons wrote on Facebook. "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."

Russell's mother echoed Simmons' sentiments on social media, adding that the family would provide more details to the public in due time.

Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis said the department is "very happy" that Russell made it home safely.

“I know it’s been a tough experience for them. When we think it’s time to sit down and have a conversation with Carlee and try to get some facts, we’ll do that,” Derzis said in a statement.

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