Carlee Russell’s parents speak out, claim daughter ‘fought for her life’ after disappearance

The parents of Carlee Russell, the 25-year-old woman who disappeared Thursday after calling 911 to report an abandoned toddler alongside an interstate, are speaking out.

“We tried to hug her as best we could, but I had to stand back because she was not in a good state,” Talitha Robinson-Russell, Carlee’s mother, said during an interview which aired on Today.

The 25-year-old Alabama woman returned home Saturday night, 48 hours after she went missing.

While it is unclear what happened during the time she was gone, her parents believe “an abductor still out there.”

Carlee disappeared Thursday shortly after calling 911 to report seeing a toddler walking on I-459 South in Hoover. It was reported that after she ended the call she contacted a relative to inform them of her discovery.

It was during that call she disappeared.

When police arrived at the scene they found Carlee’s car and her belongings, but no sign of her or the toddler.

After a massive search, which her parents vowed to “scour the earth,” Carlee showed up at her family’s front door around 10:45 pm.

She was taken to the hospital for a comprehensive exam and released.

While Carlee’s parents believe she was abducted and “fought for her life,” police won’t confirm or deny the possibility, citing the open investigation.

“We will follow up with her again to attempt to get a better understanding of the past 72 hours and will provide what information we can when we are able to do so,” Hoover police public information officer Keith Czeskleba said.

Meanwhile, Carlee has been struggling with “bad dreams” and “moments where some things make her cringe, afraid,” her father said.

And her family has been left confused and traumatized after receiving “many” texts and calls from people who “maliciously lied” about the whereabouts of her daughter and have continued to spread lies since her return home.


Right now all that matters is Carlee is home and safe. That’s what we should all be concerned about.