Alabama woman admits falsely reporting abduction

HOOVER, A.L. – The woman who claimed she was kidnapped after she stopped to check on a toddler walking on the highway has admitted it never happened.

An attorney for Carlee Russell sent a statement to the police chief admitting she fabricated the whole thing, Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis announced Monday.

Russell sparked a nationwide search on July 13 after she called 911 to report seeing a child on the interstate. She also called a relative and told them the same thing, who told police they heard Russell scream and the call disconnect.

Russell returned home two days later, claiming she had been kidnapped by a man and woman, who forced her into an 18-wheeler, made her undress, and took photos of her.

After her return home, police said they were unable to verify her claims, noting she had conducted online searches for how to take money from a register undetected, paying for Amber Alert, and the movie “Taken.”

“My client apologizes for her actions to this community, to the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well,” the statement said.