Carlee Russell — the Alabama woman who sparked national attention after claiming she was kidnapped for 49 hours and later admitting it was a lie — has been charged with two misdemeanor counts, the Hoover Police Department announced Friday.
Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Dervis announced the charges against Russell at a news conference, where he also confirmed that an arrest warrant was issued for the 25-year-old.
Dervis said Russell, who faces charges of false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident, surrendered to authorities at the Hoover City Jail while accompanied by her attorney.
Related: Carlee Russell Asks for ‘Forgiveness and Prayers’ After Admitting She Faked Kidnapping
The charges, each carrying a $1,000 bond, could result in up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine if she is convicted. According to Dervis, Russell was released from jail after posting bail.
“Her decisions that night created panic and alarm for the citizens of our city and even across the nation as concern grew that a kidnapper was on the loose using a small child as bait,” Derzis said. “The story opened wounds for families whose loved ones really were victims of kidnappings, some of which even helped organize searches.”
The news of Russell’s arrest comes four days after she confessed to faking her kidnapping. Derzis received a statement from Russell’s attorney, which he read to reporters on July 24.
“There was no kidnapping on Thursday July 13, 2023. My client did not see a baby on the side of the road. My client did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person,” the statement said. “My client did not have any help in this incident. This was a single act done by herself.”
Related: Carlee Russell Searched Internet for ‘Taken’ Movie Just Before Disappearance
Russell’s disappearance captured the attention of the nation when she went missing on July 13.
That evening, Russell placed a call to 911 claiming she saw a toddler in a diaper wandering on the side of Interstate 459.
Two days later, she returned home on foot. She told authorities she was abducted by a man and a woman who approached her on the side of the interstate.
Police brought in the Secret Service to assist in the case. Investigators soon discovered that Russell had made recent internet searches for the movie Taken, starring Liam Neeson.
Russell also looked up information on Amber Alerts and searched for one-way bus tickets out of Alabama prior to her disappearance.
In her attorney’s statement, Russell asked for forgiveness for what she had done.
“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,” her statement said. “We ask for your prayers for Carlee as she addresses her issues and attempts to move forward. Carlee again asks for your forgiveness and prayers.”
Carlee Russell Charged After Admitting to Kidnapping Hoax
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