After Carlethia Russell's Return, Her Family Describes What Led To Her Sudden Disappearance

Russell returned home after being reported missing for two days.

The disappearance of Carlethia “Carlee” Russell was a trending topic on social media and garnered national attention. Now that she is safe at her parents’ home in Hoover, Ala., police are piecing together the events that led up to her disappearance, reports. But there are still questions left unanswered.

Talitha Robinson-Russell, Russell’s mother, released a statement on Facebook early Sunday afternoon but did not divulge any details regarding his daughter’s disappearance.

“God is faithful and He has answered our prayers,” the statement read.”We are so grateful to each of you for all the acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion you have shown. Our baby is safe!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Father God."

Also in the statement, Robinson-Russell requested that the family’s privacy be respected “to allow us to just love on our daughter and each other with our close family and friends. Also, please consider the fact we have not slept for 3 nights and we are mentally and physically exhausted.”

Hoover police Chief Nick Derzis is leading an investigation into Russell’s kidnapping and he is grateful that she is still alive.

Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell vanished after stopping on a highway to help a wandering toddler.

Black Alabama Woman Returns Home After Vanishing On The Highway

“We deal in facts,’’ Derzis said after Russell was released from the hospital on Sunday (July 16). “As far as I’m concerned, it’s our obligation as police to put it all together.”

The goal now is to find out what happened in the 48 or 49 hours after she disappeared a mile from her house and then ended up back at the house, to fill in the gaps,’’ he said.

“We don’t have to move quickly,’’ the chief said. “Our priority was to get her home and she’s home. We’ll investigate and do what we have to do.”

Robinson says she plans to issue another statement to the media at a later date and expressed her gratitude to everyone who assisted in searching for Russell

“Just as we made a commitment to not entertain negative thoughts during the time our daughter was missing, we surely will not entertain negative thoughts/statements, unvalidated opinions, or sheer ignorance at such a joyous time,” the statement continued.

On Thursday (July 13) Russell went missing after leaving her part-time job at a Birmingham spa and making a stop at a local restaurant. to pick up food at 9 p.m. She reportedly stopped to check on a toddler who was wandering along a highway not far from her home in Hoover. After calling  911 to report the child who appeared lost, she was on the phone with a family member before leaving to assist the toddler, the report stated.

Russell’s parents, along with family and friends began searching the area where their daughter was last seen.

“My son’s girlfriend heard her asking the child, ‘Are you Ok? She never heard the child say anything but then she heard our daughter scream,’’ Robinson said at the time.“From there all you hear on her phone is background noise from the interstate.”

According to the authorities, there were no other reports of a missing child in the area except for Russell’s call.

After a two-day search, Russell, a 25-year-old nursing student, returned to her parent’s home around 10:44 p.m. Saturday (July 15). It is unclear exactly where she was while she was missing.

Derzis said he can not explain exactly how Russell made it back home. She walked up to the house and knocked on her parents’ door. Russell, who was having breathing difficulties, was transported to the UAB Hospital where she was evaluated overnight. She was discharged early Sunday.

“Detectives responded to the residence and to UAB to take an initial statement from Carlee. The details of that statement are a part of the ongoing investigation which is expected to continue over the next few days,” a statement from police read.

We’re respecting the privacy of Carlee and her family. Our main goal has been achieved and that is getting her home safe,’’ Derzis said.

“Our investigation now goes to the time on Thursday night when she called 911 and she’s gone to the point of her getting home last night,” he added.“We’re going to find out exactly what took place.”

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