Carlethia "Carlee" Nichole Russell, 25, has been missing since Thursday night. She called 911 to report that she had seen a child on the side of Interstate 459 south of Birmingham, Alabama. Russell then stopped her vehicle to check on the toddler while also calling a family member who lost contact with her.
The line remained open through this whole ordeal, according to the Hoover police department.
Talitha Russell Carlee's mother, distraught by the disappearance of her daughter, Carlee Russell, said,
"My daughter-in-law could hear her ask if the child was OK, and the child didn't respond—at least she didn't hear her respond," Russell said. "Then she heard our daughter Carlee scream."
When officers arrived on the scene, they found Russell’s vehicle and some of her belongings near the initial scene but were unable to find her or the child that Russell had seen.
On the day of Russell’s disappearance, she briefly interacted with some members of the city’s police department.
"We were honored to spend time with this smart, courteous, and honoring young woman yesterday. She was handling some business in the Town of Harpersville yesterday, and we were so impressed by her respect, poise, good attitude, and her drive to become a nursing student and help others," the Harpersville Police Department wrote on Facebook. "When this news broke, so did our hearts. This world needs many, many more young women and young men like her."
Russell is also a student at Jefferson State Community College and is studying to be a registered nurse.
Jefferson State wrote on Facebook that they are "extremely concerned" for her safety and are "praying for her safe return".
According to police, one witness saw a gray vehicle and a man standing outside Russell's car, but they have no additional information about said person or the vehicle.
According to authorities, Russell was dressed in a black shirt, black slacks, and white Nike sneakers.
An anonymous donor, at the time of her being declared missing, had put up $20,000 for the safe return of Russell. Crime Stoppers offers up to $5000. Rewards totaling $25,000.
At 10:45 P.M. Saturday, Hoover police received a call that Russell had returned home, Hoover police said in a Saturday news release.
According to the news release, "Hoover Fire medics responded to the scene to assess Carlee and transported her to a local hospital for evaluation."
No further details were given in regards to where Russell had been since Thursday, but police have said that "Further details will be provided when they become available."
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