Carlee Russell heard on 911 call along Alabama interstate moments before disappearance

Alabama police say that there's no evidence a toddler was on the interstate

Carlee Russell told a 911 dispatcher that she would stay on the interstate until police officers arrived, new audio of the call released by police shows.

Russell, 25, went missing on July 13 after telling a 911 operator at around 9:24 p.m. that she saw a 3 to 4-year-old toddler in a diaper walking along the side of Interstate 459 South near Birmingham, Alabama, according to the Hoover Police Department.

After calling 911, the 25-year-old called a relative and abruptly stopped talking but the line "remained open," according to police. She returned home at around 10:45 p.m. on July 15 and was taken to a local hospital before being released. Police said there was no evidence that a toddler was on the interstate.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Hoover police released audio from the 911 call Russell made before disappearing.


carlee russell heard on 911 call along alabama interstate moments before disappearance

Hoover, Alabama police are reviewing traffic camera video from I-459 that shows Carlee Russell's car, seen driving slowly in the emergency lane with warning lights, pull over before she went missing July 13.  (Courtesy: Hoover Police Department / TCA)

"I am on Interstate 459 and there just a kid just walking by their selves," Russell told the 911 operator.

When asked how old the toddler looked, Russell said "maybe like three or four."

"It's a white T-shirt, and it doesn't look like he has any pants on. It looks like a diaper," Russell said of what the toddler was wearing.

She also told the 911 operator that she would stay with the toddler until police officers arrived. When officers arrived, they found a running car with Russell's possessions inside, but she was nowhere to be found.


carlee russell heard on 911 call along alabama interstate moments before disappearance

Woodhouse Spa Birmingham, Carlee Russell's employer (Dana Mixer for Fox News Digital)

Russell told police in an interview that a man came out of the tree to check on the toddler, but picked her up and made her go over a nearby fence.

She said that the man allegedly "forced her into a car" and the last thing she recalls is being inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler.

The man, according to Russell, had orange hair with a bald spot on the back of his head. She said that she was able to escape the truck and fled the area on foot, but was captured again and placed into a car.

Russell then claimed she was blindfolded but "not tied up" since her alleged captor didn't want to leave wrist impressions. She then told police that the individuals took her to a house and forced her to get undressed, and believes that pictures were taken of her.


carlee russell heard on 911 call along alabama interstate moments before disappearance

The Hoover Police Department said in a press release that 25-year-old Carlethia "Carlee" Nichole Russell called 911 on Thursday night at 9:34 p.m. to report a toddler she saw walking on the side of Interstate 459 South near Birmingham, Alabama. (Dana Mixer for Fox News Digital)

The following day, according to Russell's conversation with police, she woke up and was "fed cheese crackers by the female."

"She said the woman also played with her hair but could not remember anything else," Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said of the interview with Russell. "At some point, she was put back in a vehicle she claims was able to escape while it was in the West Hoover area. She told detectives she ran through lots of woods, just came out near her residence."

Russell had $107 cash in her right sock, detectives noticed when they interviewed her.

Derzis during the press conference that Data from Russell's phone through her Life 360 application shows she traveled 600 yards while on the phone with 911 claiming to be following a toddler.

carlee russell heard on 911 call along alabama interstate moments before disappearance

Hoover Police chief, Nick Derzis adreeses a press conference as Hoover Mayor Frank V. Brocato (left) and Hoover Police Lt. Keith Czeskleba (right)  and Chief Nick Derzis (center) look on, Hoover, Alabama Wednesday, July 19, 2023. (Dana Mixer for Fox News Digital)

Russell is accused of taking a "dark-colored bathrobe, a roll of toilet paper" and other items that belonged to her employer, the Woodhouse Spa Birmingham on July 13 at around 8:20 p.m., Derzis said.

The police chief also said that Russell searched "do you have to pay for an Amber Alert" on July 11 at 7:30 a.m. On July 13 at 1:03 a.m., Russell searched "how to take money from a register without being caught."

Russell also searched for the movie "Taken" on July 13 at 12:10 p.m., he said. "Taken" is a movie about a retired CIA agent who travels around Europe to save his daughter who was kidnapped while on a trip to Paris, according to IMDB.

carlee russell heard on 911 call along alabama interstate moments before disappearance

Alabama woman Carlee Russell is seen in a photo released by the Hoover Police Department. (Hoover Police Department)

Derzis said it's "highly unusual" for someone who gets kidnapped to have searched for the movie "Taken" just hours before.

At 2:35 a.m. on July 13, she searched for a one-way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville with the departure date being July 13.

She also allegedly used a work computer to search for the "maximum age of an Amber Alert."

Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on Twitter @asabes10.

Authored by Adam Sabes via FoxNews July 19th 2023