The Hoover Police Department is releasing additional information on the safe return of Carlee Russell. Since the time of the 911 call at 9:34 PM on July 13, 2023 the Hoover Police Department has expended every available resource into locating Carlee, and we celebrate with the Russell family on her safe return at approximately 10:44 PM on July 15th. The following information are facts we have been able to determine at this point in the investigation. We are still gathering and evaluating evidence in this case.
Carlee left work from a business at The Summit in Birmingham at approximately 8:20 PM. She ordered food from a nearby business at The Colonnade and traveled there. We have worked to retrace all of her actions from the time she left The Colonnade until she called 911 and are well on our way to completing that task. At this point in the investigation, we have not been able to locate anyone with Carlee from the time she left The Colonnade until the 911 call was made.
Carlee communicated on her cell phone with individuals known to her while on her path of travel up to the point of calling 911 at 9:34 PM. The conversation with the 911 operator ended and Carlee called a relative. She went missing during that conversation sometime after 9:36 PM after telling both the 911 operator and the relative she had seen a male toddler in a diaper on the side of I-459 and was stopping to check on him. Traffic camera footage was obtained which depicted this portion of the incident, and that footage is still being analyzed as part of the investigation in conjunction with the 911 call to accurately determine the timeframe. Carlee’s 911 call remains the only timely report of a child on the interstate.
Hoover Police officers arrived on scene within five minutes of being dispatched, and several other officers arrived shortly behind. They located Carlee’s wig, cell phone and purse on the roadway near her vehicle, and Carlee’s Apple Watch was in her purse. Investigators with the Crimes Against Persons Unit were notified and the investigation immediately began in earnest with numerous leads being followed. Many local, state, and federal agencies immediately offered assistance and provided personnel and other resources to the investigation. No stone was left unturned and the investigation continued throughout the weekend.
At 10:44 PM on July 15th, the Hoover 911 center received a call from Carlee’s residence that she had returned home on foot. Hoover Police and Fire responded to the residence where Carlee was located. She was immediately transported by the Hoover Fire Department to UAB Hospital to be evaluated and was treated and released. 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. During the initial portion of the investigation detectives were able to retrace nearly all of Carlee’s steps until the point she went missing and are confident that will continue to be the case.
The Hoover Police Department continues to be extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from the Hoover community and beyond, and all of the assistance provided by our law enforcement partners which are too numerous to name. We rejoice with the Russell family as they continue to rest and recover from this situation and ask for their wishes to be respected regarding their privacy. This release contains all the information the Hoover Police Department is able to release at this time. As we continue to investigate we will release information that is determined to be factual and pertinent to the public. When a press conference is scheduled we will provide advance notice of the date, time and location.
Lieutenant Daniel Lowe
Public Information Officer
205-739-6762 – Office