On 7/13/2023 at approximately 9:34 PM the Hoover 911 Center received a call from a 25-year-old female on I-459 South near mile marker 11 who reported she saw a toddler walking on the side of the interstate. After calling 911 the caller stopped to check on the child and called a family member to report the same details. The family member lost contact with her, but the line remained open. Officers who were already en route to the location of the initial 911 call located the female’s vehicle and some of her belongings nearby, but were unable to find her or a child in the area. Hoover Police have not received any other calls of someone missing a small child.
Detectives are currently investigating this incident and are requesting the public’s assistance to help locate Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell, a 25-year-old black female who is 5’4, 150-160 lbs. She was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants and white Nike shoes. Carlee got off work last night at around 8:20 PM from a business at The Summit in Birmingham and is believed to have stopped to pick up food from a business at The Colonnade before traveling toward Hoover on I-459 where she stopped near mile marker 11 between the Galleria flyover and Exit 10 for Highway 150. A single witness reported possibly seeing a gray vehicle with a light complected male standing outside of Carlee’s vehicle. We have no further information about that individual or vehicle at this time.
No piece of information is too small in this investigation. If you have any information please contact Detective Brad Fountain at 205-444-7562, Sergeant Drew Mims at 205-739-7274, or Crimestoppers of Metro Alabama at 205-254-7777 if you wish to remain anonymous. An anonymous donor has offered $20,000 for the safe return of Carlee, and Crimestoppers is offering an additional $5,000. The Hoover Police Department is currently partnering with many of our local, state and federal partners in this investigation and we are grateful for the outpouring of support from the local and law enforcement community. We will continue to provide periodic updates as we have them and will utilize our Twitter account, @HooverPD, to relay any immediate information to the public. We would also ask our community to keep the Russell family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.