Woman vanishes after stopping for toddler walking alone

Authorities in Hoover, Alabama, are ramping up efforts to locate a 25-year-old woman who vanished after making a distressing 911 call about a toddler walking along the side of the interstate. Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell contacted emergency services on Thursday night before losing contact with a family member. The Hoover Police Department has since found Russell’s abandoned car and some of her belongings, but there is no sign of her or the child. A witness reported seeing a man near Russell’s vehicle, but further details remain scarce.

Carlee Russell, a 25-year-old resident of Hoover, Alabama, is currently missing after making a concerning 911 call from a highway. She reported spotting a toddler walking along the side of Interstate 459. The call was placed shortly after 9:30 p.m. local time on Thursday. After speaking to emergency services, Russell reached out to a family member, but the conversation abruptly ended, although the line remained open, according to Hoover Police Lt. Daniel Lowe.

Authorities have discovered Russell’s abandoned car and some of her personal belongings near the location where she made the distress call. However, there is no trace of Russell or the child she reported. Lt. Lowe mentioned that a witness observed a light-complected male standing outside Russell’s vehicle, but no further information is available about the individual or the vehicle. Russell had been returning home from work and had made a stop to pick up food before the incident occurred.

Talitha Russell, Carlee’s mother, expressed deep concern for her daughter’s safety. She revealed that Carlee was on the phone with her sister-in-law when the call abruptly ended with a scream from Carlee. Talitha described Carlee as a helpful person with a compassionate heart who knows better than to stop for anyone, even a child on the side of the road. However, Carlee felt compelled to call 911 and expressed her reluctance to leave the child unattended.

A large-scale search operation, involving local, state, and federal agencies, is currently underway to locate Carlee. Additionally, a group of volunteers organized by Russell’s parents is actively assisting in the search efforts. The authorities are fully committed to finding Russell and ensuring her safe return.

The Hoover Police Department, in collaboration with various agencies and dedicated volunteers, is working tirelessly to locate Russell and bring her back home safely. A private donor has offered a $20k reward and crime stoppers is offering $5k for information leading to her return.