Carlee Russell’s Search History Completely Sinks Her Kidnapping Story (& The Internet Is Raging)

What started as a terrifying missing person case quickly became a potential setup. Carlethia “Carlee” Russell first went missing in Alabama on July 13, per According to authorities, the nurse had contacted 911 after she reportedly saw a lone child on the side of the road.

After her call to 911, Carlee phoned her brother’s girlfriend to notify her of the situation. The nurse’s mother, Talitha Russell, shared, “My son’s girlfriend heard her [Carlee] asking the child, ‘Are you OK? She never heard the child say anything but then she heard our daughter scream.” When authorities arrived, there was no sign of Carlee and they immediately launched a missing person investigation.

The Hoover Police Department began alerting the media about Carlee’s disappearance and the case gained national attention. Not only was it picked up by national news networks, but it was also all anyone could talk about on social media. People prayed and hoped that Carlee would return home safe and sound. 

Well, in approximately 48 hours, Carlee miraculously reappeared at her parents’ home, according to People. Authorities were dispatched to the home and Carlee was taken to the hospital to be evaluated, per Once released, she returned to her parents’ home. But the question remains: What happened during the 48 hours she was missing? Shockingly there are inconsistencies in Carlee’s story that have made it seem like this was all a potential setup.

Per ABC 3340, Hoover police chief Nick Deriz held a press conference on July 19, where he revealed details of Russell’s search history in the days leading up to her alleged disappearance. Deriz shared that, on July 11, Russell searched: “You have to pay for an amber alert or search.” She also looked up one-way bus tickets from Birmingham to Nashville with a departure date of July 13, aka the day she went missing. Deriz added that Russell also searched for “Taken” on July 12, a movie all about a young woman getting kidnapped. Said searches obviously called Russell’s claims into question and many are upset that this whole thing could potentially be a hoax.

Those who shared Russell’s story or have been reading about it have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the recent discoveries. One Twitter user wrote, “So Carlee Russell lied about being kidnapped? Unfortunate to hear but there’s still about 13,000 black women who are really missing in the U.S. who have had little to no coverage & need help. Let’s talk about it.” Many online users were upset because, if Russell did lie, said resources could have been used to find other missing individuals.

Aside from Carlee Russell’s search history, several other factors have raised concerns that this may not have been a missing person case after all. One aspect that captured the attention of the authorities is the supposed toddler in the case. According to FOX5 Atlanta, Russell initially exited her car because she saw a toddler walking on the side of the road. Although the nurse vividly described the child, authorities aren’t so sure the toddler ever existed.

According to ABC News, Hoover Police have not located the reported child in the case. They said, “The Hoover Police Department has not located any evidence of a toddler walking down the interstate, nor did we receive any additional calls about a toddler walking down the interstate, despite numerous vehicles passing through that area as depicted by the traffic camera surveillance video.” Although the surveillance video is a bit grainy, there were clearly several cars passing through that authorities believe should have been able to notice the child as well.

Police also revealed they did not receive any additional calls regarding a child on the side of the road. And if you thought this was the last of the questionable aspects in this case, you’d be wrong.

Everyone’s made a quick Target run on their way home from work, and so did Carlee Russell on the day of her disappearance. It’s not strange that the nurse decided to make a pit stop at the store, but what is strange is that none of the items she bought were found with her when she disappeared. According to, Hoover police revealed that Russell stopped for “snack food” at the store. They shared, “These items were not located in the vehicle or with her cell phone and wig at the scene of her disappearance.” This raised more questions about the potential abduction because many believed those items should have been found at the scene, and if not, perhaps Russell took them with her (which wouldn’t exactly make sense if she’d been kidnapped).

Despite all the inconsistencies and concerns, police will continue their investigation to determine what happened to Russell when she went missing. And although police aren’t sure she was kidnapped, Russell’s family is sticking to their story. When speaking with WBRC, Carlee’s mother, Talitha Russell, told the outlet, “Carlee has given detectives her statement and hopefully they are pursuing her abductor.” Talitha clearly indicated that her daughter had been kidnapped, but nothing has been confirmed by authorities.