Alabama
Photo: Jason Jones Travel Photography via Getty Images

Carlee Russell's parents open up about her condition since returning home as Alabama police continue to investigate

“We tried to hug her as best we could,” Talitha Robinson-Russell, Carlee Russell’s mother, said.

  /  07.18.2023

As the Hoover Police Department investigates the reported kidnapping and return of Carlee Russell, her family is speaking out about her condition.

Speaking with NBC’s “Today,” Carlee’s parents, Talitha Robinson-Russell and Carlos Russell, said they could not share details about their daughter’s return or her account of what happened during her disappearance. However, the couple did open up about Carlee’s condition since being back home.

“We tried to hug her as best we could, but I had to stand back because she was not in a good state,” Talitha said. Carlos added that Carlee has struggled with “bad dreams” and “moments where some things make her cringe, afraid,” like loud noises. The couple also noted they’d experienced trauma after receiving calls from people who falsely claimed to know their daughter’s whereabouts. “I just didn’t know people could be so evil,” Talitha stated.

On July 16, WBRC reported that Carlee returned to her parents’ home on foot the previous night. First responders transported the 25-year-old to the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham for evaluation. Doctors later released her. The sense of relief by Carlee’s family and the American public came after reports that the Alabama resident disappeared on July 13. That day, Carlee called 911, then a family member, to reveal that a male toddler was walking alongside the I-495 interstate. When police arrived, they found the college student’s belongings but not her or the toddler.

During the NBC interview, Talitha stated that Carlee was abducted, had to fight for her life, and the perpetrator is still out there. On Monday (July 17), police public information officer Keith Czeskleba shared that officers spoke with Carlee once and are following up on the statement given. “We will follow up with her again to attempt to get a better understanding of the past 72 hours. And will provide what information we can when we are able to do so,” he continued. The investigation into Carlee’s case is ongoing.

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