Photo: Images by Steve Skinner Photography via Getty Images

Hoover police chief reveals law enforcement believed Carlee Russell's kidnapping story was a hoax before her admission statement

“It is what it is,” Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said after Carlee Russell’s statement.

  /  07.26.2023

As the public awaits law enforcement’s next move regarding Carlee Russell’s admission to faking her kidnapping, one officer revealed they knew the story was false before her announcement.

Yesterday (July 25), Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis spoke with local Alabama outlet WVTM 13 24 hours after Carlee’s lawyer, Emory Anthony, spoke on her behalf. Derzis said, “It is what it is” in response to the 25-year-old’s statement. “The fact that I think last Wednesday pretty much showed that we knew that it was a hoax.”

Earlier this week, Carlee put rumors surrounding whether or not she was abducted on July 13 to bed. Through Anthony, she stated, “There was no kidnapping,” debunking her previous story. He mentioned, “My client did not see a baby on the side of the road. [She] did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person.”

At the end of her statement, the nursing student apologized for her actions and those affected. During the investigation, authorities remained tightlipped with the amount of information given out to the public, seemingly fueling the conspiracy theories. “The police chief went and talked to her family and said, ‘Hey, I have everything. I have everything. Do you still want to go forward with this?’ and they stood in that lie for a week,” former criminal defense attorney Eric Guster said, per the news outlet.

While many are happy to know the truth now, Guster admitted frustrations with how long it took to get to that point. “It was frustrating that it took a week to get here because this should have been done last Monday or Tuesday,” he said. “And if it was done Monday or Tuesday, we wouldn’t be talking about it now. A lot of people would have probably forgotten her name by Thursday or Friday.”

Steve Parker, one of Carlee’s neighbors, shared he doesn’t regret supporting Carlee and her parents, Talitha and Carlos Russell, during the investigation. “I’m really glad that community rallied around,” he noted. “We as a community here — we’re very supportive of the Russells and would do it again.” Although, Parker revealed that Carlee’s actions shouldn’t go unpunished. “I think there should be consequences for anything when something like that happens,” Parker added. “We’ll see how that plays out.”



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