[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
The boyfriend of the woman who went missing on an Alabama interstate highway for 48 hours last week is speaking out about the ordeal — and according to him, she was indeed kidnapped.
As you may recall, we’ve been covering the shocking story of nursing student Carlethia ‘Carlee’ Nichole Russell. The 25-year-old woman had been driving along on Interstate 459 outside Birmingham, Alabama late on Thursday night when she pulled over to the side of the road after allegedly seeing a male toddler walking along the highway.
According to media reports, at the time of the incident, she had been on the phone with her brother’s girlfriend. Carlee pulled over on the shoulder of the highway, left her car, and then vanished. For the next two days, her family and Birmingham-area law enforcement officers searched frantically for her. Then, on Saturday night, she abruptly showed up at her family’s house.
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Now, as police try to piece together the chain of events from the last few days, Carlee’s boyfriend is speaking out. Thomar Latrell Simmons (pictured above, right) took to Instagram late on Sunday morning to reveal more about the ordeal. Among his revelations is a claim that she was kidnapped while going to look for the toddler on the highway.
After thanking loved ones and law enforcement officers who supported the family through the ordeal, Simmons wrote:
“I have been going nonstop since I received the call that she was missing on Thursday night. I know she would’ve done the same for me, so I wasn’t going to give up until I saw her face again! I was straight tunnel vision, even when I would get on social media on my downtime & see some of the false allegations & assumptions about me having something to do with her abduction would have me discouraged at times, but I didn’t give up & kept my faith!”
Then, he offered up the newsworthy item of the post: his claim that Carlee was “literally fighting for her life” during the two days she was missing, and that “her kidnapper” has still not been found.
“All I asked from everyone right now is to be respectful of Carlee’s situation. She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically & mentally stable again she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment. I also want to thank the people on social media who has been understanding & respectful about what she’s been through in these past few days. Once again I can’t thank you guys enough for helping us bring Carlee home!”
You can see the full post for yourself (below):
As far as the investigation into her alleged kidnapping is concerned, the Hoover Police Department in the suburb just outside Birmingham also released a statement of their own on Sunday evening.
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In it, they confirmed Carlee had “returned home on foot” late Saturday night before she was quickly hospitalized:
“At 10:44 PM on July 15th, the Hoover 911 center received a call from Carlee’s residence that she had returned home on foot. Hoover Police and Fire responded to the residence where Carlee was located. She was immediately transported by the Hoover Fire Department to UAB Hospital to be evaluated and was treated and released.”
The PD continued:
“Detectives responded to the residence and to UAB to take an initial statement from Carlee. The details of that statement are a part of the ongoing investigation which is expected to continue over the next few days. During the initial portion of the investigation detectives were able to retrace nearly all of Carlee’s steps until the point she went missing and are confident that will continue to be the case.”
Through it all, cops are now scouring through footage from roadside safety cameras along Interstate 459 to determine whether there is more evidence to uncover.
Here’s more on Carlee’s return from WVTM-13 News (below):
We’re just glad Carlee is home safe now.
And we’re confident the police will work to figure out exactly what’s going on in this extremely unsettling situation…
[Image via WVTM News/YouTube/Thomar Simmons/Instagram/Hoover Police Department/Twitter]