We want to talk to Carlee as soon as we can and do an in depth interview …Hoover, Alabama Police Department Chief Nick Derzis in a press conference on Wednesday providing an update on the investigation on the approximately 49-hour disappearance of Carlee Russell.
Background: On Thursday night (July 13th), Russell, a 25-year-old nursing student, called the police on her way home from work saying she pulled over because she saw a toddler on the side of the highway. After speaking with the police, she reportedly called a family member and then vanished – police finding her car and belongings but no trace of her. Russell reappeared on Saturday night, knocking on her family's door. After she returned home, she underwent medical examination and gave a statement to investigators on the previous approx. 49 hours.
On Tuesday, Russell's parents spoke in an interview with NBC News. Her mother said, "Carlee has given detectives her statement so that they can continue to pursue her abductor." She also said Carlee "definitely fought for her life," continuing, "there were moments when she physically had to fight for her life and there were moments when she had to mentally fight for her life."
Wednesday's Update: In a press conference on Wednesday, Derzis said that after employing the resources of local, state and federal authorities, "we have been unable to verify most of Carlee's initial statement made to investigators, and have no reason to believe that there is a threat to the public safety related to this particular case." When asked by a reporter if he believed a crime was committed, he responded, "No, we have not determined that." Derzis emphasized that the investigation into what happened during the time Russell went missing is ongoing.
- With the help of the United States Secret Service, Derzis said that while analyzing Russell's phone, authorities found "several internet searches" conducted in the days leading up to her disappearance which, including: "Do you have to pay for an amber alert," "Maximum age of an amber alert," "One way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville…," a search for the movie "Taken" (a movie about abduction).
- Derzis said the police department has attempted to interview Carlee a second time, however, her family has denied the requests because "she's not ready to talk" due to the of the trauma of the incident.
by Jenna Lee,