Alabama police announced charges against hoaxer Carlee Russell for lying about being kidnapped by a man with orange hair and taken away in an 18-wheeler.
Earlier this month Carlee Russell vanished after she called 911 to report she saw a stranded toddler walking on the side of a highway.
Russell’s abrupt disappearance led to a nationwide effort to find the 25-year-old nursing student.
Carlee Russell suddenly reappeared after going missing for 49 hours.
Police were suspicious of her kidnapping story after they were unable to determine where Russell was during those 49 hours after she made the 911 call.
Russell initially told police she was forced into an 18-wheeler truck where she was taken to a residence and told to undress.
She then told police that the man and woman took nude photos of her.
Internet searches revealed Carlee Russell was likely lying to investigators.
“Investigators, with assistance from Secret Service, analyzed Russell’s cellphone for the days leading up to her disappearance. Officials did say that before she vanished, she made internet searches about paying for Amber Alerts, how to take money from a register without getting caught and the movie “Taken.”” NBC News reported.
On Monday Carlee Russell admitted to fabricating the kidnapping.
Authorities hit Carlee Russell with two misdemeanor charges: false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident, NBC News reported.
Russell faces up to two years in jail and fines.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said more charges against Russell may be forthcoming.
“Her decisions that night created panic and alarm for the citizens of our city and even across the nation as concern grew that a kidnapper was on the loose using a small child as bait,” Police Chief Nicholas Derzis said. “The story opened wounds for families whose loved ones really were victims of kidnappings, some of which even helped organize searches.”
NBC News reported:
Carlee Russell, the Alabama nursing student who claimed she was kidnapped for 49 hours in a stunt she later confessed was a lie, was charged with two misdemeanors in connection with the hoax, police announced Friday.
The arrest warrant was issued earlier today, Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis said in a news conference.
She surrendered to authorities, accompanied by her attorney, at the Hoover City Jail to face two misdemeanor charges: false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident, he said.
The charges carried a bond of $1,000 each and are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine if convicted, the chief said. Russell was released from jail after posting bond.
Watch the Hoover Police Department’s press conference on the Carlee Russell hoax:
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