Update: Carlee Russell Receives 12 Months Of Probation After Pleading Guilty To Faking Her Own Kidnapping


Carlee Russell mugshot

Update: Carlee Russell Receives 12 Months Of Probation After Pleading Guilty To Faking Her Own Kidnapping

Update: (Mar. 21, 2024): The Carlee Russell saga has come to an end.

According to new reports, The Alabama woman who became a household name after faking her own kidnapping last year has learned her fate. The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanors, false reporting to law enforcement and falsely reporting an incident.

Many called for Russell to spend time behind bars as her disappearance sparked a massive search and nationwide concern. However, the judge over the case didn’t feel jail time was necessary. Reports claim Judge David Carpenter suspended her two six-month sentences stating,

“it would be a waste of government resources to put you in jail.”

Instead, she will have to repay over $17,000 in restitution and was placed on supervised probation for 12 months. It’s still unclear where Russell hid during the disappearing act or what exactly prompted the hoax. However, it’s widely speculated she orchestrated the entire thing to get the attention of her (ex) boyfriend.


Original Story: (Mar. 11, 2024): Carlee Russell could be entering a guilty plea soon.

Carlee Russell, the young woman who was convicted of faking her own kidnapping in Alabama last year, is scheduled to attend a plea hearing in Jefferson County on March 21, where she will reportedly plead guilty. She was previously set for a state trial before Judge David Carpenter of the Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff Circuit on March 18, however, that has been removed from the docket and replaced with the upcoming plea hearing.

Last summer, on July 13, Carlee Russell vanished and alleged she had been kidnapped. Reports swirled that she was driving on a local highway when she saw a toddler walking by himself. She was allegedly taken after she pulled over on the side of the road to help the child. She shockingly reappeared two days later.

After weeks of speculation of her whereabouts and if she was actually taken (surveillance footage of the highway revealed that there was never a child on the side of the road), her attorney Emory Anthony, and Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis, disclosed that she was never kidnapped.

A statement from Anthony read at the time,

“There was no kidnapping on Thursday, July 13, 2023. My client did not see a baby on the side of the road. My client did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person. My client did not have help in this incident, but this was a single act done by herself.”

Carlee Russell was charged with falsely reporting an incident and false reporting to law enforcement officers (both Class A misdemeanors). She pleaded not guilty on Oct. 11, 2023. Still, Hoover Municipal Judge Brad Bishop ruled that she was guilty and recommended she spend one year in jail and pay a restitution of $17,874 and two fines for $831 each.

Because she is looking at serving jail time, the constitution allows her to appeal the municipal court’s ruling and have her case determined by a jury. Her legal team announced their plan to appeal, but it looks like they’ll be opting out of a trial. Anthony stated,

“We stipulated and appealed the case and the reason behind it was that they’re trying to ask for jail time, which we totally disagree with.”

He added,

“So, in fairness, there’s no need of having a trial here, knowing their position. So we have stipulated and appealed the case and we’ll start anew in the Bessemer circuit court.”

Russell has yet to provide a motive for her actions.

What are your thoughts on this entire situation? Tell us in the comments below!


Authored by: Candice O