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Carlee Russell Admits Her Kidnapping Story Was A Lie and Experts Say, It Puts Real Missing Black Women At Risk

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This story had Alabama in a frenzy, and it turns out it was all false.

Carlee Russell disappeared after she made a call to 911 just after 9:30 p.m. on July 13th to report having seen a toddler on the highway.

Hoover Police Department

She also placed a call to a relative, reporting having seen the child on the highway. She told the relative she was going to help the child, before the relative lost contact with her.

Then, she pretty much vanished for more than 48 hours, sending the nation into a frantic effort to find her.

According to NBC News, “Police said Russell told them she was forced into an 18-wheeler truck and taken to a home where a man and a woman told her to get undressed and then took photos of her.”

But, turns out she made the whole thing up.

Why did Carlee Russell Disappear?

We really don’t know.

After she turned back up, there were really more questions than answers, unfortunately.

I wish I could tell you [her motive], but I think only Carlee knows, and maybe now her attorney — We still don’t know about those 49 hours, where she was, did she have any help, we have no idea.

Nick Derzis, Hoover Police Chief

Carlee Russell Was The First Case That Went Viral Of A Missing Black Woman

In 2022, despite only making up a small 7% of the population, Black women accounted for nearly 18% of all missing person cases in the U.S.

However, none of them got national exposure.

White women and girls are much more likely to get airtime for being missing persons than any other segment of the population.

BUT, the Carlee Russell case, for some reason, was different. The country was rallying behind this missing Black woman.

That’s what makes this case so much harder. People will remember the Carlee Russell story, and wonder if the next story is a hoax.

She was pretty much the first missing Black woman to go viral, but the whole thing was a fake.

I think people are always looking for an excuse not to care about these types of stories involving Black women — It’s sad that after so much time of wanting stories of missing Black women to get this type of attention, the story that does end up getting it is essentially a hoax.

Amara Cofer, creator and host of the “Black Girl Gone” podcast

What’s Going To Happen In The Future For Missing Black Women and Children?

We just have to consider and remember that Carlee Russell has some apparent mental health issues.

We can’t let this “crying wolf” story affect the way we see other missing persons cases.

While it’s impossible to tell what the future will hold for other missing Black women and children, we have to go after them all with the fervor of the Carlee Russell case.

All these missing persons cases deserve the attention and frantic search efforts of the media and general population of the U.S.

We can’t let one bad story ruin things for all the others.

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