Carlee Russell’s kidnapping story is slowly melting away and so is her mental health apparently.
via: Daily Beast
The boyfriend of Carlee Russell, an Alabama woman facing backlash after police cast doubt on her claims of a dramatic roadside abduction, is calling on those who accuse her of a hoax to lay off.
“The only thing I can say is, I want everyone to stop bullying her,” Thomas Latrell Simmons was quoted telling the New York Post late Saturday. “I know what it seems like what she did. Just stop bullying on social media,” he said.
“Think about her mental health. She doesn’t deserve that. She doesn’t. Nobody deserves to be cyberbullied,” he said.
His comments come after Russell, a 25-year-old nursing student, sees increasing fallout over her alleged abduction, which police in Hoover say they have been unable to confirm. Russell was reportedly fired from her job at a spa in Birmingham this week after police announced to the public on Wednesday that they had been unable to confirm “most” of her account.
Russell set off frantic search efforts when she vanished on July 13 after telling a 911 dispatcher she’d stopped to help a young child wandering alone near the interstate. After mysteriously returning home on foot two days later, Russell told investigators she’d been snatched by a man and then held in the trailer of an 18-wheeler, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said at a press conference earlier this week.
According to Derzis, she had searched online for information on Amber Alerts and the abduction-themed movie Taken before her disappearance.
Derzis also said that her claims of a toddler walking along the side of the interstate—a claim that initially sparked fears she may have been lured out of her vehicle—could not be corroborated, and there was no evidence of a child being in the area at that time.
Russell’s family has maintained that she was “fighting for her life” in the 49 hours she’d been missing, and Simmons initially did, too—but by Thursday he had quietly deleted dozens of photos of Russell from social media, along with his comments about what happened.
Russell has not yet commented publicly on the situation herself, and in their last update, police said they had not yet been able to secure a second interview with her after they first spoke with her following her return.
An investigation into her high-profile disappearance and return is ongoing, with the Hoover Police Department’s public information officer Keith Czeskleba telling USA Today investigators are “confident” they will be able to figure out what exactly happened while Russell was missing.
“We have not begun to count the number of hours and resources dedicated to this case–both from our agency and partner agencies as well,” Czeskleba was quoted saying. “I cannot recall a missing person case like this in my time here – certainly not of this magnitude.”