The parents of Carlee Russell spoke out in the first interview about their daughter’s return home after she mysteriously went missing for 48 hours after making a 911 call to the police.
NBC News reported that Talitha Robinson-Russell and Carlos Russell shared limited details in an interview with NBC’s Today about the 25-year-old and how they handled the situation after she showed up at their home on foot.
Her mother said she felt “just so much joy” after being reunited with Carlee since the family and her boyfriend stated she is still recovering from the horrifying ordeal.
“We tried to hug her as best we could, but I had to stand back because she was not in a good state,” Talitha said.
As Blavity reported, Carlee vanished on Thursday after making a 911 call at 9:30 p.m. regarding a toddler wandering along I-459 South. Hoover police said she was on the phone with another relative and shared the same information she revealed to the dispatcher about the child.
The family member told law enforcement they heard Carliee screaming over the phone before losing contact with her. When police arrived, they found her wig, cell phone and purse on the ground near her car, but there was no trace of the medical student or the toddler.
Police initiated a two-day search for Carlee before receiving a call on Saturday at 10:45 p.m. that she was found alive at her parents’ home. She was then transported to UAB Hospital for an evaluation before being released.
Detectives working the case took an initial statement from Carlee following the incident.
“The details of that statement are part of the ongoing investigation which is expected to continue over the next few days,” police said, per NBC News.
Carlee’s boyfriend, Thomar Latrell Simmons, shared a post to his Facebook account on Sunday and claimed his girlfriend was kidnapped.
“She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically & mentally stable again she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment,” Simmons wrote in the post.
While the Russell family believes their daughter was abducted, they could not reveal other details about how Carlee returned home or what led to her disappearance since it’s an ongoing investigation, according to the outlet.
Hoover Police Department public information officer Keith Czeskleba said they plan on following up with Carlee after her statement last week, NBC reported.
“We will follow up with her again to attempt to get a better understanding of the past 72 hours and will provide what information we can when we are able to do so,” he said.
Carlee reportedly experienced “bad dreams” and “moments where some things make her cringe, afraid,” including loud noises. “Just different things that trigger,” Carlos said.
Her mother said people were pretending to be friends with Carlee and offered false information about her whereabouts while she was missing.
“I just didn’t know people could be so evil,” Talitha said.