Carlee Russell's kidnapping story is a fictional one -- she's now fessing up to it all being a big fat lie, and she's also apologizing to the community that rallied to search for her.
Russell's attorney, Emory Anthony, released a statement to Hoover, PD -- and the police chief read it Monday during a news conference. In part, Anthony's letter says, "My client has given me permission to make the following statement on her behalf. There was no kidnapping on Thursday, July 13th, 2023. My client did not see a baby on the side of the road."
He continues, "My client did not leave the Hoover area when she was identified as a missing person. My client didn’t have any help, this was a single act. My client was not with anyone, or not at a hotel with anyone. My client apologizes for her actions. Ask for prayers for Carlee as she addresses her issues and attempts to move forward, ask for forgiveness."
Russell's attorney did not elaborate further in his remarks about a possible motive for her fabrication. He is, however, meeting with HPD alongside his client to discuss next steps.
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Unclear if charges are going to be filed ... Hoover PD says it's deferring to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office on that front. Presumably, she could face serious punishment for this -- a lot of money and resources went into the 48-hour long search.
As we reported ... this saga had been questioned from the get-go. Some felt the facts of the case weren't adding up as the information started to seep out ... especially when Carlee turned up out of nowhere on Saturday night, with her family insisting she'd been abducted.
The police also had its doubts, saying last week they were unable to confirm her kidnapping story, or that a toddler was spotted on the side of a highway. There were a lot of other clues they say they stumbled upon ... like suspicious searches for things like amber alerts and the movie "Taken."
Now, the truth is out. We'll see if she's held accountable in a court of law.