Alabama woman found guilty of faking own abduction; judge recommends 1 year in prison

Published 4:02 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Alabama woman who caused alarm and a statewide search after she disappeared was found guilty Wednesday of fabricating her own abduction.

Carlee Russell, 26, made national headlines in July when she called 911 to report seeing a toddler walking alone near an Alabama interstate before she vanished. After days of searching for her, she showed up alone.

Police investigated and said there was no truth to her abduction story and eventually pressed charges against her.

On Wednesday, Hoover Municipal Judge Brad Bishop found Russell guilty on providing false reports to law enforcement and falsely reporting a police matter.

The judge recommended she receive a year in prison and approximately $19,500 in restitution and fines.

Russell’s attorneys said they planned to appeal the decision to circuit court.