Woman Missing In Alabama After Stopping To Help A Toddler


An Alabama woman is reportedly missing after she stopped on the side of the road to help a toddler she saw walking alone along Interstate 459. CNN reports that the woman, Carlethia “Carlee” Russell, was talking to a family member shortly after she called 911 when they lost contact even though the call never dropped. The Hoover Police Department called for information on Facebook stating that they are “…currently investigating this incident and are requesting public assistance to help locate the missing person.” Included in their post is a description of Russell, what she was wearing on the day of her disappearance and a contact number for the department.

So far rewards totaling $25,000 have been offered for any information regarding Russell, when officers reached the scene following her 911 call, they did not find any evidence of a toddler. They did, however, find her car, still running, and some of her personal effects which had been abandoned. On July 14, Lt. Daniel Lowe spoke at a press conference which had been called to inform the public of the case and Lowe communicated that the department was allocating all available resources to the case. “We have a myriad of resources,’’ Lowe said. “Everything we have at the Hoover Police Department, in addition to our partners, is involved in this investigation right now.” The department is also remaining in close contact with Russell’s family, who has been leading the search efforts in the area where Russell was last seen. According to a tip received from a trucker, Russell was possibly abducted by a tall, brown-skinned man wearing cargo shorts. Hoover police also found some tire tracks in the grass which supports the theory that Russell was abducted.

Russell’s disappearance fits into a much larger trend nationwide as research from the Black and Missing Foundation suggests. Their data is focused on Black girls under 18 and around 40% of all missing girls are Black, yet many of those missing persons cases go underreported. According to data from the National Crime Information Center, there were 97,127 people missing at the end of 2022, and of that number, 14,627 were Black women. These figures, roughly translate to Black women comprising 15% of all open missing persons cases at the close of 2022. This means that Black women make up more than their population share should of missing cases. It is often left up to the families of the missing to advocate for their loved ones, and what this too often means is a lack of media attention and traction for their stories. In this regard, Russell’s case is an abnormality, too often the stories of Black women like her are met with silence from the media and a lack of urgency from law enforcement.

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