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Update: Carlee Russell continues to dominate headlines days after she allegedly fabricated her own abduction in Hoover, Alabama.

Sources say the former spa worker is hiding out in the Atlanta area. She plans to celebrate her 26th birthday with family and close friends on Saturday (July 22).

Russell’s mother, Talitha Robinson-Russell, and her stepfather, Carlos Russell, both deactivated their Facebook pages on Friday as calls grow for police to arrest Carlee Russell.

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TikTok, Facebook

Angela Harris, mother of slain 19-year-old student Aniah Blanchard, said it’s not her place to judge Russell or her mother.

Talitha reportedly asked Harris’s nonprofit to help lead the search for Russell when she went missing on July 13.

Harris spoke out on Friday in a Facebook Live video, saying, “Carlee is reunited with her family, no matter how that happened, or what that looks like, or what the circumstances surrounding that are. Our nonprofit is dedicated to helping bring people home.”

Harris said she has no regrets about her role in the search for Russell and would do it all over again.

Russell’s ex-boyfriend, Thomar Simmons, and a friend are under scrutiny by police. Investigators reportedly believe an accomplice waited to pick up Russell in a neighborhood next to Interstate 459 where her car was found abandoned.

Russell has refused a request for a second interview with investigators.

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Originally published on: July 21, 2023 at 09:39 AM:

A local Alabama attorney is shocked that Carlee Russell hasn’t been arrested for fabricating her own abduction.

The 25-year-old spa worker claims she was abducted by a white man with orange hair after she reported a white toddler wandering on the side of I-459 on July 13.

Russell returned home 48 hours later with a wild story to tell. After briefly speaking with investigators about her ordeal on Sunday, she has lawyered up and stopped cooperating with police.

Hoover PD held a press conference on Wednesday to explain that Russell stole a bathrobe, toilet paper, and other items from her job. She also purchased snacks from a local Target that were not found in her abandoned Mercedes Benz on July 13.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis says parts of Russell’s story can’t be verified. He said there was no evidence of a child walking down I-459.

Russell’s phone showed Internet searches for terms including “Do you have to pay for an amber alert?” and “How to take money from a register without being caught.”

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Russell also allegedly purchased a one-way bus ticket to Nashville to attend a Beyonce concert that weekend.

Alabama attorney Eric Guster says local police have gone out of their way to avoid calling Russell a liar.

Guster says she should be arrested for wasting police manpower and law enforcement resources.

“She says she was kidnapped, and a kidnapping didn’t happen. [They said] our citizens are safe. There’s not a kidnapper out there. So, they use every other synonym for lie except saying she lied,” he told WVTM.

Guster said he is worried Russell’s lies could have an effect on Black women who go missing in the future.

“It’s going to be much more difficult for African American women to be believed, and it may actually decrease the number of actual reports of things because people are already afraid that they won’t be believed,” he said.

Guster predicts Russell will eventually be charged with making a false statement to 911 — a misdemeanor.

“I expect Carlee to be charged at some point, at minimum for making a false statement. But they have to make sure they finish the full investigation,” he said.

Employees at the spa where Russell worked are pleading with the public to stop calling there and leaving bad reviews online.

One employee wrote:

“Please don’t be calling up to Woodhouse, cussing out our people and leaving 1 star reviews for no damn reason. We were victims of Carlee’s bullsh-t like everyone else… because we had no reason to think she was the person she turned out to be, and then had to deal with the emotional whiplash of the truth.”

“She stole from our tips that night and we were over here posting about how sweet she was and how worried we were. Yeah, we feel stupid now too.”