Carlee Russell — the 25-year-old Alabama nursing student who landed herself in the middle of a messy kidnapping hoax this month — surrendered to authorities after an arrest warrant was issued on Friday. During a news conference providing updates on the ordeal, Hoover Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis stated that she’s now facing two misdemeanor charges: false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident. Per NBC News, “The charges carried a bond of $1,000 each and are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine if convicted.” Russell was released from jail after posting bond.
On July 13, Russell called 911, claiming to see a toddler walking alone on the side of the highway, vanishing for two days after the fact in what was referred to as a “kidnapping” by a man with orange hair and his female companion, who took nude photos of her. She later admitted to making the whole thing up.
“Her decisions that night created panic and alarm for the citizens of our city and even across the nation as concern grew that a kidnapper was on the loose using a small child as bait,” Derzis said. “The story opened wounds for families whose loved ones really were victims of kidnappings, some of which even helped organize searches.”