The Curious Case of Carlee Russell: Boyfriend Offers an Update Amid Mysterious Kidnapping Case

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Jul. 17 2023, Published 4:02 p.m. ET

Thanks to social media, stories that may have never made it to mainstream media are getting nationwide attention. The tragic tales of Shanquella Robinson and Tamla Horsford are only two of the murder mysteries that have been uncovered by social media — luckily, Carlee Russell didn’t have the same fate.

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On July 13, Carlee’s friends and family took to Facebook to reveal that she had gone missing. Soon after the story went viral on social media, Carlee’s disappearance became front-page news. Finally, after a three-day manhunt, the missing 25-year-old returned home.

Following her return, her boyfriend took to Facebook with an update. Additionally, he debunked theories that Carlee’s disappearance was a hoax …

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Carlee Russell’s boyfriend offered an update following her alleged kidnapping: “She was literally fighting for her life …”

Carlee was reportedly driving down the highway in Hoover, Ala. when she pulled over to call the police about a toddler she saw wandering alone. Camera footage showed Carlee cutting on her blinkers and proceeding slowly up the shoulder of the highway. Moments later, she vanished.

According to her loved ones, Carlee left behind her phone, Apple Watch, and purse, which indicated that something had gone terribly wrong. In response to the tragedy, users from all over shared the word, and as time passed, everyone’s concern for Carlee grew.

And then, on Saturday, the family finally had some good news to share. Per reports, Carlee had returned home on foot. Upon her homecoming, both Carlee’s mom, Talitha Russell, and her boyfriend, Thomar Simmons, spoke out.

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Thomar started out a Facebook post thanking God for “saving” Carlee’s life, adding that he “wasn’t going to give up” until he “saw her face again!” In the post, Thomar also addressed critics who suspect that he may have had something to do with her disappearance.

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“I was straight tunnel vision, even when I would get on social media on my downtime [and] see some of the false allegations [and] assumptions about me having something to do with her abduction. Would have me discouraged at times I didn’t give up [and] kept my faith!"

Although Thomar didn’t offer any insight into what actually happened to Carlee, he did ask that everyone “be respectful of Carlee’s situation.”

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He added: “She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically [and] mentally stable again, she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment.”

Once news broke that Carlee had returned home, the internet exploded with congratulations and speculations alike.

What really happened to Carlee Russell? To believe or not to believe the conspiracy theories …

Thomar’s Facebook update seemingly confirmed that Carlee was kidnapped and put under extreme duress. However, the internet wasn’t so quick to believe her story. In fact, people have a few (totally unconfirmed) theories about what may or may not have happened to her — many of which aren’t worth exploring until we get the full story.

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I think this @breleighh11 said it best when they tweeted: “What we’re not going to do is start with the ‘I’m glad Carlee Russell is safe but …’ No.”

“Give her and her family privacy and time to process before y’all start your conspiracy theories and Twitter investigations. I am so thankful she was found safe,” their tweet read.

Whatever the case, welcome home, Carlee!

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