Cars were seen queuing outside Carlee Russell’s home in Alabama on Sunday, just a day after her 26th birthday.
There was no official word as to why all the cars were parked at the home of the woman central to a missing persons case that is sweeping the nation.
A dozen cars lined the driveway and around the home, catching the attention of Hoover, Alabama police, who drove past the home as people entered and exited the home.
Police said Russell delayed further requests to question her again about her alleged disappearance on July 13. Russell disappeared after calling 911 to report a toddler wandering on an Alabama freeway.
That sparked a nationwide hunt for her that ended 49 hours later when she returned to her family home.
Authorities say they have found no evidence to support the woman’s claims and are now investigating her story.
Cars piled up in the driveway of Russell’s home in Hoover, Alabama, on Sunday, the weekend of her birthday
Friends and family gathered at Russell’s home in Alabama on Sunday, just a day after her 26th birthday
Police in Hoover, Alabama, are investigating claims that Russell was kidnapped on July 13 and have said they have found no evidence to support those claims
Russell has claimed she left work around 8.20pm on July 13 before stopping to pick up food for her and her mother.
She then drove toward Hoover and called 911 around 9:30 p.m. to report the missing child who was lost on the Alabama freeway.
After Russell called 911, she reportedly called her sister-in-law to let her know she was checking on the child. The family member lost contact with her at around 9:36 p.m., but the line remained busy.
Responding officers found Russell’s abandoned car nearby, along with her cell phone, purse, wig and Apple Watch, but no sign of her or any child.
Hoover Police later said they had received no further calls about a missing child.
A witness said they may have seen a gray vehicle and a man outside of Carlee’s vehicle, but police said they had no further information.
After reappearing at her parents’ home two days later, Carlee told investigators she was kidnapped by an orange-haired man who held her captive for two days.
Then she managed to escape, Russell claims.
The nursing student is now said to be cooperating with authorities, but police said they found no evidence of a toddler lying by the roadside, nor of the kidnapping story she told them.
That has prompted some to accuse her of faking the whole ordeal.
Russell was reported missing on July 13 after making a bizarre call to 911 claiming she had found a toddler by the side of the road
People were seen entering and exiting the suburban property on Sunday. Russell returned home safely on July 15, claiming she had been kidnapped
Three Hoover Police cars also drove past the suburban family’s home as police continue to investigate Russell’s story
An unidentified man is pictured outside Carlee Russell’s Hoover home on Sunday
The nursing student told investigators that she was kidnapped by an orange-haired man who held her captive for two days. Friends and family are seen outside their suburban home on Sunday
Authorities said Sunday the more than $63,000 collected during the two-day search for Russell will not be returned.
Crime Stoppers initially said the money would be returned to donors when Russell showed up at her parents’ home on July 15.
Now the organization has withdrawn this promise because the investigation is “not yet completed”.
Crime Stoppers announced Sunday that they will not return the more than $63,000 raised during the two-day search for Russell
“This investigation is ongoing and accordingly there is no basis for a refund of any contributions at this time,” the organization wrote.
“Furthermore, the Hoover Police Department has not requested release or reimbursement of any donor contributions.”
The announcement marked an abrupt reversal to a statement made just hours earlier by the agency’s chief executive, Bob Copus, in which he said an unspecified amount of donations had already been returned, although doubts remain about the legitimacy of the case.
Other payments would currently be reimbursed if the individual donor so chose.
As of Sunday, it wasn’t clear how much of the money was actually repaid.
has reached out to Hoover Police for comment.
Russell disappeared off a freeway, sparking a nationwide manhunt for her that ended days later when she returned to her home alone
Russell’s friend Thomar Lattrel Simmons – who initially asked on Facebook for help locating the missing woman – appears to have distanced himself from his lover.
Following a Hoover Police Department press conference on July 19 — two days after the Crimestoppers announcements — Thomar deleted all mentions of Carlee from his Instagram and Facebook accounts.
He not only deleted his posts about her disappearance, but also every photo of her and them together.
On Saturday, Simmons urged people to stop bullying the nursing student.
“All I can say is I want everyone to stop bullying her.” I know what it looks like, what she’s done. Just stop bullying on social media,” her friend Thomar Lattrel Simmons told the New York Post.
“Think of her sanity.” She didn’t deserve that. She doesn’t. “No one deserves to be bullied online,” he added.
As for the rest of her family — including a sister-in-law who claimed Russell called her while she was looking after the unattended child — she seemed to have swallowed her story and repeated it on the TODAY show Monday after Carlee showed up at their home with a split lip.
The 25-year-old was on the phone with her sister-in-law when she went to check on the child before the family member heard a scream and lost contact
On the show, her parents recalled finding Harris in “bad shape.”
“She was fighting for her life,” said her father Carlos, vice president of underwriting at BBVA bank, also claiming she escaped her captors.
But police have revealed Russell was researching the Liam Neeson film Taken and whether she was too old for an Amber Alert, as well as looking for a one-way bus ticket to Nashville.
As of Sunday, police inquiries into the circumstances of Harris’ disappearance were still ongoing.
Filing a false police report in Alabama is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $6,000 fine.
Alabama attorney Eric Guster previously said he expects Carlee to be charged with filing a false police report, but said police are likely waiting to complete their investigation.
“You can’t force them to make a statement or make a statement.” What I think will happen is that Hoover will investigate this case further.
“I expect Carlee will eventually be charged, at least on false testimony.” “But they have to make sure they complete the entire investigation,” he said.