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Frantic 911 calls emerge in Carlee Russell disappearance: ‘She’s not answering’


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Frantic 911 calls captured the moment police responded to the scene where ​Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell reported that she found a male toddler wandering on a busy highway — only to find the 25-year-old nursing student missing.

“A 3- to 4-year-old child walking on the side of the interstate,” the Hoover police dispatcher is heard saying in audio obtained this week by and WVTM 13.

The dispatcher advises that the caller’s red Mercedes was left running with its hazards on along I-459.

“Child is going to be a white male wearing a white T-shirt and a diaper,” he tells the responding officer. “RP (reporting party) is advising there are no cars in the area where the child’s been abandoned on the side of the road.”

The dispatcher adds that the woman, who called about 9:30 p.m.Thursday, said she’d “stand by for police” to arrive.

“Call the RP back – she’s not at her vehicle,” the officer reports to the dispatcher, who replies, “We’re not getting the female to answer. ​“We’re trying to call her back. She’s not answering.”

The cop reports that “the vehicle is unlocked, running, all her personal belongings except for her phone.”

Police apparently ran the sedan’s registration and determined that it belonged to Russell.

Police also mentioned sending units to Russell’s home “to try and make contact there.”

An officer says: ​“We got a call about a female screaming with a child … Be advised, the female screamed and the line disconnected.”

He says he was checking the backyard at Atkins Trimm Lane.

An officer says: ​“We got a call about a female screaming with a child … Be advised, the female screamed and the line disconnected.”

“Do you want to see if we can start getting her (Russell’s) phone pinged?” the officer says. “​We’re trying to get T-Mobile to ping the phone.”

Police also talked about deploying a drone and then requested for a technician to respond to the scene as a statewide lookout bulletin was issued for a “possible abduction.”

A separate recording posted by the news outlets captured radio calls after Russell’s family ​responded to a Red Roof Inn in Vestavia about 7 p.m. Saturday — hours before Russell returned home.

​“The front, per caller, said family members at this location saying they received a call from the female that’s missing, Carlee Russell, saying she was at this location,” a dispatcher says.

“I spoke with the front desk clerk. They said the family’s not being (inaudible) or anything like that, but that there were about six carloads of people that have just shown up over there,” an officer replies.

About four hours later, someone called from Russell’s residence to report that she had returned on foot.

On Tuesday night, police announced they have ​“not located any evidence of a toddler walking down the interstate, nor did we receive any additional calls about a toddler walking down the interstate, despite numerous vehicles passing through that area as depicted by the traffic camera surveillance video.”

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