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Family says Alabama woman was kidnapped after being 'lured' by toddler on side of a highway, but skeptics are crying hoax

Family says Alabama woman was kidnapped after being 'lured' by toddler on side of a highway, but skeptics are crying hoax

The family of an Alabama woman says she was kidnapped after she stopped to help a child on the road and was held for several days before she was able to walk home.

The bizarre series of events began on Thursday when 25-year-old Carlee Russell disappeared after calling 911 to report a small child walking alone in a diaper on the side of interstate I-459.

Her family reported her missing, and a frantic search began for the woman.

Officers found her car on the side of the road and found some of her belongings, including her wig and her cellphone.

After several days of the search, Russell knocked on the door of her family's home after walking there alone on Saturday at about 10:30 p.m.

Russell was treated at a hospital and released on Sunday. Police said she gave them a statement about what happened, but they did not release any information about what she said.

"We celebrate with the Russell family on her safe return," read a statement from Lt. Daniel Lowe of the Hoover Police Department.

Russell's mother said that her daughter had called a family member after seeing the child and screamed before the phone call was cut off.

Her boyfriend claimed in a post on Facebook that Russell had been kidnapped and fought for her life for two days.

“She was literally fighting for her life for 48 hours, so until she’s physically & mentally stable again, she is not able to give any updates or whereabouts on her kidnapper at this very moment,” wrote Thomar Latrell Simmons in the post.

Her parents also said that the child has been used to "lure" Russell.

Some people on social media have cast doubt on the official story, and they're claiming that the kidnapping was a hoax. They point to grainy surveillance video showing Russell's car stop on the side of the road with no sign of the child anywhere.

A human trafficking expert told the Business Insider that it is highly unlikely a trafficker would use a child as a lure because abductions attract a lot of attention.

"As far as we are aware, this is not a tactic that traffickers use," said Sabrina Thulander of Polaris.

She went on to say that traffickers are more likely to use trickery and manipulation. Often they are family members of the victim or intimate partners who are exploiting a vulnerability of the victim.

Here's more about the alleged kidnapping:

Missing Alabama woman returns home after reporting toddler on highway and disappearingwww.youtube.com

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Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Staff Writer

Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News.