“I don’t even know how to start off this post but to only say thank you to my lord & savior Jesus Christ for saving my girlfriend’s life!” Simmons wrote via Instagram on Sunday, July 16, alongside several photos of him and Russell, 25. “Also, thank you to everyone who shared a picture, came out to the Hoover Met to help us with the search parties & who went & proceeded to tell other people about Carlee to bring more awareness to her story.”
Simmons explained he had been “going nonstop since [he] received the call that she was missing” on Thursday, July 13.
“I know she would’ve done the same for me, so I wasn’t going to give up until I saw her face again!” he continued. “I was straight tunnel vision, even when I would get on social media on my downtime.”
Simmons then addressed the “false allegations & assumptions” that he had “something to do with her abduction,” noting that they “would have me discouraged at times.”
“I didn’t give up & kept my faith! I just want to thank all of my family, friends, former teammates & church members who called or texted me just to let me know that they’re praying & here for me,” Simmons wrote. “You guys don’t know how much that meant to me!”
He concluded the lengthy caption by asking for people to be “respectful of Carlee’s situation.”
“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,” Simmons added. “I also want to thank the people on social media who has been understanding & respectful about what she’s been through in these past few days.”
Russell was reported missing on Thursday after she called 911 around 9:34 p.m. to report seeing a toddler walking on the side of I-459 South near mile marker 11, according to the Hoover Police Department.
She stopped to check on the child and called a relative to tell them what she saw, though the relative lost contact with Russell and the phone line remained open. The relative, who was said to be her brother’s girlfriend, told authorities that she heard screaming on the other line.
Two days after her disappearance, Russell returned to her Alabama home alone around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 15.She was evaluated at a hospital and had returned home on the afternoon of Sunday, July 16.
“We celebrate with the Russell family on her safe return,” Lt. Daniel Lowe from the Hoover Police Department said in a press release.
However, authorities have not disclosed any information about Russell’s condition, how she returned home or what happened during the time she was missing.
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