Carlee Russell’s boyfriend, Thomas Latrell Simmons, is urging social media users to “stop bullying” the woman after authorities raised questions about the story she told authorities. Simmons stated the case may also be a “mental health” issue.


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“The only thing I can say is, I want everyone to stop bullying her,” Simmons said to the New York Post. “I know what it seems like what she did. Just stop bullying on social media.”

In case you missed the story, Russell, a resident of Alabama, was reported missing on Thursday after disappearing from a highway. The woman called the police to report a child she saw walking on the interstate. She pulled over to check on the child, also calling a family member to alert them of the situation.

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Russell would lose contact with her family during the call but the line remained open. Upon arrival, officers found her car and belongings nearby but no site of Russell and the child.

Russell was traveling home from work and picked up food before stopping on I-459. An eyewitness stated there was another car present at the scene. Russell was stated to have screamed, and it could be picked up on a dropped cell phone, Talitha Russell, her mother, said to AL.com

“My son’s girlfriend heard her asking the child, ‘Are you OK?’ She never heard the child say anything but then she heard our daughter scream,’’ Talitha said. “From there, all you hear on her phone is background noise from the interstate.”

Russell returned home on foot on Saturday, she was checked at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital, and according to USA Today, she was unharmed.

Speaking out on Facebook in a now-deleted statement, Russell’s boyfriend, Thomar Simmons, stated Nichols was “fighting for her life”:

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! 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. I have been going nonstop since I received the call that she was missing on Thursday night. I know she would’ve done the same for me, so I wasn’t going to give up until I saw her face again! I was straight tunnel vision, even when I would get on social media on my downtime & see some of the false allegations & assumptions about me having something to do with her abduction 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; you guys don’t know how much that meant to me! All I asked from everyone right now is 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. 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. Once again I can’t thank you guys enough for helping us bring Carlee home! God bless you all ❤️🙏🏾 #carleefound #carleerussell