Carlee Russell, the Black woman who mysteriously went missing in Alabama last week has been found safe, but her frightening disappearance draws attention to the high number of Black women who go missing every year.
Over the weekend, Carlethia Nichole “Carlee” Russell found her way home after disappearing late Thursday night from the side of a major highway following reports of a toddler walking alone there.
Before her safe return, video surveillance footage from Interstate 459 South surfaced online, which apparently shows Russell’s car pull over with its hazard signals on as a figure believed to be her exited the vehicle and ultimately disappeared.
Details of what happened to Russell when she disappeared are still unknown. Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis was also light on information when announcing Russell was alive and safe after arriving at her family’s home late Saturday night, WBRC reported.
“She walked up, banged on the door, and that was her,” Derzis told reporters.
Russell was reportedly “dropped off at home and appeared to be in shock.”
In a Facebook post, Russell’s boyfriend added a few alleged details about what happened to her.
“All I asked from everyone right now is to be respectful of Carlee’s situation,” he wrote. “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.”
What really happened to Carlee Russell is still unknown. Chief Derzis says the investigation is ongoing.
“The first thing is to give Carlee and family a little time to get themselves back together,” Derzis said. “I know it’s been a tough experience for them. When we think it’s time to sit down and have a conversation with Carlee and try to get some facts, we’ll do that.”
Carlee Russell’s frightening disappearance is a cautionary tale for Black women around the world. Her story draws attention to the absurd number of Black women who go missing every year.
According to the National Crime Information Center, despite making up only 15% of the female population, Black women and girls accounted for nearly 34.6% of missing women in 2021.
Black women make up about 7% of the U.S. population but were 36% of missing person cases in 2021.
By the end of the year, 14,323 Black women and girls were still missing and their cases drug on four times longer than average, according to the task force report.
Many experts also believe the official numbers of missing and murdered Black women and girls are likely undercounted.
“There are no flyers, there is no information many times – even (for) the missing women and girls on my page,” she said.
“If Black people go missing at double their occurrence in the actual population, which happens to be the case, there should be double the stories. But in fact, it’s the opposite,” Kyle Pope, the editor-in-chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, told WTKR. “When you go missing, your case gets more or less coverage, and it correlates directly to race.”
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Carlee Russell’s Disappearance Draws Attention To Disturbing Rates Of Missing Black Women was originally published on newsone.com
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