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Carlee Russell, Alabama woman who faked her own kidnapping, gets probation for hoax

Carlee Russell charged for kidnapping hoax
Watch: Carlee Russell charged for kidnapping hoax 10:04

Carlee Russell, the Alabama woman who faked her own kidnapping last year, pleaded guilty Thursday and avoided jail time, according to CBS affiliate WIAT.

Russell, then a 25-year-old nursing student, told Hoover police she was abducted July 13 after seeing a toddler on the side of the road. She told police an unknown man had forced her over a fence and into a car. For the next 49 hours, hundreds of police and volunteers searched for the missing Russell. 

She suddenly arrived home on July 15 and told officers that she remembered being in a trailer truck with a man with orange hair, and a woman. She also alleged she could hear a baby crying in the truck. 

Russell told police she was eventually able to escape. Police were suspicious of her timeline. Eventually, she admitted to fabricating the abduction. 

She pleaded guilty Thursday to filing a false police report and falsely reporting an incident to law enforcement at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Bessemer, WIAT reported. Russell will avoid jail time and instead receive a six-month suspended jail sentence. She was given a year of probation and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service.

Russell will also need to pay the city of Hoover $18,000 in restitution, the judge ordered. 

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