Carlee Russell’s ex-boyfriend says he is “furious” with her after she finally confessed to faking her own abduction.
Thomar Simmons posted a statement on Instagram on Monday night in which he criticized his 25-year-old ex-girlfriend and said she – like the wider public – was “blindsided” by her lies.
“Carlee’s actions have caused pain, confusion and dishonesty,” he wrote.
“I was informed of the false narrative after defending my ex Carlee Russell. The nature of myself and my family is to respond with love and genuine concern. We are disgusted [by] the outcome of this whole situation.”
He added: “I feel like you’re all the same – blindsided by Carlee’s actions.”
Mr Simmons went on to thank “all my family, friends and country for their support” through the saga.
“The gravity of this matter has not been overlooked, and I appreciate the genuine support shared in this situation,” he wrote. “Please keep us in your prayers.”
He also removed all photos and references to Ms Russell from his Instagram account.
Nursing student Ms Russell, 25, admitted on Monday she had lied about the kidnapping in a statement from her lawyer Emory Anthony.
“There was no kidnapping on Thursday, July 13. My client did not see any children on the side of the road,” said the statement. Hoover Police Department Chief Nicholas Derzis read at a press conference Monday.
“My client apologizes for his actions to this community, the volunteers who searched for him, the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well as his friends and family.”
It continued: “My client did not see a child on the side of the road. My client did not leave the Hoover area when he was identified as a missing person. My client did not have any help in this incident, but it was a self-inflicted act.
In the statement, Ms Russell asked the public for forgiveness and prayers as she continues to “work through her issues.”
Chief Derzis said investigators are meeting with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office as they consider possible criminal charges against Ms Russell for the elaborate “fraud”.
On the night of July 13, Ms Russell disappeared without a trace from the side of Interstate 459 in Hoover – just moments after she called 911 saying she had found a small child alone on the road.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found his car still running and his cellphone and wig nearby, but there was no sign of the 25-year-old.
A massive search operation has been launched to try to trace the missing woman, with her family pleading with the public to come forward with any information.
Then, two days later on the evening of 15 July, Hoover Police received a 911 call saying that Ms Russell had suddenly returned home on foot. She claimed she was abducted by “a man with orange hair” and forced to strip and pose for photos – but eventually escaped.
In the days since, suspicions have begun to rise over her version of events and where she actually was during the 49 hours she disappeared.
Last week, Hoover Police cast doubt on one of the key aspects of the case — saying there was no evidence she was abducted or that a small child was walking on the highway that night.
However, they learned that Ms Russell had researched the Amber Alerts and the film Retrieved in the days before he disappeared. He also stopped talking to authorities about what happened.
Mr Simmons and Ms Russell’s family have stood by her even as speculation continues, with her ex-boyfriend urging people to stop bullying her on social media and consider her mental health.
“All I can say is, I want everyone to stop him. I know what he seems to be doing. Just stop bullying on social media,” he told the New York Post over the weekend.
“Think about his mental health. He didn’t deserve that. He is not. No one deserves to be cyberbullied.”
At the time of her apparent disappearance, Mr Simmons raised the alarm and posted desperate appeals for information on her whereabouts.
It is not clear when the couple broke up because she used to call him her boyfriend.
Ms Russell’s family also appeared to return their support to her after she confessed to orchestrating the bombshell abduction.
On Monday, her mother Talitha Robinson-Russell declined to comment on the revelation, saying “ow is not a good time” when reached by The New York Times.
Ms Robinson-Russell also pleaded for her safe return and, after her recovery, continued to defend her daughter amid rumors that her abduction was not just.
“There were times when he had to physically fight for his life, and there were times when he had to mentally fight for his life,” he told NBC’s. TODAY show last week.
Hoover police plan to meet with Ms Russell’s lawyer on Tuesday to discuss the case.