‘What happened? What made you do that?’: Ex-boyfriend of Carlee Russell talks about kidnapping hoax

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — “This is my last time talking about this situation.”

That’s what Thomar Latrell Simmons, the former boyfriend of Carlee Russell, made clear during his podcast, “205 Boyz,” when he discussed how she faked her kidnapping in July. Russell has since been arrested on suspicion of filing false police report charges.

During the podcast, which debuted Friday, Simmons was joined by friend and co-host Marcus Moody, who asked Simmons about what his life had been like since Russell’s admitted hoax, as well as the online rumors about him having a part in her going missing for several days before walking home.

“[I’m] trying to get back to my normal life, but it’s never going to be normal for me,” Simmons said. “I can’t even go around Birmingham without people knowing who I am. It’s crazy, bro.”

Timeline of Carlee Russell’s disappearance, return and the ongoing investigation into what happened to her

On July 13, Russell called the police in Hoover, Alabama, claiming that she saw a child walking on the interstate. When police arrived at the location, Russell’s car was found parked along the interstate with no sign of her. After days of searching for her, Russell walked back to her family home on July 16, where she claimed that she had been abducted and that she had escaped.

However, police raised questions about Russell’s claims and after a lengthy investigation, she admitted that she made up the abduction story, as well as seeing a child walking along the interstate. She is facing charges for allegedly filing a false police report and filing a false statement to law enforcement authorities.

Simmons said one of Russell’s family members called him on July 13 to tell him that they couldn’t find her.

“I was doing a dash to Hoover,” he said. “I got there in 15 minutes.”

Alabama woman had ‘highly unusual’ search history before her disappearance, police say

Simmons said he found out about the hoax from a press conference the police gave on July 24.

“I was mad. I was sad,” he said. “I was all type of emotion.”

Simmons addressed rumors that he was responsible for Russell wanting to get away. While talking about her, Moody asked about a trip Simmons and Russell took to New York City a couple of weeks before she disappeared. Simmons said they had fun and took tours of the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.

“We had a little argument, but it was nothing to kidnap yourself over,” he said.

Simmons said he was traumatized by all the rumors circulating online about his relationship to Russell, as well as rumors asking if he was simply seeking attention by getting involved early on in the search.

“It made me mad because people were talking down on my character,” he said. “People were saying I was a cheater and I’m this and that, a player, and I’m like, ‘Our relationship was five years, man.'”

Simmons said he has not spoken with Russell since she first went missing and felt he wouldn’t be talking to her anytime soon.

“If you really want to tell me the truth, you could’ve told me before all this happened, before the police came out,” he said. “You had time to tell me.”

Simmons said he still doesn’t understand why Russell faked her kidnapping.

“I’m confused. Like, what happened? What made you do that? I don’t understand.”

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