Cullman salon owner originally believed to have gone missing may have skipped town, police say

Local News

CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — After investigating the whereabouts of a Cullman woman who had been reported missing several weeks ago, Cullman police now believe she was not missing, but simply left town, leaving many questions–including what her real name was–unanswered.

“Lilliam Max” was originally reported missing May 7 after friends and family had not seen or heard from the woman for approximately a week.

According to Lt. Jody Martin of the Cullman Police Department, “Max” had told friends and patrons of her salon prior to her disappearance that she was going to Atlanta May 3 for a naturalization or immigration hearing. “Max” had claimed she was a legal resident of the U.S. who was originally from Mexico.

According to an immigration officer, there was no known scheduled appointment or hearing for “Lilliam Max.” Police now believe that may not be her actual name. Police also suspect “Max” was not a legal U.S. resident and that she was actually from Honduras, not Mexico like she had previously claimed.

Police say that on May 2, “Max” was allegedly driven to the Birmingham bus terminal by a friend, supposedly planning to board a bus to Atlanta leaving at 7 p.m. that day. “Max” arrived at the station at approximately 1 p.m. According to police, her phone stopped functioning the same time she arrived at the bus terminal.

“Max” was observed on surveillance video boarding a bus at approximately 10:10 p.m. May 2. Originally, it was thought that the bus to Atlanta was departing late. However, Greyhound confirmed the bus from Birmingham to Atlanta was only 8 minutes late arriving in Atlanta. The destination of the bus “Max” boarded at 10:10 p.m. is unknown, and Greyhound did not provide information concerning the tickets “Max” had bought.

Upon searching Max’s salon and residence, police found some clothing and salon equipment, but her State of Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering certificate was missing from its frame.

Law enforcement received reports that Max allegedly owed money to several people, had not paid utility bills, was behind on her business rent and had borrowed money from a friend shortly before disappearing.

“Due to inaccurate information received during the investigation, it is now my belief that the person reported missing and known as Lilliam Max here in Cullman, Alabama left of her own free will and departed for somewhere other than Atlanta, Georgia based on the schedule for departures at the Birmingham, Alabama bus station,” Martin said in a statement to CBS 42. “Her current whereabouts are unknown and her information will remain entered as a missing person until she is located and welfare checked.”

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