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April 30, 2005
Abduction Faked In Georgia Bride Case

The attention-grabbing case of the missing Georgia bride, Jennifer Wilbanks of Duluth, came to a grubby end this morning when she turned up safe in Albuquerque. At first she told police that she'd been kidnapped by a couple who got scared off by the national attention of her disappearance. However, after more questioning, she finally admitted that she'd run off and hadn't bothered to tell anyone:

A Georgia bride-to-be who vanished just days before her wedding turned up in New Mexico and fabricated a tale of abduction before admitting Saturday that she had gotten cold feet and "needed some time alone," police said. ...

Wilbanks, whose disappearance set off a nationwide hunt, called her fiance, John Mason, from a pay phone late Friday and told him that she had been kidnapped while jogging three days before, authorities said. Her family rejoiced that she was safe, telling reporters that the media coverage apparently got to the kidnappers.

But Wilbanks soon recanted, according to police.

Ray Schultz, chief of police in Albuquerque, said Wilbanks "had become scared and concerned about her impending marriage and decided she needed some time alone." He said she traveled to Las Vegas by bus before going to Albuquerque.

"She's obviously very concerned about the stress that she's been through, the stress that's been placed on her family," he said. "She is very upset."

Well, pardon me for my callousness, but her feelings should be the least of anyone's concerns at the moment. Wilbanks walked off without telling anyone where she was going, leaving behind 600 friends and family to panic, her parents to worry that she had been murdered, and the man who loved her as a suspect in her disappearance. Does that just about cover it? Oh, wait -- she also wasted hundreds of man-hours of the Duluth Police Department, the Georgia state police, the FBI, missing-persons organizations, and the media, time that could have been spent looking for missing children.

I'm sure that her family has focused mostly on her safe return and look forward to talking with her soon. However, her thoughtlessness and cruelty don't make her sympathetic in my eyes. She appears more to have a selfish streak a mile wide, and anyone involved with Ms. Wilbanks in the future should keep that in mind.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 30, 2005 8:10 AM

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» Body of missing Bride-to-be found from JackLewis.net
Alive! From WorldNetDaily: Jennifer Wilbanks, the bride-to-be from Duluth, Ga., who disappeared Tuesday night has been found alive and well... [Read More]

Tracked on April 30, 2005 9:06 AM



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