ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A Georgia bride-to-be who vanished days before her wedding turned up in New Mexico, claiming at first that she had been abducted, then admitting she had gotten cold feet and "needed some time alone," police said Saturday.
Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, was in police custody more than 1,420 miles from her home on what was supposed to be her wedding day.
"It turns out that Miss Wilbanks basically felt the pressure of this large wedding and could not handle it," said Randy Belcher, the police chief in Duluth, Ga., the Atlanta suburb where Wilbanks lives with her fiance. He said there would be no criminal charges.
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 after being picked up by Albuquerque police outside a 7-Eleven and questioned for hours, she recanted.
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."
"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."
Schultz said she traveled to Las Vegas by bus before going to Albuquerque, where she found herself broke. Bill Elwell, an
FBI spokesman in Albuquerque, said that is probably why she called home when she did.
JB here: There's a lesson to be learned here. As soon as I figure out what it is; I'll post.