Why I Hate School

Topics: Amazon Rainforest, Marriage, Runaway bride case Pages: 4 (845 words) Published: April 30, 2005
Jennifer Wilbanks, the Georgia runaway bride, is escorted by ... ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Distressed, out of cash and in disguise, a missing Georgia bride-to-be turned up on a seedy stretch of Route 66 and told authorities Saturday she'd been abducted, then copped to the truth - she fled the pressure of her looming wedding.

Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, was picked up by police after a bus trip that took her through Las Vegas, Nev., to a payphone outside an Albuquerque 7-Eleven where she called her fiance, John Mason, and 911 late Friday and said she had been freed by kidnappers.

Family members began celebrating outside the couple's home in Duluth, Ga., but hours later, Wilbanks admitted her disappearance was voluntary.

She was "scared and concerned about her impending marriage and decided she needed some time alone," Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said.

Police said there would be no criminal charges, although more than 100 officers led a search that involved several hundred volunteers, including many wedding guests and members of the bridal party.

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

Wilbanks returned later Saturday by plane to Atlanta, where she was picked up in a police squad car on the tarmac - with a towel covering her head - to avoid the media that had gathered inside the terminal.

There were no family members at the airport to greet her, but her stepfather and an uncle had flown to Albuquerque to escort her home, authorities said.

Bill Elwell, an FBI spokesman in Albuquerque, said Wilbanks apparently decided to flee shortly after purportedly leaving for her jog Tuesday without her keys or wallet.

"Based on the information we received, it was a spur of the moment situation," Elwell told The Associated Press.

After finding herself broke in Albuquerque, Elwell said she decided to call her fiance and police with the...
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