Should “Runaway Bride” Be Charged, Fined?


The cost of the search for runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks is likely to be substantial, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Police in Duluth, Ga., have begun calculating the hours of overtime and expenses. Most of the city’s 47 uniformed officers and all four of the city’s detectives worked overtime to find Wilbanks. Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter he may file criminal charges against Wilbanks if he determines she misled local authorities by saying she had been kidnapped. “What I’ve been hearing from the public is that she should receive some type of consequence for her actions,” Porter said.

Last year, a Wisconsin college student who faked her own abduction and turned up curled in a fetal position in a marsh was given three years’ probation for obstructing police and was ordered to repay police at least $9,000 for their search. Officers from local, state, and federal agencies began the search Wednesday. It ended Saturday after Wilbanks placed a 911 call from a pay phone in New Mexico. After Wilbanks’ fiancé, John Mason, reported that Wilbanks went missing while on an evening jog, police set up a mobile command center, mapped areas to be searched, and brought in tracking dogs. Officers fanned out from the jogging route that Mason gave them.


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