The story of the missing bride: why Jennifer Carol Wilbanks decided to hide

Family 2023
The story of the missing bride: why Jennifer Carol Wilbanks decided to hide
The story of the missing bride: why Jennifer Carol Wilbanks decided to hide

Jennifer Carol Wilbanks went jogging a few days before her own wedding for 600 people and never came back. She was later found in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She claimed to have been kidnapped, but it was a lie. But the truth turned out to be much more interesting.

Real runaway bride: the girl staged her own kidnapping
Real runaway bride: the girl staged her own kidnapping

On April 26, 2005, Wilbanks told her fiancé John Mason that she was going for a run. There were only a few days before the appointed wedding date, and, of course, the bride and groom were on edge. Still would! Six hundred guests is no joke. It is not surprising that Jennifer wanted to unwind, let off steam. She went for a run but never came back.

John called the police and reported his fiancée missing. Everyone was terrified, because only a few years ago Lacey Peterson had disappeared, whose body was found in the forest. The killer was her own husband. Not surprisingly, John was the first suspect. Friends and family of the Wilbanks spoke to the media, pleading with anyone who saw the girl to contact the police.

The administration of the city where she lived with her fiancé assembled a search party. They spent over $60,000 looking for any clue that could point them to Jennifer's whereabouts. Her friends and family held a vigil for her on her wedding day, in the very church where she was to be married. Jennifer's family offered a $100,000 reward for any information.

A few days later, luck smiled at the family - Jennifer was found in Albuquerque. She told authorities that she was kidnapped and raped while jogging. The perpetrators were two: a white woman and a Hispanic man. She described their van in detail, even the music that was playing on the radio. She also said that the man has bad teeth, and the woman is thick and obese. They tied her up with ropes so she couldn't escape.

It wasn't until the FBI got involved that Wilbanks had to tell the truth - no one kidnapped her. She withdrew $40 from her account, bought a ticket to Las Vegas, but ended up in Albuquerque. The day before her wedding, she called her fiancé and told him the story of the kidnapping. Although in reality she was just scared - too much responsibility, too serious.

The most interesting thing is that both partners were not taken aback. Wilbanks almost immediately sued the former fiancé for $500,000. The fact is that for 250 thousand dollars he bought a house for himself, and the book that he wrote on their history served as a source of money. The other half of the amount was intended for damages - Mason had a power of attorney to manage joint finances, and something went wrong. John responded to Jennifer with a counterclaim, but in the end, the former bride and groom refused to claim each other. High relationship!

Jennifer did not go unpunished: she was charged with falsely reporting a crime. The girl did not dispute the accusations, paid $ 9,000 and received another 250 hours of community service. Wilbanks later went to a specialist and underwent treatment, revealing a number of mental and physical issues that led her to fake her own kidnapping. The girl made a public apology to friends and residents of Duluth.

In 2010, Wilbanks' name was back in the papers as she filed for bankruptcy. Although Jennifer sold the film rights to her story to a production company for $500,000, she ran into a debt of $30,000. But in the same year, she wrote on Facebook that she had found her love.

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