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Police: Ga. Woman Fabricated Kidnap Story

April 30, 2005

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ 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 got cold feet and ``needed some time alone,″ police said.

Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, had called her fiance from a pay phone late Friday and told him that she was kidnapped three days earlier while she was jogging, authorities said. But she soon recanted, according to police.

``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. He said there would be no criminal charges.

The wedding, which had been scheduled for Saturday, was elaborate. The couple had mailed 600 invitations, and the ceremony was to feature 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen.

Wilbanks, whose disappearance set of a nationwide hunt for her, was tired and thirsty, but was not complaining of any injuries, officials said. Her hair, which was long in pictures released by her family, was shoulder-length.

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