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Jennifer Wilbanks agrees to fork over more than $13,000 to the hometown that looked for her

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 31, 2005 06:20 PM
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Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks has agreed to pay $13,250 to her hometown of Duluth, Ga. – about a quarter of what it reputedly cost the city to search for her when she went missing in April.

The Duluth city attorney notified Mayor Shirley Lasseter that a written agreement for compensation had been reached and a check from Wilbanks was expected on Tuesday, reports the Associated Press.

“We’re very appreciative they were willing to give us the $13,000. We would have certainly welcomed the entire amount that covered all of our employees but we are ready to get this behind us,” Lasseter said.

The check still leaves Duluth in the hole for some $30,000 in other costs associated with looking for the bride-to-be, who disappeared April 26, four days before her planned wedding to fianc John Mason.

Last Wednesday, Wilbanks, 32, was indicted on charges of telling police a phony story about being kidnapped. She was charged with making a false statement and making a false police report, which could cost her up to six years behind bars and $11,000, in fines if convicted.

Wilbanks also faces the possibly of having to reimburse authorities, although though several state and county agencies have said they will not charge Wilbanks for what it cost them to search for her.