AWOL Bride: It Wasn't Cold Feet

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Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks apologized Thursday for disappearing just before her wedding day, and insisted cryptically that her flight was prompted not by cold feet, but by "a host of compelling issues that seemed out of control."

Wilbanks' three-day disappearance last week scared her family and friends and led to a nationwide search.

"I am truly sorry for the trouble I caused and I offer my deep and sincerest apology," the 32-year-old said in a statement read her father's pastor, the Rev. Tom Smiley.

She said she has asked for the forgiveness of her fiance, their families, friends, churches and communities "and any others I may have offended unintentionally."

She added that she has begun professional treatment to deal with the fears that she says were "controlling" her life.

Wilbanks could face criminal charges for allegedly claiming at first that she had been kidnapped. The mayor of Duluth, Ga., has threatened to sue her to recoup the $40,000 to $60,000 cost of the search. And many of those in the community expressed disgust when they learned that she had run off without telling anyone.

"At this time I cannot fully explain what happened to me last week. I had a host of compelling issues that seemed out of control," Wilbanks said.

In the statement, Wilbanks said her flight by bus to Las Vegas and eventually to Albuquerque, N.M., was not in response to her pending wedding, which had been scheduled four days after she vanished.

"Please let me assure you that running away had nothing to do with cold feet or anything to do with leaving John ... I could not wait to be called Mrs. John Mason," she said.

"In my mind, it was never about timing, however unfortunate. I was simply running away from myself and certain fears in my life," she said.