DULUTH, Ga. (AP) – The jilted groom whose bride-to-be ran away four days before their wedding still wants to marry fiancee Jennifer Wilbanks, saying, “Haven’t we all made mistakes?”

“Just because we haven’t walked down the aisle, just because we haven’t stood in front of 500 people and said our I do’s, my commitment before God to her was the day I bought that ring and put it on her finger, and I’m not backing down from that,” John Mason said Monday in an interview with Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes show.

It was Mason’s first public statement since he learned on the morning of his scheduled wedding day that Wilbanks had gotten cold feet.

At an evening press conference Monday, Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher provided a chronology for the events of Wilbanks’ disappearance. He said Wilbanks bought a Greyhound bus ticket to Austin, Texas, a week before running away April 26. That day, she had a taxi pick her up at the local library and take her to the bus terminal in Atlanta.

She never made it to Austin, instead getting off in Dallas and buying a ticket to Las Vegas. She spent some time in Vegas, hanging out at the bus station most the time, before going to Albuquerque, N.M., authorities said.

It was in Albuquerque where she called Mason and police from a pay phone at a 7-11, saying she had been kidnapped. She later said it simply was a case of having jitters ahead of the lavish, 600-guest wedding planned for Saturday.

Mason said he has given the 32-year-old Wilbanks her ring back – she had left it at the house – and said they still planned to marry.

“Some things needs to happen first, and we need to talk about a few things and … she needs some treatment, for lack of a better word,” he said.

Mason and his fiancee’s father, Harris Wilbanks, who also appeared on the show, said Jennifer Wilbanks is working on a releasing a written statement.

“She just needs some space and some time,” Mason said. “She just wants the whole world to know she’s very, very sorry.”

But if Mason and the family are ready to forgive the jittery bride, authorities are still peeved.

Authorities said they are looking into the possibility of suing Wilbanks for the estimated $40,000 to $60,000 cost of searching for her. That option would have to be approved by the city council. The groom’s father, Claude Mason, is a former mayor of Duluth and a local judge.

“We feel a tad betrayed and some are very hurt about it,” Mayor Shirley Lasseter said.

She added that they want to hear from Wilbanks’ family, to see if perhaps there was a good reason for the woman’s disappearance. “I would love to hear from the family and know there might have been a problem and know we should work with this lady on some recourse other than legally.”

The local prosecutor said Monday he will conduct a thorough investigation, which could take weeks, before deciding whether to charge Wilbanks for falsely claiming she had been kidnapped.

District Attorney Danny Porter said Wilbanks could face a misdemeanor charge of false report of a crime or a felony charge of false statements. The misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to a year in jail; five years in prison is the maximum sentence for the felony.

Carter Brank, an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said he had spoken with Wilbanks, but that she “didn’t come right out an apologize.”

“She was somewhat remorseful for what she had done,” he said. “She cried a little bit, showed some emotion.”

Wilbanks’ father said his daughter claims she did not know about all the media attention surrounding her disappearance. He said she did not see a television during her trip and only once read a newspaper, but it made no mention of her.

Mason appealed to the prosecutor not to bring charges.

“Her cutting her hair and getting on a bus and riding out of here ain’t none of (prosecutor) Danny Porter’s business,” Mason said. “And that’s not criminal as far as I’m concerned.”

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