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Teen Who Faked Death Enters Plea On Sex Charges

By: Eames Yates; Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Email
By: Eames Yates; Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Email
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Associated Press Release

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- A Georgia man who officials say faked his own death to avoid prosecution on sex charges in Florida, has pleaded no contest in the Florida case.

The News Herald of Panama City reports 19-year-old Nathan Wilkins pleaded no contest Thursday to charges that he traveled to Panama City with the intent of meeting an 11-year-old child for sex.

Wilkins was arrested in a sting operation by investigators who placed phony child sex advertisements on the Internet and arrested those who responded.

Wilkins was out on bond when a Georgia fisherman found a supposed suicide note and Wilkin's clothing on the banks of a river. He was found three days later in Colorado and authorities say he had attempted to fake his death to avoid prosecution.


Associated Press Release

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- Prosecutors in Panama City are seeking to revoke the bond of a Georgia teen believed to have faked his death and traveled to Denver.

Court records show a fisherman found a pile of clothes and a suicide note along a riverbank in Brooks County, Ga., which is on the Florida-Georgia line on April 22. Investigators began searching for 19-year-old Nathan Wilkins, who had been arrested in June during a child sex sting operation in Panama City.

The News Herald of Panama City reported Wednesday that Wilkins turned up in Aurora, Colo., on April 25.

Authorities say Wilkins was due in court in Florida on Monday on charges stemming from Operation Riptide. He was charged with traveling to meeting a minor for sex, computer pornography and child exploitation.


Press Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office

On Monday afternoon, the family of Nathaniel Wilkins reported him as missing to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

According to family members, Nathaniel was last seen on Thursday, April 18 when they dropped him for his class at Valdosta State University.

During the investigation investigators obtained many tips from the public and assistance from the Denver, Colorado Police Department that led to finding Nathan Wilkins who was safe. No motive is yet confirmed for his disappearance.

Sheriff Prine was very appreciative of the assistance that was received from the public. This information led to the location and assurances that Nathan Wilkins was safe.


By: Eames Yates

The search is on for a missing Valdosta State University student.

Authorities now say he may have faked his own death.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office had been diving for Nathaniel Wilkins in the Little River since yesterday afternoon.

Now they've gotten credible information that Wilkins is alive. The sheriff believes he may have faked his own death.

19-year old Wilkins went missing on Thursday. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office say they found what looked like a suicide note from Wilkins on the banks of the Little River yesterday. Today they called off the divers after getting information that he was alive.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office in Panama City confirmed that Wilkins was arrested in June of last year and charged with solicitation of a minor. The Bay County Clerk of Courts said his court date for that crime was scheduled for May 6th.

"We believe that he apparently faked his death, or faked the suicide to make everybody believe that, his family as well as us, that he was going to commit suicide," Chris Prine, Lowndes County Sheriff, said. "We now believe that it was a fake suicide note."

At last check Nathaniel Wilkins has not been found. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. All callers can remain anonymous.


Press Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Chris Prine has released the following;
On Monday afternoon, the family of Nathaniel Wilkins reported him as missing to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. According to family members, Nathaniel was last seen on Thursday, April 18 when they dropped him for his class at Valdosta State University.

Following an extensive search at the Little River and based on additional investigation the search effort at the river has been discontinued. Nathan Wilkins has not yet been located but investigators no longer believe he is in the river.

This investigation is on-going and Sheriff Prine is asking that anyone with information about Nathaniel Wilkins contact the Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950, anonymous tips may be placed at {229} 671-2985 or on-line at www.lowndessheriff.com.


Press Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Chris Prine has released the following;
On Monday afternoon, the family of Nathaniel Wilkins reported him as missing to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. According to family members, Nathaniel was last seen on Thursday, April 18 when they dropped him for his class at Valdosta State University.

Also on Monday afternoon, a person fishing from the banks of the Little River at the Lowndes – Brooks County line on Morven Road noticed clothing that appeared to be suspicious. When the fisherman examined the clothes he located a note believed to be from Nathaniel Wilkins and became even more suspicious. The Brooks County Sheriff’s Office was called and responded to the scene.

Based on the discovery, the dive team from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with boats from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to assist Brooks County with the search effort. That search is continuing at this time.
Nathaniel Wilkins, who is known to his family and friends as Nathan, is nineteen {19} years old and lives in the Hahira area.

Sheriff Prine is asking that anyone with information about Nathaniel Wilkins contact the Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950, anonymous tips may be placed at {229} 671-2985 or on-line at www.lowndessheriff.com.


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