Ex-Beauty Queen Faked Abduction

When Fawna Gillette Jones heard about the Wisconsin student who allegedly faked her own abduction, the strange story sounded all too familiar. Two decades ago, she pulled a similar stunt.

Jones, like University of Wisconsin college student Audrey Seiler, was a star student who seemed to have it all.

The former beauty queen said the news of Seiler's story brought back memories of her own problems during her high-pressure teenage years.

"I was horrified … watching that whole thing unfold, I really feel for her [Seiler] right now," Jones said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

Jones's saga began back in August of 1985. Just days after she was named Miss Davis County, Jones walked out of her job at the Bountiful, Utah, municipal building and disappeared into the hills above the town by herself for 30 hours.

After returning to town, the 19-year-old was forced to admit to police and the public that her "abduction" was a hoax.

"I'm sorry that I did it," Jones said in a press conference at the time. "I got carried away and I didn't think through the consequences and that's all I can say."

Jones, now a married mother of three living in Utah County, said she disappeared because she just wanted to get away from it all.

"I had been feeling that I wasn't going to be able to meet the goals that I wanted to make," Jones said. "I took myself so seriously back then."

After Jones won the Miss Davis County contest, people around her were saying maybe she would win Miss America next, and offering assistance with her diet and appearance. Jones said some people told her she would be too fat for the contest. She said all of the attention made her feel like she was under a lot of pressure.

During her lunch hour one day, Jones hid some books up in a canyon above the town. When she returned to work and a co-worker asked her if something was wrong, Jones said she pretended she had received an obscene phone call.

"It was all very impulsive for me," Jones said. "My plan was to walk off and to do my own survivor thing, to fast and sort of whip myself into shape." Jones said she only planned to use the kidnapping story if people figured out that she had gone away.

Meanwhile, when a co-worker called police, a countywide search was launched to find Jones. The young woman spent a cold, and not at all relaxing, night hiding in the hills above Bountiful.

When she walked into town the next day, Jones said she was immediately recognized as "the missing girl." Jones said she knew she was in trouble. She then called home to learn that her parents had come back from a planned vacation in Hawaii after learning of her disappearance.

At first, Jones lied to the police and said she had been abducted, but soon she came clean. However, by that time, her picture and the story of her abduction had made the 10 o'clock news all over the state.

"There was a fair amount of fury," Jones said. "At the time I felt so besieged."

Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false claims with the police, and was subsequently sentenced to 50 hours of community service, plus a $200 fine. She lost her beauty titles and became the butt of a lot of jokes.

"I learned a lot from the experience," Jones said. "I have been able to lighten up a lot about myself, about life, about everything."

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