Why Did Karyn McConnell Hancock Run?

Karyn McConnell Hancock seemed to have it all — a successful legal career, a husband who was bishop of their church, a beautiful 3-year-old son and a little girl on the way.

But the Ohio attorney, who concocted a story about being abducted at gunpoint last week, admitted Monday that the kidnapping story was a lie and that she had left home on her own.

For a woman who seemed to have it all, did the pressure of that success become too much for her to handle?

High Standing Brings More Pressure

Charles Raison, a psychiatrist at Emory University, said that there is usually a back story when someone suddenly flees from their everyday responsibilities.

"There's usually a story that hasn't emerged yet that there were struggles before this bizarre thing happened," Raison said.

In McConnell Hancock's case there are allegations she may owe former legal clients money.

But Raison says other stressors, like her high standing in the community, might have also played a role.

"We tend to hold preachers and their wives to a higher standard, closer to God, so when somebody behaves very bizarrely and they are in that position, you know the higher they are, the harder they fall," he said.

Lawrence Hancock now says his wife was tired, overwhelmed and needed a break from life.

"We have learned, after speaking with her extensively, that she experienced a meltdown and attempted to handle those matters without the assistance of professional help or others. Karyn elected to leave everything because she felt she was unable to continue," the bishop at First Harvest Church said at a news conference Tuesday.

McConnell Hancock may have more stress to deal with, as the Toledo police said they plan to charge her with filing a false report.

Other Women Who Left

This isn't the first case of a woman running away from a seemingly overwhelming situation.

Beth Smith, another missing minister's wife, made headlines this summer when she fled a religious conference and then turned up in New York City, more than 1,000 miles from her home in Alabama. She never told her family she was leaving.

Jennifer Wilbanks, who became known as Georgia's "runaway bride," prompted a nationwide search in 2005. She also told authorities she had been abducted, before later admitting to police she'd fabricated the whole story.

Wilbanks told police she "cracked under all of this pressure."

Raison said that actions that seem bizarre may begin to make sense when you know the person and their motives.

"These stories capture our attention because there's a shocking juxtaposition between what you expect out of somebody who is professional, who is pregnant, and what they actually do," Raison said.

McConnell Hancock's father says he has few explanations for his daughter's decision to run. But he says she is now receiving medical treatment, prayers and love.

"She's my child. I love her," C. Allen McConnell said. "And we just want to make sure she's well."

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