Vanishing Major: Runaway Bride or Kidnap Victim?

Sep 11, 2006 8:12pm

U.S. defense officials tell ABC News that serious inconsistencies have emerged in the investigation of the strange disappearance of Air Force Major Jill Metzger. Maj. Metzger vanished without a trace while shopping at a store in Kyrgyzstan on Sept. 5 until she just as mysteriously reappeared three days later.

Sources tell ABC News that surveillance video taken in the store contradict the Major’s story that she was abducted after someone put a hard object in her back pocket along with a note saying that it was an explosive.  The video indicates that she left the store of her own free will, and alone, according to sources who have seen the video.

As investigators gather all the facts surrounding the case, they are exploring the possibility that she was attempting to flee a recent marriage, according to one source close to the investigation.   When she was found, her hair had been cropped short and dyed. If Maj. Metzger was abducted, investigators will continue to work with local police in a criminal case.  However, if she left on her own and she was not DUSTWUN — Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown –  she will be reclassified as AWOL — Absent Without Leave– and open to punishment by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  A lower ranking enlisted person might just get a reprimand, but officers are held to a higher standard.

Maj. Metzger is currently at Landstuhl Air Force Base undergoing medical treatment and debriefing. She will return to the U.S. within the next three to four days to undergo further care and debriefing at Walter Reed Medical Center.  Despite the fact that she is a two-time winner, Metzger will not be running in this weekend’s Air Force Marathon as planned. 

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