by Kyle Swenson
Update: Gwen, what are you doing to us? This story just gets more pretzel twisted — and sadder — by the day. Just when we thought this thing was all settled, more conflicting details creep to light.
Today the Chronicle-Telegraph ran a story on what Wright apparently claimed happened to her while she was AWOL for eight days in early October. According to an affidavit filed by the Chillicothe police after the Wellington woman was found in that city on October 15, the Wright claimed she had been abducted at gun point by a white male.
She said the man came up to the driver’s side of her car shortly before midnight on Aug. 6 and forced her to the passenger’s side while displaying what appeared to be a black semiautomatic handgun, according to the report.
She told police he drove around and then forced her to drive before telling her to go to an ATM early Oct. 7 to withdraw money. She said she withdrew $500 and pleaded with the gun¬man to “simply take the car and cash and leave her there,” according to the report.
Wright told Chillicothe police she remembers “absolutely nothing” until she woke up in the hospital after being found face down and unre¬sponsive on a bike path near the Ohio River.
Police had previously determined that Wright was alone in her car when she left the Oberlin Walmart and also when she resurfaced hours later in Mount Vernon. The article also says Wright had been searching for info on Mount Vernon on a home computer leading up to her disappearance. The woman claims she was checking out day trips.
Update: Gwen Wright has been located and shipped off to a hospital, the Morning Journal reports. The runaway nurse was found facedown and unresponsive on a bike trail in Chillicothe. Authorities say she's in stable condition and will be released today. Wright has been missing since last Wednesday, when she made a late night stop at the Oberlin Walmart and became distressed after learning the Red Box's copy of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was out. No, we made that up. Too soon? Sorry, it's just that this state-wide wig-out has cost a lot of time, money, and emotional energy, particularly for Wright's suffering husband Dwayne. Anyone who's watched these videos has to feel for what the guy's gone through. Hopefully that family will get some answers and help.
Update: Looks like Gwen could be putting us all on — you, me, the police, her husband. The police announced late Wednesday they were calling off their search because it seems the Wellington woman skipped out on her life by choice.
Wright has not been located yet. But she last popped up in West Union, Ohio, a small town East of Cincinnati and not far from where her car was found. Police spoke with two individuals at a pharmacy who talked with Wright. She claimed she had recently lost her job and house and that her husband had died. That husband, the very much alive Duane, has been tirelessly looking for his wife since she disappeared last Wednesday. The police believe she is on her way to Florida.
Update: Gwen Wright's car has been found in Peebles, Ohio, east of Cincinnati, according to the Chronicle Telegraph. The car was parked at an used car dealership. The missing woman's keys and purse were found inside the car. The $500 she took out from a central Ohio ATM on the morning of her disappearance was not found in the vehicle.
Update: Authorities investigating the woman's disappearance today announced they have determined Gwen Wright was alone when her car left the Oberlin Walmart parking lot on Wednesday night, according to Channel 3. Wellington police officer Jeff Shelton also told the station a review of security footage showed Wright was still alone when she turned up hours later and 70 miles south in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Wright's husband Duane had suggested earlier someone may have gained access to Wright's car and forced her to drive south. He claimed the footage showed his wife was "really scared" as she took out $500 from the Mount Vernon ATM. Shelton today told reporters he's positive she was alone at the time. "She was just squinting to see the buttons on the ATM machine."
There’s still no trace of a Wellington woman who apparently dropped off the grid last Wednesday night. Since then, the only clues to Gwen Wright’s movements have been a handful of security cam screen shots that spell out an unexplained trek from Northeast Ohio to the rural part of the state.
The 38-year-old registered nurse last spoke to her husband Duane around 10 p.m. Wednesday while she was driving to the Oberlin Walmart to rent a movie; according to The Morning Journal:
Surveillance footage showed Gwen Wright entering the Walmart at 11:39 p.m., renting a movie at the Red Box and leaving the store at 11:48 p.m. and placing a package into her car. At 11:54 p.m., Gwen Wright went back to the Walmart and entered the restroom, got a drink of water and then left the store. Footage shows her leaving the parking lot, headed east on U.S. 20.
Wright’s dark blue 2002 Dodge Neon was next seen around 1:30 a.m. 70 miles south, in Mount Vernon, Ohio — the seat of rural Knox County, relatively removed from major highways. Another security cam on a drive-thru ATM in town shows Wright withdrawing $500 in cash.
Duane Wright told The Chronicle Telegraph he believes his wife was forced against her will to make the trek; her face in the ATM footages looked distressed, he says.
“She doesn’t like to leave the house without her hair and makeup done. She wants to look ‘cute,’ as she says, if she runs into anyone she knows," Duane told the paper. “She looked really scared."
According to the Facebook page created to aid the search, volunteers are currently putting up flying around northeast and central Ohio. Anyone with info on Gwen's location can contact the Wellington police at 440.647.2244.