Investigators believe missing teen faked death - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Investigators believe missing teen faked death

LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) -

12 divers with the Lowndes County Search and Rescue Team navigated through the Little River today in their second day of searching for Valdosta State University student Nathan Wilkins.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Lowndes deputies received an anonymous tip leading them to believe that Wilkins is alive. Investigators believe he staged his suicide. His parents reported him missing Monday afternoon after they hadn't seen him in four days.

"Thursday his mother dropped him off at VSU for classes, and that was the last time they've seen him," said Brooks County Sheriff, Mike Dewey.

Right along the Little River bank a fisherman found Wilkins' shirt, shorts, flip flops, and a note yesterday afternoon. Sheriff Dewey says the note led investigators to believe that Wilkins may have committed suicide.

And today the Brooks and Lowndes Sheriff's Offices brought out a lot of manpower to search for the teen they thought was in this river.

Sonar and diving equipment allowed investigators to search in the murky river. A cadaver dog from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources also searched the nearby woods. The Little River search has since been called off.

"We've got some other leads of people that were talking to, family members, friends," said Dewey.

Investigators say if Wilkins faked his death, he could face criminal charges.

Brooks and Lowndes County investigators are continuing to work to locate Wilkins.

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