A runaway bride who caused a massive manhunt in 2010 after faking her kidnapping has gone public with why she ran away just months before her wedding.
In an interview with ABC’s 20/20, Tiffiny Bray told reporters that the life she was living with fiancé Chad McGuire was suffocating her.
"I mean Chad was a nice guy. I just was not happy with my life in general," Bray said. "I just felt like I couldn't breathe anymore."
McGuire had no clue his soon-to-be bride was miserable on the inside. On the day Bray fled, the last text she sent McGuire was asking him what he wanted for lunch. But later that same day Bray pawned a necklace McGuire had given her for Valentines’ Day and took off. She was headed for Texas, looking for a cure for her very cold feet.
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After not hearing from his fiancé for several hours, McGuire started to panic. His texts went unanswered and his calls to Bray went straight to voicemail. Fearing the worst, he reported her missing the next morning.
"I was worried about her," McGuire said. “I was worried that she'd run off the road and had a wreck. I tried calling her several times, and it just goes straight to voicemail."
Oklahoma police launched an intensive manhunt. Countless people were questioned as suspects -- including McGuire -- while authorities combed through almost 1,000 miles of land in search of Bray. Four days later, McGuire received a text from Bray.
“Need help. Somewhere in Lawton in dark room. White man. Please f------ help me. Not sure I (can) use this again," the text said.
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Investigators tracked Bray’s location to a Corpus Christi, Texas motel. After finding Bray unharmed and safe in the motel, it became clear the entire kidnapping was a cover up. Bray just wanted to run away. Authorities discovered she’d drove to Corpus Christi to meet up with a man she’d met on an online dating site.
Bray told 20/20 she didn’t even think about any possible legal ramifications from her decision to flee.
"I mean, all I was doing was leaving," Bray said. "In my thought, it wasn't against the law to take off and leave and not tell anybody where I was going."
But investigators don’t see it that way. After being put on high alert, Oklahoma and Texas investigators spent 685 man hours and over $34,000 searching for her. In addition to being charged with falsely reporting a crime and unauthorized use of a vehicle, Bray has to repay every cent the state spent on their search for her.