Nathan Wilkins: Is Georgia teen who faked suicide after child-sex charge in Aurora?
The path that may have led Nathan Wilkins, nineteen, from his Georgia home to Aurora is an undeniably twisted one.
The story thus far features a child-sex sting involving Craigslist and a "slushy," Facebook posts about eBay shopping and political commentary, an elaborately staged suicide and the filing of a bond revocation after it was discovered Wilkins was still very much alive.
Photos, video and the weird details below.
The WMBB-TV report about Wilkins' June 2012 arrest -- it's on view below -- begins with the station's anchor affecting his most serious tone as he says, "It may be late on a Tuesday night, but before you go to bed, there's something every parent watching needs to know: Authorities say adults are coming to Bay County to hurt your children."
That's quite a lead-in, but reporter Addie Hampton manages to trump it with this introduction: "Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said law enforcement sees a lot of things, but during this sting, their eyes were opened to a whole new world of evil and perversion."
She's describing "Operation Riptide," a law-enforcement sting intended to ensnare child-sex-wanting creepazoids. How did it work? According to the Panama City, Florida, News Herald, citing court records, Wilkins allegedly answered a Craigslist ad purportedly placed by a father seeking someone to deflower his daughter, age eleven. He subsequently exchanged e-mails with the faux-dad, who gave him an address and told him to bring a "slushy" for the girl at the appointed time.
Bay County authorities later provided WMBB with surveillance-footage snippets of the individuals who stumbled into this trap -- and sure enough, a couple of them are holding oversized cups when the door opens and they're overwhelmed by officers.
An Operation Riptide suspect being swarmed by cops.
Before long, Wilkins was facing counts related to traveling to meet a minor for sex, child exploitation and computer pornography -- and because of the arrest's circumstances, he was forbidden from using a computer after bonding out. But Facebook proved too alluring.
Continue for more about fugitive Nathan Wilkins, including photos and a video. Earlier this year, he mobile-posted a note that reads, "I hate eBay bidding wars but I want that bike. Hopefully it won't go above my spending limit." In addition, he shared a number of images, including this one about organic farming....
...and a picto-graphic starring former vice presidential candidate and budget author Paul Ryan:
These actions could have prompted an attempt to revoke Wilkins's bond, but something considerably bolder popped up to supersede them. On April 22, a fisherman reportedly came upon a pile of clothes and a suicide note along the Little River, near the Georgia-Florida line.
A search for Wilkins was subsequently launched, but he was nowhere nearby. Indeed, his prosecutors say he surfaced in Aurora on April 25, just prior to his next scheduled court appearance, April 29.
Where is he now? No one's talking publicly, at least. But there'll be plenty of eyes out for a young man who may find it a lot more difficult to hide than it used to be.
Here's the WBMM report:
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Wanted: Jeffco shoplifter specializing in weight-loss pills, Rogaine, condoms."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.