Marley Spindler, a 16-year-old straight-A student, was described by her parents as “one of those perfect children.” But the increasingly bizarre case of the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, girl would appear to prove the old adage, “nobody’s perfect.” While it was strange enough that Marley disappeared on the morning of August 20 — the first day of her junior year in high school — what happened after police found her on Wednesday of this week was even stranger.
The good news is that Marley Spindler was found apparently unharmed in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, around noon on Wednesday, when police pulled over a silver 2002 Ford Escape SUV that matched the description and license number of the SUV in which the teen was last seen driving away from a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on the morning of August 20, telling friends that she was on her way to pick up a 22-year-old man named Jeremy whom she had met over the summer.
After meeting Jeremy, she planned to go to school, she said. But shortly after leaving the fast food joint, she sent a bizarre text to her friends saying that someone was following her.
But police, even before they found her, dismissed that text as a fabricated claim. They had evidence, they said, that Marley Spindler had simply run away, of her own free will.
But according to a police report — which appears to refer to Marley Spindler, though the report is described in a story by WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach as “heavily redacted” — the young female driver of the SUV told police that after she dropped off a friend, a stranger forced his way into her vehicle and forced her to drive away.
Investigators then took Marley Spindler — if indeed the report refers to her, with no indication that it refers to any other young girl driving the SUV in which the teen was last seen — to a nearby police station where, under questioning, she claimed that during the week she was missing, she had been kidnapped and raped.
The claim sent the police on a new investigation. They dispatched forensic investigators to scour the SUV for any evidence that a rape had taken place inside. A nurse who specializes in sexual assault also performed a medical examination of the teen at a nearby hospital, in search of evidence that she was a victim of a sex assault.
When the investigators got her back to the station and questioned her again, she confessed that the whole kidnap and rape scenario was just another fabrication.
Police then filed a charge of making a false police report. Why Marley Spindler went missing and what really happened during those six days remains a mystery.
[Image: Help Find Marley Spindler Facebook]