The investigation into a missing Frederick woman has come up with a surprising conclusion. In its report, the Sheriff's Office says Teresa Lentz arranged her disappearance.
She was reported missing in June after her SUV was found during the evening of June 19th along Reels Mill Road. Authorities conducted a search using police dogs and the State Police helicopter, but Lentz was not found.
Days later, her children and her husband made an appeal, during a news conference at the Law Enforcement Center, for Teresa Lentz to come home. She was located unharmed in Virginia on June 25th.
Lentz told investigators that she was abducted, but later said she arranged her own disappearance because she "wanted to get away."
While we may never know why she wanted to get away, some people who say that often are overwhelmed with family and job responsibilities, and can't cope. But everyone has their own individual way of approaching this problem. "Feeling overwhelmed; feeling like you need to get away and reorganize and get yourself back together; feeling like you don't really have a means out. Those are the kinds of things that would prompt that," says Ellie Bentz, Clinical Director of Counseling Services for the Mental Health Association of Frederick County. "But it's definitely a very individual thing, but I think most people would look for help before that becomes their only option."
She says some of these people have dropped hints to others about how they feel, but some keep it bottled up. "Sometimes it's easier to see those hints after something drastic happens," Bentz says. "It's sometime very hard to catch those little pieces of someone not quite acting just right, or they say little flippant things that we kind of dismissed. And then later we go 'oh my! They must actually meant this,'" Bentz says.
Being unable to cope and in need of help is not necessarily a sign of a mental illness, she says.
If the day's difficulties make it hard to cope, Bentz says you need to relax. "Reading a book, taking a bath, music, taking a walk. Exercise is fantastic for helping getting that excess energy out so you're not just sitting there and thinking, thinking, thinking about it, and feeling there's nothing you can do," says Bentz.
Sometimes, family and friends notice another person who can't cope, and then say "you'll get over it." But that's not the right thing to say, she says. "It's makes them feel a lot of times that there's something wrong with them if they have to ask for help. Unfortunately, that keeps many people from seeking services," says Bentz.
The Mental Health Association says there are services in the community to help people cope if they feel overwhelmed. They can start by calling the Mental Health Hotline at 211, or 301-662-2255, or 1-800-422-0009.
Bentz says she has worked with people who have trouble coping, but none of them have ever run away from their problems. "I've come across people who feel so overwhelmed they don't know where to go, where to turn, and they feel 'I'm stuck here. There's nothing I can do about it.' But I've not actually met anyone whose actually tried to run away from the whole problem," she says.
The Sheriff's Office says the investigation into the Lentz case is closed, and no charges will be filed.