A romance novelist who once drew ire for trademarking the word “cocky” hasn’t been seen since being released from federal custody weeks ago.
Faleena Hopkins, the author of the Cocker Brothers series of romance novels, was arrested on Jan. 27 and charged with federal misdemeanors after allegedly leading officers on a chase through Grand Teton National Park.
“Faleena Marie Hopkins, age 52, was last seen in Jackson, Wyoming on January 30, 2023,” the Wyoming Missing Persons website says. “She is a white female, approximately 5’7″, 135 pounds, with green eyes and blond hair. Faleena has an infinity symbol on her left wrist, ‘Follow All Instincts’ on her right wrist, a lion face on her left shoulder and a hummingbird on her right ankle.”
According to a report from the Jackson Hole News & Guide, a law enforcement ranger from the park tried to make contact with Hopkins as she was parked on the road at Jackson Lake Junction. The News & Guide reported that as soon as the ranger initiated his patrol vehicle lights, Hopkins fled in her car.
She then led police on a high-speed chase for some 24 miles, the News & Guide reported. At times she reached up to 90 miles per hour, the report said, adding that park service officers used spike strips to stop her car.
Earlier that day, about an hour before the chase started, park officials had pulled her car from the snow, where it had gotten stuck. She was cited for “operating a non-oversnow vehicle in an oversnow route,” the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported.
According to the federal docket, she was charged with speeding, stopping or parking in the roadway, failing to comply with a traffic control device, careless operation of a vehicle, and fleeing or attempting to elude police officers.
Court records indicate that she was released from the Teton County Jail on her own recognizance on Jan. 30.
Authorities say she hasn’t been seen since. The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported that a friend of Hopkins confirmed Friday that she has been missing for at least 10 days.
According to court documents, Hopkins has an arraignment scheduled for Feb. 28.
A spokesperson for the Jackson Police Department told Law&Crime that Hopkins left the state the day she was released from custody and that the investigation is ongoing.
“She was last seen in our jurisdiction at the Jackson Hole Airport,” Russ Ruschill of the Jackson police said in an email Tuesday. “She boarded a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah on January 30th. We have notified the SLC PD. Our detectives are still working on this case as we speak. We have not received any outside tips concerning Ms. Hopkins current location.
Hopkins’ “Cocker Brother” series includes titles such as “Cocky Heart Surgeon,” “Cocky Cowboy,” and “Cocky Senator.” She raised the ire of romance writers nationwide in 2018 when she sought to trademark the word “cocky.”
Although she has successfully registered for and received a trademark for the word, she eventually withdrew her claim in the wake of widespread outrage and a slew of lawsuits.
The Wyoming Missing Persons division did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s request for an update on the investigation.
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