Garrett Starnes (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
William Barrett (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Charges have been dismissed against one of two people who
were charged in January for interfering with the investigation into Heather
According to Horry County Police, 52-year-old William Christopher
Barrett posted misleading information on a social media site about the
disappearance, "creating a community reaction that diverted investigating
Police also believe he questioned witnesses as he tried to conduct
a separate investigation, and led an independent search. "Potential
evidence was uncovered and did not immediately report it to law enforcement,"
Lt. Robert Kegler said.
Garrett Ryan Starnes, 25, was also facing an obstruction of
justice charge for "fabricated misleading information regarding the
disappearance of Heather Elvis and then relayed the false information to law
enforcement." The information was posted online and diverted investigators
from the case.
April 10, the obstruction of justice charge against Starnes was dismissed,
according to Horry County Court documents.
Lt. Kegler said, "There is a difference between providing law
enforcement with tips and misleading law enforcement with false
Both Barrett and Starnes were arrested on Jan. 28 and charged with
obstructing justice. Both men paid 10 percent of their $2,500 bail and are out
Heather's father Terry said he has known Barrett for the last five
years and will continue to be his friend. He didn't have a comment concerning
Starnes arrest or charges.
Terry Elvis doesn't want people to stop giving tips to law
enforcement in fear they might be in trouble. Elvis said he and his wife feel
Heather left with someone she knows, and they want those people who might know
something to come forward.
"It's a crime, and it doesn't matter who it was, or who did
it. It doesn't matter if it's a family member. It's a crime. Speak up,"
The Horry County Police task force is still investigating the case,
looking into tips and looking back over the information. Heather Elvis has been
missing since December 17, 2013.
Monday, September 15 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:19:58 GMT
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