2 charged with interfering in case of Heather Elvis - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

2 charged with interfering in case of Heather Elvis, Horry County Police say

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Garrett Ryan Starnes (left) and William Christopher Barrett. (Photos from J. Reuben Long Detention Center) Garrett Ryan Starnes (left) and William Christopher Barrett. (Photos from J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with interfering with the case involving the disappearance of Heather Elvis, Horry County Police said Tuesday afternoon.

William Christopher Barrett, age 52, and Garrett Ryan Starnes, age 25, both of Myrtle Beach, are facing charges of obstructing justice.

"During the course of the investigation, suspect (William) Barrett began posting misleading information on a social media site regarding the disappearance of Heather Elvis, which created a community reaction that diverted investigating officers," police said.

Related story: Heather Elvis family reaches out to those 'keeping the silence' about disappearance

It was also discovered that in an effort to conduct a separate investigation from law enforcement, he began questioning a witness in an attempt to gain confidential information about the law enforcement investigation, police said.

In addition, he conducted an independent search, where potential evidence was uncovered and did not immediately report it to law enforcement, police said.

"Also during the investigation, (Garrett) Starnes fabricated misleading information regarding the disappearance of Heather Elvis and then relayed the false information to law enforcement," police said.

This information was then posted to a social media site, causing investigating officers to obtain legal process regarding the information which diverted them from legitimate leads, police said.

 Both suspects were taken to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

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