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2 Accused Of Obstruction In Missing SC Woman Case

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File photo of handcuffs.(Credit: RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of handcuffs.(Credit: RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Two Myrtle Beach men have been charged with obstructing justice in the search for a missing woman.

Horry County sheriff’s deputies say the men posted misleading information on Facebook about the Heather Elvis case.

William Christopher Barrett, 52, and Garrett Ryan Starnes, 25, were arrested Tuesday. It was not clear if the men have lawyers.

The 20-year-old Elvis was last seen Dec. 17. She had contacted her family Dec. 18 to tell them her date had gone well. Her car was found two days later at a boat ramp about eight miles from her home.

Deputies say misleading information posted by Barrett created a community reaction that diverted officers investigating the woman’s disappearance.

The woman’s father, Terry Elvis, says Barrett has been a friend for five years.

“I’m really disheartened,” Elvis said. “That’s not the kind of arrest we’re looking for. This is an unnecessary distraction.” Elvis said he did not know Starnes.

Police say Barrett questioned potential witnesses.

“In addition, he conducted an independent search, where potential evidence was uncovered and did not immediately report it to law enforcement,” the sheriff’s office said.

Officers said Starnes fabricated misleading information about the disappearance of Elvis and then relayed the false information to law enforcement.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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