Officials drop charges against man in case related to Heather El - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Officials drop charges against man in case related to Heather Elvis investigation

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Charges have been dismissed against a man accused of interfering with the case involving the disappearance of Heather Elvis.

Garrett Ryan Starnes, 25, of Myrtle Beach faced charges of obstructing justice.

According to the Horry County Solicitor's Office, the matter was dismissed because a police officer was not present for the preliminary hearing. Officials cited scheduling issues.

"The officer had originally requested that the hearing be continued," Donna Elder said. "It had been continued [and] had been rescheduled. The officer did not see the new date and it was an oversight."

Officials are considering having the charges directly indicted but have "not reached a final decision in that regard."

During a police investigation surrounding the disappearance of Elvis, Starnes fabricated misleading information regarding the girl's disappearance 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.

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