PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday December 16, 2016 – What Trinidadian Heather Barriteau thought was a little white lie to cover her tracks has landed her in hot water with law enforcers.
In a shocking story, the 35-year-old woman who was reported missing by her husband Devon Paul last Friday, told a grim story of being abducted, abused and held in an abandoned house for three days before she was mysteriously dropped off at an unknown area in Marabella and then rescued by an unidentified man who took her to a Parang lime last Sunday.
The next day, she went to the San Fernando General where nurses recognized her and called in police.
A “traumatized” Baritteau shared her compelling story even as CCTV video emerged showing a woman believed to be the then-missing woman entering the popular Carrat Shed Pub in Marabella, where she stayed for several hours and then left in the company of a male.
“People can say whatever they want, but you don’t know what I went through. You don’t know how I feel,” she told the Trinidad Express then.
Her story was disputed by owner of Carrat Shed, Allen Campbelle, who shared the video with police.
“I cannot understand how her account leaves out the five hours she spent there [the bar] during the afternoon. I also asked the police while viewing the footage if she looked like someone who was abducted or under any sort of duress,” he said while lamenting that the incident had resulted in negative publicity for his business.
Forty-eight hours later, Barriteau changed her story, revealing that she really left home for a weekend of fun.
“I went to lime. I’m sorry for telling you all that earlier but the truth is I lied,” Barriteau told the Trinidad Express late on Wednesday.
Her apology is not enough to convince police officers in San Fernando who are now investigating whether her action amounts to an offence of wasteful employment of police time under Section 6 (2) of the Criminal Law Act.
The Act states: “Where a person causes any wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to any person a false report tending to show that an offence has been committed, or to give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property, or tending to show that he has information material to any police inquiry, he that person is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months.”
Barriteau at least still has the support of her husband who is standing by his wife’s story. He contends that she lied because she was under severe pressure.
“She just tell them she lied to get them off her back. She is so traumatized by all of this. She just gave them what they wanted to hear,” Paul said.