Everyone knows that telling a lie is wrong. But sometimes in the moment, telling a lie seems a lot easier than telling the truth. However, the truth always has a way of coming out.
In 2017, a teenager from Texas told the police about how she endured a brutal raping after being kidnapped by three masked men. However, as police started to investigate the attack, they started to get the feeling that the girl wasn’t being completely honest.
The 911 Call
On March 8, 2017, a young man from Denison, Texas, called the police to report something had happened to his fiance. He wasn’t sure what happened, but he found her car in the parking lot of their apartment complex. According to the man, the car was abandoned with the back door left wide open.
A Troubling Discovery
When he went to take a closer look, the young man found some of her belongings scattered on the ground around the car. Among the belongings were the 19-year-old’s phone and keys. According to her fiance, she never would have intentionally left her things like that.
A Kidnapping Investigation Begins
Sam Hollingsworth truly believed that something bad had happened to his fiance, Breana Harmon. While speaking to the police, Hollingsworth said he feared that Harmon had been kidnapped. Police immediately rushed to the scene and got to work retracing Harmon’s steps.
No Time to Waste
If Harmon really had been kidnapped, the police knew those first few hours in the investigation were crucial. In order to track her down, the police brought out their K-9 team. They hoped that the dogs would able to follow Harmon’s trail and lead them straight to her.
Three Hours Later
However, just three hours later, Harmon showed up at the New Creation Church, which was less than two miles from the apartment she shared with Hollingsworth. Harmon was wearing just underwear and a t-shirt. She was covered in scratches and bleeding.
“She was just in her T-shirt, with scratches on her, she was trembling she was so afraid,” Ana Bermudez, a congregation member, said to KXII. According to the church pastor, Saul Marquez, they immediately brought Harmon sheets to cover her up. He described Harmon as being in bad shape and tried to calm her down.
“I can’t really describe how she looked, it’s just awful, it tore me up really badly,” Hollingsworth said to KXII after seeing Harmon for the first time since she disappeared. When she was calm enough to speak, Harmon told everyone that she had been kidnapped by three black men.
A Traumatic Experience
When police arrived, Harmon told them as much as she could about the traumatic experience. “She told witnesses at the church she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted in the woods behind the church,” the Denison County Police Department said in a statement. “There were also visible cuts and/or scratches on her body.”
According to the police, Harmon told them that the three black men had approached her when she was standing in the parking lot of her apartment complex. The men then forced her into a black SUV. Once in the car, they drove her to a wooded area near the church.
The Mystery Rapists
Harmon told the police that two of the men proceeded to rape her while the third man held her down. Unfortunately, she didn’t get a good look at the men attacking her because they were wearing ski masks. As a result, she couldn’t give the police a detailed description to help them in their search for her attackers.
The Final Details
During the attack, Harmon also explained that the men stole her engagement ring, class ring, and the heart-shaped necklace she had been wearing. She also added that she received the cuts and abrasions on her body while fighting to get away from the three men.
“She said she was sexually assaulted and three black males in a black SUV took her. [The vehicle] went down a bumpy road and that’s the only thing that she could tell us, so right now we’re really wanting information,” Denison Police Lt. Mike Eppler told the Dallas Morning News.
The community was simultaneously terrified and enraged. They demanded the police find and punish the three men responsible for the rape and kidnapping. However, as the police continued their investigation, they started to question who should be punished.
“Almost from the beginning, we had doubts in Breana Harmon Talbott’s story as the puzzle pieces just weren’t coming together,” the police chief said in a statement. “We were unable to corroborate any of Talbott’s allegations that she had been abducted or sexually assaulted.”
After taking Harmon to the Texoma Medical Center, police became suspicious when nurses failed to find any evidence that the 19-year-old had been raped. Investigators also determined that the cuts and scrapes she had couldn’t have come from a violent struggle involving a knife. According to authorities, that wasn’t the only hole they found in Harmon’s story…
After visiting the alleged crime scene, police found Harmon’s jeans. After inspecting the holes and tears in the pants, police found they did not match up with the 19-year-old’s injuries. On March 21, 2017, Harmon confessed to filing a false report.
Revealing the Truth
She came clean to the police about what really happened the day she went missing. According to her confession, Harmon completely made up the story about being kidnapped and raped by three men. In reality, she and Hollingsworth had been fighting and was upset as she knew the relationship wasn’t going to last.
Scared of Punishment
After the fight, Harmon went for a walk and began cutting herself when she ended up at an abandoned house. She was terrified that her family would be upset about the self-inflicted injuries so she just went along with everything when she showed up at the church and someone asked if she had been sexually assaulted.
Seeking Real Justice
“The so-called victim in the case confessed to the hoax last evening [March 21] to a member of the investigative team working the case,” Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said in a news release. “Talbott’s hoax was also insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community due to her description of the so-called suspects in her hoax. The department will file a criminal case against her for False Report to a Peace Officer, a Class B Misdemeanor.”
Nearly a year later, Harmon pleaded guilty to four felony charges of tampering with physical evidence and government documents after she lied about being kidnapped and raped. Ultimately, Harmon was sentenced to eight years deferred adjudication, a special form of probation. If she completes the terms of her probation, which includes paying $8,000 in restitution to the Denison Police, paying a $2,000 fine, and completing 160 hours of community service, her record will only show she pleaded guilty but was never convicted of a felony. “We have mixed emotions on a case like this,” Burch said in a news conference. “We’re happy it didn’t occur, but there could be permanent damage as a result — a damage of relationships within our community, damage to the reputation of our community.”