- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

ELECTRA, Texas An unusual story of a troubled teen-ager who mysteriously disappeared from this small Texas panhandle town 16 years ago will unfold in a Washington state courtroom next month as a woman whom police identify as Treva Throneberry tries to prove she has been criminally charged in a case of mistaken identity.
Miss Throneberry, 32, claims she is 19-year-old Brianna Stewart and knows nothing about Electra.
Authorities in Vancouver, Wash., maintain otherwise. They claim that fingerprint records and DNA tests clearly prove the woman is the daughter of Carl and Patsy Throneberry of Seminole, Okla.
They have charged Miss Throneberry with multiple counts of fraud and perjury, claiming she conned various agencies and religious groups out of money, health care and other aid.
Investigators in Vancouver and Texas have pieced together a string of aliases and a reputed pattern of deception.
While some in Electra, a town of about 3,200 some 25 miles northwest of Wichita Falls, feel concern, even pity, for Miss Throneberry, others recall a darker side of the girl.
One former school official here, who asked not to be identified, said he recalled "when the trouble began," back in 1985, when Treva told a school counselor that her father had raped her. That reportedly led to a Wichita County Juvenile Court ruling that Treva be removed and placed in a foster home.
Records at the district attorney's office in Wichita Falls indicate that subsequent sexual assault charges brought against Mr. Throneberry were dismissed sometime in 1986.
Attempts by The Washington Times to contact Mr. Throneberry proved unsuccessful, but he told a local free-lance writer a few days ago that he thought his daughter had been raped in December 1985 by a member of one of the churches Treva attended.
Mrs. Throneberry told the reporter the church group was similar to a cult. "After she got involved with those people, she started calling every man 'Dad.'"
She added that over the years Treva had called home several times, but used other names.
The former school employee here said: "They didn't really believe the father raped her, but they had to go through the motions. That's why it was dropped. Absolutely no evidence."
Whatever the validity, some think the teen-ager was victimized and some privately say that they believe she is still suffering from that trauma.
"Look at her M.O. over the years," ventured one former juvenile worker.
Vancouver Police Detective Scott Smith, in a report filed there earlier this year, said: "Treva assumes false names and ages to receive help from religious groups and persons and from the government, as a minor. Under all the aliases, the story is similar in that abduction and sex crimes are reported."
Earlier this year, as Vancouver cops weaved their way in and out of Miss Throneberry's Byzantine life, Oregon officials weighed in with a warrant, charging she had filed a false police report in Portland. She told authorities there in 1993 that a Portland policeman was her father and that he had sexually abused her. By the time the accused was exonerated, she had fled the state.
In Camus, Wash., a man convicted in 1998 of having sex with a "minor" recently had his record cleared. The victim was Miss Throneberry, who was 28 at the time.
The woman was tripped up last March when she tried unsuccessfully to obtain a birth certificate, hoping afterward to obtain a Social Security number. At that time she provided a set of fingerprints, which quickly were matched to some in Pennsylvania, where she had lived for a time as Stephanie Danielle Lewis.
Her story in Altoona, Pa., in 1996 was that she had run away from Tennessee after being raped by her father. She later was convicted for providing a false police report and fingerprints taken then provided the match for Vancouver cops.
When confronted with that evidence, she claimed the FBI records were mistaken and argued successfully for the court to check her DNA to prove she was not the Throneberrys' daughter.
In early August the DNA results were delivered to Clark County authorities in Vancouver, indicating a 99.93 percent likelihood she was Treva Throneberry.

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