In this seemingly innocent Facebook post you’ll see two friends: one is Cheyanne Antoine, and the other is Brittney Gargol. This Facebook photo inadvertantly solved the murder of the 18 year old who posted it.
On the night in which this photo was taken, March 25th of 2015, Brittney and Cheyanne had been hanging out, having a few drinks. Sometime around 6am Brittney’s lifeless body was discovered on the outskirts of town, she’d been strangled and left to die alone near Valley Road. At the scene of the crime, police found the item which Brittney had been attacked with: a belt.
The teen was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced deceased. At first police were unable to identify their victim; photographs of her tattoos were released and at that point friends came forward.
The victim’s friend, Cheyanne, admitted to having been with the victim before she was killed. She told investigators that Brittney had gone home with a strange man who they’d encountered that night, a man who was likely the killer. To back up her story, Cheyanne showed police the messages she’d sent to her friend in which she’d inquired as to her whereabouts – proof that she’d attempted to ensure that Brittney had made it home safely. Needless to say, Brittney never responded to these messages.
Brittney’s murder was unsolved for nearly two years. During this time investigators poured over the evidence, they questioned potential suspects, and searched for the strange man Cheyanne had mentioned. All the while their killer was close to the investigation, just hoping to get away with it.
In August of 2016 Cheyanne was actually reported missing, but was found safe a week later. It appears that the girl was spiraling out of control, and at some point an anonymous caller had notified police that a drunken Cheyanne had confessed to having murdered her friend.
At this point investigators realized that Cheyanne was the killer, but they still had to prove it. It wasn’t until they took a close look at Brittney’s Facebook photo from the night in question that they found the evidence they’d needed. In one of the photos, plain as day, Cheyannes was wearing the very distinctive belt which had been used to strangle Brittney to death.
In her defense, Cheyanne claimed that she’d been abusing a lot of drugs and alcohol at the time; she says she retains no memories of murdering her friend, but that’s unlikely. People who don’t remember doing anything wrong don’t usually make up stories about strange men, and they don’t usually attempt to give themselves false alibis.
In 2017 Cheyanne was charged with second degree murder; she pled guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. At court she tearfully apologized, but of course that will never be enough, not when a young woman’s life has been lost forever.