CBC News Online | June 29, 2004

Dar Heatherington
Lethbridge, Alta., city councillor Dar Heatherington made national headlines in 2003 after she claimed she was abducted and sexually assaulted during a business meeting in Montana. Police in Montana and Alberta said Heatherington made up the story and told them she had, in fact, run off to Las Vegas with a married man.

Here is how the story unfolded:

June 29, 2004: Dar Heatherington is found guilty of public mischief. She was charged following a Lethbridge police investigation into allegations she was being stalked. The conviction means the Lethbridge alderwoman will have to resign. She is to be sentenced Sept. 10.
CBC STORY: Alberta alderwoman guilty of public mischief

Jan. 26, 2004: Lawyers for Dar Heatherington ask for a two-day adjournment on a charge of public mischief. Heatherington had claimed that she was being stalked while in Lethbridge, Alta., claims police contend were false.
CBC STORY: Lethbridge councillor public mischief trial postponed

Sept. 8, 2003: Heatherington pleads not guilty to mischief charges.
CBC STORY: Heatherington pleads not guilty to mischief

June 16, 2003: Heatherington holds a news conference in which she claims she was drugged in Great Falls, Mont., taken to Las Vegas and sexually assaulted several times. She says police in Montana tricked her into going back to Great Falls, and a 2-hour interrogation by police there led her to say that she had made up her story and had had an affair in Las Vegas.
CBC STORY: Heatherington speaks out on disappearance

June 10, 2003: Lethbridge police charge Heatherington with mischief, following an eight-month investigation into claims she was being stalked, claims police contend were false.
CBC STORY: Lethbridge alderwoman faces new charges

May 20, 2003: Heatherington pleads not guilty to a charge of lying to police in a deal with the Great Falls, Mont., county attorney. The deal requires Heatherington to pay $100 US in court costs and to seek counselling. Cascade County attorney Brant Light says Heatherington changed her story, first saying she had been abducted, then saying she had travelled to Las Vegas with an Alberta man she met in Great Falls.
CBC STORY: Heatherington gets deal from U.S. prosecutor

May 14, 2003: Heatherington's lawyer asks for the case to be delayed a week. The county attorney in Great Falls, Mont., offers Heatherington a deal that would allow her to plead not guilty.
CBC STORY: Montana police offer Heatherington deal

May 9, 2003: The deputy mayor of Lethbridge, Tom Wickersham, says he's getting calls from citizens who want Heatherington to resign.
CBC STORY: Heatherington faces pressure to resign

May 8, 2003: The county attorney in Great Falls releases information about Heatherington's statements to the police. Lethbridge police Sgt. Jamie Fisher says, "Great Falls police are confident that her information is not credible."

Heatherington's husband, David, speaks to reporters in support of Dar. "She suffered from an untoward event while in Great Falls," he says.
CBC STORY: Heatherington's husband stands by her

May 7, 2003: David Heatherington charters a plane to Las Vegas to pick up his wife. Las Vegas police say Heatherington said she might have been sexually assaulted and she was too tired to speak to them, but she wanted to press charges.

The Heatheringtons fly to Great Falls, where they are taken to police headquarters. Police interview Dar Heatherington for four hours and later charge her with making a false statement.
CBC STORY: Heatherington leaves Las Vegas

May 6, 2003 - 10:39 p.m.: Heatherington is found, distraught and shaken, in the valet area of the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. She tells police she was abducted from Great Falls and possibly drugged and sexually assaulted. Police take her to the hospital. She refuses to be examined by a male doctor, but later allows a female to do the examination.
CBC STORY: Heatherington found in Las Vegas

May 6, 2003: Police use a helicopter to search along the Missouri River in Great Falls, Mont., where Heatherington is believed to have gone cycling.

Police in Great Falls say Heatherington has a history with the Lethbridge police. "They are aware of this individual," says police Lieut. Ron Steffans, adding that police are focusing on whether Heatherington had an accident or deliberately disappeared.
CBC STORY: Heatherington known to Lethbridge police

May 5, 2003: Police in Great Falls, Mont., retrace Heatherington's steps, and find her keys and purse outside her rental car, but no blood or other obvious signs of a struggle.
CBC STORY: Lethbridge shocked as alderman vanishes

May 3, 2003: The day Heatherington disappeared. Heatherington's husband reports her missing that night.