Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Treva Throneberry: The Girl Who Refused to Grow Up

Forever Young

Brianna Stewart, aka Treva Throneberry
Brianna Stewart, aka Treva
Throneberry

In the early to mid-1990s, Treva, using the aliases Keili Smitt, Cara Leanna Davis, Kara Williams and Emily Kharra Williams, temporarily lived in Corvallis, Oregon, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Plano, Texas and Asheville, North Carolina. In all of the towns she lived in, Treva flitted between homeless shelters and the homes of people who were generous enough to take her in. Everywhere she went, she claimed to be a teenager and enrolled in the local high schools. Although she didn't have the appropriate paperwork, the schools gave her the benefit of the doubt and accepted her. She was treated as a "hard luck" case, a girl from an abusive background who was just trying to earn her diploma and make it on her own anyway she knew how.

Everywhere she went she told a similar story, that her father, an alleged police officer and Satanist, killed her mother and raped her. In each town, the police followed up on her stories but were unable to substantiate them. In one case in 1993, Treva pressed charges against a Portland, Oregon, police officer. She claimed that the man was her father and that he raped her. Before the charges could be verified, Treva disappeared. 

Then in August 1996, she appeared again. This time Treva went to Altoona, Pennsylvania, with a different age, 16, and a new name, Stephanie Lewis. However, Treva wasn't as successful fooling the people there as she had been in other towns.   

Once again, Treva told the story of the satanic cult and her father abusing her and once again the police and social workers followed up on the case. Yet, during their investigation they made a startling discovery. Hollandsworth wrote that, "a social worker spotted a reference in the girl's notebook to a Susanne Arnold in Texas, and some phone calls and record checks proved that the girl was Treva Throneberry," then aged 27.

As a result, Treva was arrested. Lydgate reported that she pleaded guilty to filing a false report and served a 9-day jail sentence. Upon her release, Treva skipped from state to state, from shelter to shelter and through an endless stream of high schools looking for a place where she belonged. 

Her long journey eventually landed her in Vancouver, Washington, in 1998. There she was known as 16-year-old Brianna Stewart. While there she attended Evergreen High School and was cared for by the foster care system, which found her temporary shelter with various families, including some of the homes of her classmates. 

 

 

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