BOZEMAN — A Bozeman man faces up to $10,000 in fines and 10 years in prison after tampering or fabricating evidence in the case of a missing Bozeman girl.
Zachary Christopher Antikainen, 18, was seen in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday morning and is being held on $10,000 bail.
According to charging documents, on Sunday, Jan. 26, Antikainen submitted a tip to “Bozeman Crime Tips” via email about the disappearance of Gaberielle Harding, 16.
Harding was last seen in the area of West Babcock Street and North 24th Avenue in Bozeman, on Jan. 20, 2020. Harding weighs 143 pounds, is 5 feet 7 inches tall, with blue/brown hair and blue eyes.
Antikainen reportedly admitted to using the name of “Tyler Watson” and submitted the tip using an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Antikainen told investigators that the name and email were fake and the tip describing Harding’s abduction were false. He also allegedly admitted that the name “Tyler Watson” was himself and he had described himself as the suspect in the tip.
The false description he provided to the tip line indicated Antikainen threatened Harding with a knife near the location of “West Babcock and North 24th” and forced her into his vehicle. Antikainen (pretending to be “Tyler Watson”) described himself, his residence, phone number and identified Harding from the pictures released to the public through the media.
Bozeman police Sgt. Joseph Swanson told MTN News that the tip was investigated and appears to be false at this time. The department is following several leads into Harding’s disappearance.
According to the prosecutor there are additional misdemeanors forthcoming for making false reports.
It is unknown what Harding was last wearing and if she is on foot or in a vehicle. This matter remains under investigation and anyone with information regarding Gaberielle’s whereabouts are encouraged to contact Detective Scott McCormick at 406- 582-2957 or call Crimestoppers at 406-586-1131 / email@example.com