Woman faces charges after ‘playing victim’ in previous stalking case in Blair County

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BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A woman who police say pretended to be the victim of a Hollidaysburg man charged with using GPS tracking devices to stalk her and a man she dated is now accused of being in on the plot all along. 

Bailey Brendlinger, 22, of Indiana, faces misdemeanor charges of conspiracy, stalking, harassment and disorderly conduct after Hollidaysburg Borough police uncovered messages between 47-year-old Donald Byers, a former co-worker who was charged in late March. 

According to charges filed by Hollidaysburg Borough police, Brendlinger was carrying on a secret love affair with Byers while pretending to be stalked along with another coworker with whom she had a relationship with in late 2019. 

All three had worked for Norfolk-Southern, police said.  

Police note SnapChat messages retrieved from Byers’s cellphone indicate Byers and Brendlinger used a GPS tracking device Byers planted on the other man’s truck to keep tabs on his whereabouts so as not to get caught. 

It was the other male coworker who went to police on March 23 to report Byers was sending him messages and calling from a variety of phone numbers and would send photos of his truck parked outside various businesses and other places the man had just visited.  

The messages sent to the man by Byers centered around Brendlinger and ranged from warnings to leave her alone to later messages bragging how he had driven a wedge between the man and Brendlinger. 

When the man first started receiving the messages, it was Brendlinger who told the man she thought it was Byers who was sending them and in December 2020, it was Brendlinger who sent the man the photos of his truck at different locations with her claiming she had received them from different phone numbers. 

In March, after the man received messages that indicated Byers knew he had taken a vacation to Florida, it was Brendlinger who told the man she had found a GPS tracking device on her vehicle and he should check his truck for one, police noted in the charges. 

The messages show conversations between Byers and Brendlinger where they discuss agreeing to get the GPS tracker and where Brendlinger said she would help pay for it. Along with the messages discussing meeting up for sex, police also recovered hundreds of photos Brendlinger sent to Byers that included nude photos of herself. 

When questioned by police in April, Brendlinger allegedly admitted she was aware of what Byers was doing and said she created a fake protection-from-abuse order at one point to show the other man to make him “happy.” She said she started talking to Byers in September of 2020 and she allegedly admitted she originally portrayed herself as a victim to police and had not told the whole truth. 

Byers was arrested April 2 and is awaiting trial.  

Brendlinger was charged by summons on Thursday and is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner on July 13 for a preliminary hearing on the charges. 

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