EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 10, 2012

Wrong photo, wrecked life

Woman talks about life after bank, police release wrong surveillance photo


“I woke up my mom and my brother and we all went on our iPhones and saw it,” Gil said. “I said to myself, if this is a joke, it isn’t funny.”

Gil called police and was told to drop by the station that Friday morning to speak with Detective Carl Rogers, who was investigating the theft. Gil said Rogers called her that day and told her they will need to meet at some point.

“I kept saying I don’t know what happened and that I don’t want to go to jail for something I didn’t do,” Gil said.

Throughout that first day, Gil was bombarded with Facebook messages from friends asking her what happened and did she really do it. And everywhere she went, people whispered and pointed at her.

“We were shopping at Market Basket and people were pointing and talking. I just had to leave,” Gil said. “They were saying things like ‘that’s the woman in the newspaper’ and ‘she did it.’”

Gil’s mother, Elizabeth Robles, said her daughter was so uncomfortable at the bus stop that Friday morning that she picked up her grandchildren in the afternoon.

“I told her to keep her head up as I know you are innocent,” Elizabeth Robles said about her daughter.

Gil’s sister, Natasha Gil, did her best to console her sister. “She called me crying every day,” Natasha Gil said. “I knew she didn’t do it, but it was very hard.”

A few days after her photo was released, Gil’s father put her in touch with Torrisi, at the recommendation of a friend. Torrisi told Gil to gather bank documents showing she’d made a legitimate withdrawal from her account.

“I went through a week of hell and I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy,” Gil said.

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