MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Heather Elvis was 20-years-old when she went missing. Prosecutors say the last sign of Elvis was a ping from her cell phone that came in the middle of the night from Peachtree Boat Landing in Socastee.
Horry County Police discovered Elvis’ abandoned car December 19, 2013, one day after she was last heard from.
“It means a mother’s worst nightmare,” said Debbi Elvis of the car’s discovery. Heather Elvis had disappeared. Family, friends, and complete strangers came together countless times to search for the young woman.
“And until they bring their daughter home, it will never be over,” says Julie Daft, who helped search for Elvis.
The Heather Elvis Case in Photos
Elvis’ body was never found, but in February 2014, prosecutors announced she had been killed.
“I jumped up out of bed. Had to go down there and see for myself that it was actually happening,” said Jennifer Garrett, a search volunteer.
The state charged Sidney and Tammy Moorer with Elvis’ murder February 24, 2014.
“This isn’t a case where we are looking for a smoking gun,” said 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson. “It was just the combination of evidence that was already there and the new evidence just added to that. So we don’t have video of them killing her or anything along those lines.”
Police, and the community, promised to keep searching for Elvis despite the murder charges brought against the Moorers.
“Nothing is ruled out,” said Lt. Robert Kegler, then public information officer with Horry County Police. “Things that have been searched already has not been ruled out. There is no indication that any information that comes to us that leads to an area that we’ve searched, that area will be searched again.”
Prosecutors revealed their version of Elvis’ disappearance in the spring of 2014. They claimed Elvis and Sidney Moorer had an affair, and his wife, Tammy Moorer, found out about it. The prosecution claims Tammy tried to get in contact with Elvis, and even texted Elvis, “It’s best you call back and speak to me, save yourself. Hey…you ready to meet the MRS?”
Prosecutors also presented a timeline of the night heather disappeared using cell phone records. They said Elvis and Sidney called each other in the middle of the night, possibly making Sidney Moorer the last person who spoke with Elvis before she went missing.
Elvis eventually went to the Peachtree Landing, where her car was found, in the early morning hours of December 19, 2013. Investigators said surveillance video from around the same time caught a vehicle coming from the direction of the moorer’s house, to the boat landing, and back.
“You can’t help but feel like you failed. I face that every morning. This is the time that I know my daughter needs me the most,” said Terry Elvis, Heather’s father.
The Elvis family said the charges brought against the Moorers did not change their outlook on their daughter’s disappearance, “Our focus is still primarily, we need to find our daughter and we need to find answers,” said Terry Elvis.
The Moorers spent nearly a year in jail before a judge granted them bond in January 2015.
“Do you have any direct evidence?” A judge asks of the prosecution during the bond hearing.
“Not at this time, but we do believe we have substantial circumstantial evidence,” explained the prosecution.
“I understand you assessment of that,” the judge said before granting the Moorers bond of $100,000 each.
Just more than a year later, the murder charges against both previously suspected killers were dropped. While the murder charges were dismissed March 10, 2016, kidnapping charges against both Moorers remain. A trial for those charges could begin summer 2016.