Heather Elvis: Young woman missing from Myrtle Beach

As always, if you are not familiar with this case start towards the bottom of this article for the “original story” and work up, as the most recent information is placed on top.

UPDATE 12/28/15 –  The family of Heather Elvis has started a petition to have the Judge on the case to step down.  The Elvis family is complaining that Judge Dennis, who is currently on the case is having the family travel back and forth for every hearing and motion and it is causing a hardship for the family.

“Not only does our family have to make the trip and lose business and time but those friends and supporters are forced to make the trip. This is and has been a hardship on all of those who make the trip not to mention the tax payer funded travel expenses for the solicitors office and all of the staff needed to handle the court motions. If this judge does not want to travel to Horry County then please allow a local judge to preside over this case.”

The family also states they have not been allowed to speak at the bond modification hearings which is their right under the constitution of South Carolina.  The final concerned of the family is discovering that Judge Dennis was a schoolmate of the defendant’s father, Sidney Mooer, and they believe it is a conflict of proceedings.

“Keep in mind that before Judge Dennis was assigned this case, the defendants were incarcerated without bail even though they tried to get bail before Judge Johns and failed.”

The Elvis’ goal is to collect 5,000 signatures on their petition.  If you would like to read the petition or sign it, please go here.

Currently the Moorer’s have been released from jail and are living and working in Florida.  According to WMBF news the murder trial was to begin on May 2015 but has been delayed indefinitely.


12/13/15 – TruthVoice posted this story about the Elvis’ family.  “This article does not express the views of TruthVoice as a whole, but is merely a presentation of facts and witness statements compiled by the author, Deric Lostutter.”  Deric is known as KYAnonymous and is thought to be instrumental for bringing attention to the case of a teen that was raped in Steubenville, Ohio.



5/5/15 – The hearing scheduled to start May 11 has been delayed.  Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said there is no need to have hearings and motions in relation to the case at this time. A new date has not been set.


2/3/14 – Bond has been granted for both Sidney and Tammy Moorer.  The bond was set at $100,000 each and both are required to wear a GPS monitoring device. The Moorers’ trial is currently scheduled for May, and they have been in jail since their arrest in February 2014.

I took some time to watch the bond hearing for Sidney and Tammy Moorer who are charged with the death and disappearance of Heather Elvis in Horry County, South Carolina.  Click here if you would like to watch it.  This is a break down of the more than hour long bail hearing:

Greg McCollum on the Defense side stated that the search of Sidney Moorer’s vehicle yielded no evidence and the DNA test that proved Heather had been inside Moorer’s truck was a mistake by the lab, as the DNA was actually taken from Elvis’ vehicle and not Moorer’s.

The Moorer’s were missing for a period of time, and McCollum stated they were on vacation and he had seen photographs from the Grand Canyon and Disneyland during that time period that showed they were there.

He addressed the video tape showing Sidney’s vehicle traveling where Elvis was at.  The attorney said he viewed the video, and all that he could see was a “blob”.  He also found out the video was never enhanced, and it was a magazine that did a photo matrix and they were not qualified to do this type of science.

The attorney stated that at the first bond hearing he brought up that the Moorer’s did not withdrawal a large sum of money from their bank account, as the prosecution stated they did.

To show reasons why the Moorer’s be freed on bail, included they were long time residence, they had never tried to leave the country, but in fact had been on a cruise and didn’t even have passports.  He also stated that the family was close knit and the children have not being doing well in school and they need their parent’s assistance with their school work, and they had been in jail a year waiting for trial.

On the prosecuting side, Assistant Solicitor Nancy Livesay began to tell Judge Dennis about the witnesses, but Judge Dennis cut her off, stating “We’re not trying this today.  We needed to get the facts in there that were important for my determination.”

Livesay, stated to the  Judge that “they” were being disingenuous in her opinion about the video.  The Judge told her again she didn’t need to go over that.

Livesay went on to response to the accusations by the defense that the evidence didn’t add up, “I can tell you with the utmost confidence . . . if it was said at that initial bond hearing it came directly out of the discovery that was provided… There has been no substantial change in circumstances from that first bond hearing,” Livesay said. “We do believe we have substantial circumstantial evidence.”

Bottom line Lindsey stated that there has been no changes since the bail hearing.

Lindsey concluded by telling the Judge that the Moorer’s were a flight risk as they traveled extensively and the children were home-schooled for a long time, and didn’t attend school.  Also, the home they lived in belongs to Tammy’s mother and that Tammy worked out of the home as a travel agent and Sidney did not have employees, although the defense said he did and that in fact he was one person who have several clients.  Subsequently both jobs have been lost as they have been both been in jail for a year.

Based on that, the prosecution wants them to remain in jail till the trial that will be in May.

The judge Dennis asked if the prosecutor had direct evidence and she said, no and began to explain and the Judge cut her off.

I believe this is a very crucial point.  Unless the prosecution can come up with direct evidence, there either will never be a trial or it will be a very short one, and the Moorer’s will walk free.

 


UPDATE: – 12/22/14 – A My Horry News article has social media in an uproar.  The article called, Caisons discuss Tammy Moorer pregnancy, harassment and Heather Elvis, has made many angry as they feel the writer was leaning towards the side of the Tammy and Sidney Moorer, who are now in jail waiting to stand trial for the murder of Heather Elvis.

In the article,  Polly Caison, Tammy’s mother says that Tammy was pregnant when she was arrested, but lost the child.  She also states that she has suffered with harassment not only on social media, but also with people driving by and throwing lit paper on her front law and pointing guns at her.  Polly says she is not getting any help from the police or even an attorney as they will not call her back.

Sidney and Tammy Moorer look strikingly different than their selfies.

“When I call the police they don’t do anything. When I call the lawyers they don’t call me back,” Caison said. “It seems like every time we go get help, it flares up in our faces.”

Frankly, if I was being harassed I would not want to let the public know, because if the police are ignoring me, it lets the people that you are accusing of harassing you the green light to keep doing it, and even taking it a step further, and I certainly would not say that the police were doing nothing about it, as they can read articles, just like the rest of us.

There are tons of people so angry at Tammy and Sidney they could “spit nails” as my dad used to say.  Their anger is understandable.  A young girl is probably gone for ever and they can’t really get to the people who have been arrested, so venting on social media, and threatening Tammy’s mother is the closest they can get.

The Elvis’

In other cases, I have seen the patron of a family come forward and help steer the “angry mob” before.  For example, Patrick McStay, who did not have the swift police work that lead to an arrest that the Elvis family received, is the father of Joey McStay, who was found buried in a shallow grave alongside his wife and two little children near Victorville.  Patrick has been out front since his son disappeared and has kept a strong hold on information and rumors.  He dealt with several people that tried to knock him down and with clear and solid thinking and setting his emotions aside, including a little help from other clear thinking friends, he was able to preserver. Patrick still monitors and does damage control on his Facebook page dedicated to his son, and is well respected because of it.

There is still time for Terry Elvis to be a leader and help calm the masses.  This is a perfect time for him to stand up and help everyone understand that the police have got this.


2/24/14 – Horry County Police chief Saundra Rhodes announced Sidney and Tammy Moorer are now charged with the murder of Heather Elvis. The bond hearing on the murder charges will be the week of March 17.


UPDATE:  2/24/14 – Horry County Police chief Saundra Rhodes announced Sidney and Tammy Moorer are now charged with the murder of Heather Elvis. The bond hearing on the murder charges will be the week of March 17.

Tammy and Sidney Moorer during better times

In March 2014:   A set of Affidavits that individually name Tammy Moorer  and Sidney Moorer, states that they, “willfully, maliciously, and indecently expose (sic) her person in a public place, on property of others, or to the view of any person on the street or highway,” on December 17-18.   (if I remember correctly, the Moorer’s were caught in their car having sex.)  In another affidavit it states that in the area of “Peachtree Boat Landing in the Myrtle Beach section of Horry County one Tammy Moorer did unlawfully seize, confine, kidnap, abduct or carry away Heather Elvis by any means whatsoever without the authority of the law.”  Followed by another Affidavit that stipulates, “Tammy Moorer did unlawfully, without just of sufficient cause, murder Heather Elvis with malice forethought.”


UPDATE 2/21/14 –  The Horry County Police have taken into custody two people as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a Myrtle Beach woman, Heather Elvis.

The police entered the home of Sidney Moorer, 38,  and Tammy Moorer, 41, on the 8700 block of State highway 814 with a search warrant on Friday, reports WMBF news.

“The search warrant was executed in an attempt to identify potential evidence based on new information obtained through expert analysis of previously seized surveillance tapes in the area along with financial discrepancies filed with the State of South Caroline on behalf of the occupants of the residence,” the Horry County Police Dept. stated in a news release.

This is the same Sidney Moorer, who had a “relationship history” with Heather according to the Carolina Forest Chronicle and  who made a complaint about William Barrett and Garrett Starnes who were subsequently arrested for obstructing justice after they posted information on social media about missing Heather.  Barrett allegedly had gone as far as questioning a witness to get confidential information from them and finding evidence and not telling the police.

 


UPDATE 2/3/14 – On Jan. 30, I wrote about how William Barrett and Garrett Starnes had been arrested for posting updates about Heather on Facebook (Read story below date 1/30/14).

It seems now that the arrests were related to a complaint that was made by Sidney Moorer, who had a “relationship history” with Elvis according to the police records obtained by the Carolina Forest Chronicle.  The Moorer’s first filed a complaint back in December and then filed two more in January, saying they feared for their safety.
Starnes posted to Facebook:

“The police are watching, but it’s time to start doing your job and make someone talk,” a post reads, according to the report. “If the police don’t do it first the citizens will.”

I also mentioned how Terry Elvis, Heather’s dad, was a friend of Barrett’s and was supporting him in that 1/30/14 story.  Now we are finding out there is a report and witness that says he was taking photos of the Moorer house and harassing by making threats, driving by the home and posting posters near their home, according to a Jan. 17 police report. Terry was named as an “other entity” and once as a “suspect.”

Terry has not been arrested for anything.  Regardless what the report stated he is still innocent until proven guilty.  So, let’s not jump to conclusions as some have done in this case.

Heather Elvis, 20, from Myrtle Beach, S.C. has been missing since Dec. 17. Her case has gone national as it has appeared on news stations across the US along with the Nancy Grace show and Good Morning America.

William Christopher Barrett, 52, who Heather’s dad Terry Elvis said he has known for five years and Garrett Ryan Starnes, 25, evidently posted several updates about Heather on Facebook. Barrett has also gone as far as questioning a witness to get confidential information from them and finding evidence and not telling the police. Also, Barrett was charged for telling the police false information about the case, according to the Horry County Sheriff’s Department.

“During the course of the investigation, suspect (William) Barrett began posting misleading information on a social media site regarding the disappearance of Heather Elvis, which created a community reaction that diverted investigating officers,” police said.

Barrett told WBTW news that he had received 200 tips from emails, Facebook and the Tip Tent he set up near Bob Evans in Myrtle Beach by the railroad tracks.

“It has been amazing all the things people have come and given us. Vehicle descriptions, plate numbers, things that they’d seen that there’s no possible way they would tell the police,” said Barrett.

What Barrett has allegedly done, has been done before by supporters of missing people who are on Facebook. You just don’t hear about it, because it usually doesn’t lead to an arrest.

Over the last few years, it has become a new way to reach the masses by creating a Facebook page for a missing person to provide support and get the word out that someone is missing. The page is not always owned by a family member or friend, but by someone who has become emotionally vested in the case and becomes the unauthorized proxy. In some cases the Facebook page becomes bigger than life, with thousands of followers that are now hanging on to every new bit of information that comes out. Theories are thrown around with no restraint and before you know it, the page becomes a parody of itself, with the owner of the page trying to provide constant entertainment for the followers.

In my 2012 article, “When Advocacy becomes Lunacy” I wrote about Tony Calabrese who was asked by the TBI to stop interfering with the investigation by posting information about Holly Bobo, the young 20-year-old nursing student from Tennessee who went missing after being led into the woods in 2011. Calabrese ended up with being served a warrant and having his computer confiscated after he didn’t heed their warnings, and went so far as to make up his own list of people of interest and posting it on Facebook.

I have seen time and again where these self-appointed leaders of a Facebook cause can create an online lynch mob, that will terrorize and harass a person they have decided is responsible for someone’s disappearance.

Back in late 2011, a Facebook page that I will not name, harassed a man and accused him of knowing the whereabouts of a missing woman, because he was the last one known to have been talking with her on Facebook. They demanded he tell what he knew and called him a liar. The result of the case came when the woman’s husband confessed to killing her. Did any of the online mob apologize to the man. Nope.

The reason this is so serious is because you never know if a vigilante might read one of the conversations and believe that the accusers know what they were talking about and take it upon him/herself to go after an innocent person, because they do not realize that owners or followers of a Facebook page are not privy to all the information that the police know.

It can also be serious because when the law enforcement agency develops leads and evidence, it can all be undone by a simple post on a Facebook page.

Heather Elvis

Interestingly enough, you would think that Terry would be upset about his friend Barrett spreading lies about his daughter, but instead he is supporting him.

“This doesn’t sway my friendship and doesn’t sway my opinion about him,” said Terry.

And Terry is not the only one. The Bill Barrett page is full of support and accolades for a man they consider selfless for spending all his time trying to help fined the missing daughter of a friend.

Between the arrest and the contradictory support for Barrett, it is hard to understand what happened. Did law enforcement warn Barrett about his involvement in the case, like Tony Calabrese was and he chose to ignore them or did Barrett get in over his head and turn vigilante which caused him to break the law unknowingly?


UPDATE: 1/2/14 –  The CUE Center is asking for volunteers in the search for Heather Elvis. Volunteers are needed for Friday, January 3, Saturday January 4, and half-day Sunday. Each day volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. At the staging location which is Tidewater Road off of Highway 501.

UPDATE: 12/26/13 – Heather is still missing and the reward has been increased from $1000 to $10,000, after an anonymous person donated to the reward fund.

Original story:  Heather R. Elvis, 20, was last heard from around 3 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2013.  She had gone on a date and had returned home.  She was last known to be at 541 White Drive off of River Oaks Drive in Myrtle Beach, S.C.  Her car was found parked at Socastee S.C. at the Peachtree Landing.

The family is asking for anyone who was at Peachtree landing from 10pm Tuesday December 17th thru 6am Wednesday morning December 18th to “please contact us, you may have seen something and not even know it and we could use the help in filling in holes for this time line.”

According to Terry Elvis, Heather stopped by her parents’ house Tuesday to pick up mail. She works at a restaurant, but did not show up or call in for her scheduled shift Friday afternoon, her father said.

There will be a prayer vigil Sunday, Dec 22  at 6:30pm for the safe return of Heather at our Church in Myrtle Beach, if you can attend the Church is First Baptist Church of Myrtle Beach and is located at 500 4th Ave. North on Hwy 17 business in the heart of Myrtle Beach.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, please call the Horry County Police Dept. at 843-915-5350 or leave an anonymous tip here.
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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

1 Comment

  1. When I first started following this case, it was right after Heather had gone missing. I had no clue who was who when I first visited her FB page that her parents had put up. As I recall though, I came upon the scene at the very same minute someone on the Moorer's end were posting pics and taunting the Elvis' on their page. I can't recall everything I saw as the Moorer's took the pic/pics and gibes down just as quickly as they put them up. I DO remember a pic of a man (cartoon) where the man was in a striped jail suit behind bars. I can't recall what the Moorer's were saying to the Elvis' but it was definitely taunting going on. So what they were actually saying was “I/we did it. I/we should be in jail but you will never be able to prove it”. Then they took the pic off. If I would have known what was going on at the time, I would have copied it and saved it, not that that would have mattered but at least I would remember what all they were saying. If that isn't a sign of guilty, then they are pure evil. I believe it's a sign of guilty AND pure evil!