What happened to Heather Elvis?
Police and prosecutors won’t tip their hand about what they know regarding the disappearance of the 20-year-old South Carolina woman, whose car was found Dec. 19 at a boat landing near Myrtle Beach, and whose cell phone records led them to a man with whom authorities believe she was once romantically involved.
But they fear a bad end. Murder charges were filed Monday against that man, Sidney Moorer, 38, and his wife, Tammy, 41, adding to a list of earlier charges against the couple in the case that include kidnapping, obstruction of justice and indecent exposure.
Sidney Moorer’s defense attorney T. Kirk Truslow tells PEOPLE: “Sidney has no connection to, nor knowledge of, any facts surrounding the disappearance of Heather Elvis.”
A call by PEOPLE to Tammy Moorer’s defense attorney was not immediately returned.
For now, prosecutors have declined to fill in the blanks. “We understand and sympathize with the public’s desire to know more information about this tragic case,” Jimmy Richardson, solicitor for the 15th Judicial Circuit in coastal Horry County, said in a statement. But he offered no details.
“In the interest of justice for Heather, her family and friends, and the entire Horry County community, we simply cannot risk jeopardizing either the current investigation or future prosecution at this time.”
He added: “As soon as we are able to release more information without the risk of jeopardizing either the investigation or the prosecution, we will do so, as we know it will answer questions and provide some degree of closure to a grieving family and community.”
Prior to the Moorers’ arrests, Heather’s father, Terry Elvis, said police knew his daughter had been romantically linked months ago with a married man she met while working as a restaurant hostess, but the relationship had ended, according to Heather’s roommate. Yet phone records showed Heather and the man were in touch again, with several calls back and forth on the morning of Heather’s Dec. 17 disappearance.
That night, the man called to say he was leaving his wife and wanted to be with Heather, Terry Elvis told local TV station WMBF.
“There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence,” he said, “but it all points in one direction.”
Cryptic search warrants in the case only feed the mystery.
Those documents state that “on or about Dec. 18” in the Peachtree Boat Landing area outside Myrtle Beach, the Moorers “did unlawfully seize, confine, kidnap, abduct or carry away Heather Elvis,” and “did unlawfully, without just or sufficient cause, murder Heather Elvis with malice aforethought.”
When they were questioned about the disappearance on Dec. 20, warrants filed against the couple allege that Sidney and Tammy Moorer gave “false, misleading and/or inaccurate information” regarding Heather’s disappearance and their own activities in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, “causing the investigating agency to divert resources.”
The indecent exposure charges filed against both relate to an incident between Dec. 17 and 18.
A Vehicle Located
Elvis was reported missing on Dec. 19 after her green 2011 Dodge Intrepid was located at the boat landing.
Although no body has been found, “we were able to find enough [evidence] to develop enough probable cause to secure these murder warrants,” Horry County Police Captain Dale Buchanan told reporters at a news conference on the day that murder charges were filed.
The couple remain jailed, with a bond hearing scheduled for March 17.
“We’re not done. We have to find Heather,” Elvis family friend April Stoddard told The Sun News of Myrtle Beach “We do not have closure, we do not have answers. We have enough to start, but it’s not finished.”
Police ask that any leads be phoned in to 843-915-TIPS.