Jun 30, 2016

Heather Elvis case: Are Sidney and Tammy Moorer innocent?

It has been more than two years since Heather Elvis vanished from the Myrtle Beach area, in a case that has South Carolina residents absolutely divided. Two people are accused of kidnapping -- and possibly murdering -- the missing South Carolina woman: A married couple by the names Sidney and Tammy Moorer. Over the course of the past two and a half years, authorities in South Carolina have focused specifically on the Moorers, attempting to put them on trial even though the publicized evidence against them doesn't seem like enough. In fact, murder charges against them have been totally dropped. This tells me that the prosecution does not have the proof to actually charge and convict the couple of killing the missing South Carolina woman, so what could that mean about the rest of the accusations against them?

Even though charges of murder against Sidney and Tammy have been dropped, the state is still pursuing kidnapping charges against them. However, Sidney Moorer's side of this process has just ended in a mistrial -- much to the disappointment of the virtual lynch mob headed by Heather's father Terry. The mistrial was supposedly declared because the jurors deadlocked on whether or not to convict the man of kidnapping his former lover. While 10 jurors wanted to convict, two would not. The trial will presumably be rescheduled, and Tammy's trial is supposed to begin sometime in the future.

There could be a number of reasons why jurors couldn't see eye-to-eye on whether or not Sidney Moorer is guilty in the kidnapping of Heather Elvis. Some people believe that there was a conflict of interest in the juror pool -- that one of the jurors happens to be a friend of Sidney's defense attorney. This is nothing that has been confirmed as a fact. At this time it is just gossip that hasn't been confirmed. If it's true, then certainly something will come of it. I'm not really convinced it is true, though.

Where is the actual evidence?
It seems that most of what has been used against Sidney and Tammy is little more than circumstantial evidence. One of those pieces of "evidence," that was mentioned during Sidney's recent trial, was the fact that he was seen purchasing a cigar and a pregnancy test around the time of Heather's disappearance. This was actually something that many thought was a rumor back in the early days of her disappearance, which was used to speculate that Heather may have been pregnant.

While it could still easily be speculated that Heather Elvis got pregnant before her disappearance, it needs to be noted that Tammy Caison Moorer was reported as pregnant around the time of her arrest. This is why the supposed surveillance footage of Sidney purchasing the pregnancy test is nothing more than circumstantial. It does not prove without a shadow of doubt that Heather Elvis was pregnant, nor does it prove without a shadow of doubt that Sidney had a thing to do with her disappearance. The timing looks suspect. That is certainly true, but it is not hardcore, irrefutable evidence to prove that Sidney took part in Heather's disappearance and/or death.

Now, let's talk about this cellphone evidence that was used against Sidney Moorer in court (again, mistrial by the way). Texts were sent from Sidney's phone to Heather's which were a little odd, and indicative that trouble certainly was present between the married couple and the now-missing woman. Sidney supposedly texted "Stop stalking me," to Heather. There were also messages which indicated that Tammy sent veiled threats to Heather, asking if she'd be interested in "meeting the Mrs." A forensic mapping of Heather's cellphone indicated that her phone had traveled from the direction of the Elvis residence, and then to the  boat landing where her car was ultimately found abandoned. No records indicate that her phone had been in the vicinity of the Moorer residence.

I also find it incredibly interesting that the expert who mapped Heather's phone for use as evidence against the Moorers, did not do the same for Tammy or Sidney Moorer's phones.

In regards to the veiled threats sent from (presumably) Tammy Moorer, it really doesn't prove anything either. It does seem suspicious, but only from a circumstantial standpoint. How many of us -- in fits of jealousy and/or anger -- have made similar comments to others who may have been threats to our relationships? I have admittedly threatened to knock a few women out over the course of the past 20 years that I've been in the dating and relationship arena. Emotions run high when you're "in love" with someone that another woman is trying to take away from you, and while most of the blame rests on the shoulders of the cheating partner, irrationality also rears its ugly head when one's "territory" is being invaded. We're only human -- and I am absolutely lucky that none of the women that I have confronted have gone missing or ended up murder. If Tammy and Sidney Moorer were not responsible for Heather's disappearance, then they have certainly fallen victim to some incredibly unfortunate circumstances.

Are Tammy and Sidney wrongly accused of kidnapping Heather Elvis?
This won't be a popular opinion, but I think it is highly probable. I cannot ignore the circumstantial evidence, because the circumstances are what they are. However, it's still circumstantial evidence -- and without any hardcore forensic proof, how are we so sure that this couple took any role in Heather's disappearance?

I find it troubling that, from the  beginning, investigators in Horry County have focused primarily on Tammy and Sidney. While they very well should have been a point of focus in this investigation, there should have been other avenues investigated as well. Heather Elvis lived a high-risk lifestyle, and was clearly not the "favorite" in her family. It was always rumored that she had been kicked out of her family's home more than once, and this was later confirmed during Sidney Moorer's trial.

I'm not insulting Heather's memory. I am simply stating known facts about this missing young woman, that should have been applied to the search for her from the beginning. However, Terry Elvis (her father) has done everything in his power to manipulate not only the investigation behind her disappearance, but the search for her  -- both physically and via social media. During the early days of her disappearance, this man downright refused to even acknowledge her tattoos, refusing to put them on any flyers, refusing to give descriptions of them. This was a narcissistic approach to looking for his daughter, who very well could have been kidnapped and murdered for all anybody knows. Tattoos are identifying marks that are absolutely necessary in searches for missing people, as well as identifying Jane and John Does. In fact, one of the very first flyers that focused on identifying her tattoos was designed personally by me. This only attracted personal attacks from Terry Elvis, who has behaved during this case more like a suspect than the two people who are being accused by Horry County prosecutors.

So do I think Tammy and Sidney are guilty of Heather's disappearance? While it's totally possible, I just don't see the evidence against them as being anything concrete. I believe Hoory County detectives have put all their eggs in to one basket without fully looking into this case, and I believe that the locals have played too easily in to the hands of Terry Elvis and the authorities who are behave as though they are being led by him. If Tammy and Sidney did kidnap or kill Heather, then there has to be solid forensic evidence against them. If they didn't, then someone out there is laughing his or her ass off at this ridiculous display of injustice.

Meanwhile, Heather Elvis is still missing, and it's safe to assume that she is dead. Until her remains are found (or by some extreme miracle she is found alive) nobody will really know for certain what happened to her. For all we know, Heather could have fallen in to a deep depression over Sidney rebuffing her attempts at being with him. She could have wandered away and killed herself the night she went missing. For all we know, she could have been at the boat landing minding her own business, and someone completely unknown by anyone in this case preyed on her opportunistically. Anything is possible, but there is tunnel vision locked on to Sidney and Tammy Moorer -- and again, I am just not convinced by circumstantial evidence. Show me DNA. Show me blood evidence. Show me a murder weapon. Show me something that proves without a shadow of doubt that Sidney and Tammy played an active role in Heather's disappearance and/or death.

Until that evidence is produced by the Moorer's accusers, I am just not going to be convinced. 
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