Police officer testifies about early days of Heather Elvis investigation
A former kitchen manager of the Tilted Kilt said Tammy Moorer asked him to fire the woman she is accused of kidnapping.
Dennis Hart said that during a phone conversation Moorer told him that Heather Elvis was causing trouble in her family because of an affair with her husband, Sidney. Hart added Tammy Moorer said Elvis spread a rumor that she was pregnant and it was Sidney’s child.
“She was a good employee, so I was not going to fire her,” Hart said.
There was also a time – after that phone conversation — when Elvis showed up to work with a black eye, Hart said. Elvis gave different stories about the cause, and Hart didn’t testify about the true cause.
Hart took the stand to start the second week of a conspiracy and kidnapping trial against Tammy Moorer.
Prosecutors say it was jealousy over an affair between Sidney and Elvis that led Tammy to conspire with Sidney to kidnap Elvis on Dec. 18, 2013. Elvis was last known to be in the Peachtree Landing area of Socastee.
Days after she went missing, police investigators went to Elvis’ residence looking for information, said Horry County Police Lt. Peter Cestare, who oversees the crime scene unit. That included taking fingerprints from inside her car, which was found at the landing.
Elvis’ father, Terry, said he drove Heather’s car from Peachtree Landing to her residence. Terry also told investigators he wore hospital-style gloves so “not to interfere with anything,” Cestare said.
“I don’t know what prompted him to do that or why,” Cestare said. “It was beneficial to me that it was done that way.”
Cestare said he wanted to tow the car for further testing and investigation, but Terry would not let it leave the area.
Investigators also visited the Moorers’ residence in December 2013 to look for clues. It was not a search, Cestare said.
When they visited, Cestare said he noticed and photographed a shotgun shell, cement mix and a cleaner on the Moorers’ property. He said the visit was to document information in case they returned later.
Police didn’t search the home until February 2014.
Prosecutors initially charged Tammy and Sidney Moorer with kidnapping and murder, but the murder charges were dropped. Sidney Moorer went to trial on the kidnapping charge in 2016, but a jury deadlocked. That case has not been retried and remains active.
Last year, a jury found Sidney Moorer guilty of obstructing the police investigation. Judge R. Markley Dennis, who was appointed to hear the case, sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
In April, a grand jury indicted Sidney and Tammy Moorer on conspiracy to kidnap charges.
Tammy Moorer has maintained her innocence.