Crime

New, sensational video evidence in Sidney Moorer trial. Here is what it showed.

A new, bombshell video purportedly showed Tammy and Sidney Moorer cleaning the pickup truck investigators say was near Peachtree Landing the time Heather Elvis went missing.

The video was shot on the Moorers’ property days after Elvis disappeared in 2013. It was played for the first time on Friday during Sidney Moorer’s kidnapping trial.

The video lasts for hours but was fast-forwarded for the jury. Horry County police. Lt. Peter Cestare narrated the video as the Horry County jury watched. Cestare detailed how the Moorers extensively cleaned the truck and the couple threw rags onto a “burn pile.”

“Tammy Moorer is on the passenger side of the vehicle pretty much intensively cleaning the doors. Sidney is on the driver side of the vehicle,” Cestare said.

“Are they both cleaning?” Senior Assistant Solicitor Nancy Livesay asked.

“Yes ma’am,” the officer said.

Cleaning the truck would have removed any forensic evidence, Cestare said.

“Not likely at all,” Cestare said of the ability to collect DNA.

During cross-examination Cestare said the cleaning happened in daylight. Defense Attorney Jarrett Bouchette asked Cestare if the fact they cleaned during the day showed they had nothing to hide.

“I just don’t think they paid it any attention,” Cestare said of the video system that captured the two cleaning the vehicle.

The video was the first new testimony after nearly a week of witnesses in Sidney Moorer’s retrial on kidnapping charges related to the 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis.

Sidney Moorer and Tammy Moorer were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy. Tammy Moorer was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The first trial for Sidney Moorer ended in a hung jury. A jury found him guilty of obstruction of justice in the case and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Tammy Moorer grew jealous over an affair between Sidney Moorer and Elvis. They say the Moorers lured her to Peachtree Landing on Dec. 18, 2013, which is where Elvis went missing. Elvis has not been seen since.

Sidney Moorer’s attorneys described the police investigation as rushed because of community interest in the disappearance.

Cestare said he and other officers went to the Moorers’ residence after Elvis went missing. Cestare said they saw a shotgun shell, cement mix, cleaners and a tarp at the property.

“It just kind of struck me as odd,” Cestare said.

Cestare said he took the photograph because it gained his interest. The investigators also took pictures inside the home. Investigators had permission to enter the house, but not to go through drawers or cabinets.

There were also what appeared to be surveillance cameras inside and outside the home, Cestare said.

Headlights expert testify

South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper Jeremy Leach testified he was asked to help Horry County police in its investigation. He said they reviewed surveillance video from near the landing to identify a suspect vehicle.

“We believed it was a pickup truck,” Leach said.

Prosecutors say that truck on video heading to and from the landing belonged to the Moorers.

Grant Fredericks has become well-known throughout all the trials. He is an expert in headlight patterns and again spoke about his findings on Friday.

He told the jury about how he reviewed headlights of various makes and models of trucks. He said the pattern of light depends on the damage to the lens, if the bulbs shift and other factors.

“No vehicle shares the same headlight spread pattern,” he said.

Fredericks said based on his study of the headlight pattern of the truck in the video, it belonged to the Moorers.

During cross-examination, Bouchette questioned Fredericks’ expertise and training. He also said there was no large-scale modeling of the popular Ford 150 truck.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.
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