Crime

Murder charges dismissed against Moorers in Heather Elvis case

Heather Elvis' memory unites friends, family at vigil

Candles are lit during the second memorial vigil for Heather Elvis at Peachtree Landing. Elvis, 20 at the time, was reported missing Dec. 19, 2013, after her car was found at Peachtree Landing in the Socastee community.
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Candles are lit during the second memorial vigil for Heather Elvis at Peachtree Landing. Elvis, 20 at the time, was reported missing Dec. 19, 2013, after her car was found at Peachtree Landing in the Socastee community.

Murder charges against Tammy and Sidney Moorer in the Heather Elvis case were dismissed Thursday, and Sidney Moorer publicly spoke out against those charges and Horry County investigators on Facebook.

An obstruction of justice charge has also been dismissed for Tammy Moorer, 43, and two charges of indecent exposure have also been dismissed against both.

Tammy and Sidney Moorer are still charged with kidnapping in connection to the case, according to the Horry County Public Index. Sidney Moorer, 39, also still faces obstruction of justice charges, according to court records.

It's about time! My friends and family know the truth. They know we were set up and lied on from day one.

Sidney Moorer said in a Facebook post late Thursday

“It's about time! My friends and family know the truth. They know we were set up and lied on from day one,” Sidney Moorer said in a Facebook post late Thursday.

Officials declined to give details about what led to the charges being dismissed, citing a gag order that’s been in place for two years preventing involved parties from talking about the case. Many in the community -- which had rallied to find Heather Elvis who was last seen Dec. 19, 2013 and has remained missing -- grapple for answers and continue to hold vigils for Elvis at Peachtree Boat Landing in Socastee, where she was last seen. Billboards and banners seeking help in finding Heather Elvis can still be spotted around town.

Candles are lit during the second memorial vigil for Heather Elvis at Peachtree Landing. Elvis, 20 at the time, was reported missing Dec. 19, 2013, after her car was found at Peachtree Landing in the Socastee community.

“Our focus is still on getting information about where Heather is, and looking for tips and anyone who knows anything at all,” Heather’s mom Debbi Elvis said Thursday, declining to talk about the dismissal of the charges because of the gag order. “I want people to still know this is about Heather and that we still haven’t found her yet and not to lose focus on what the real issue is here.”

I want people to still know this is about Heather and that we still haven’t found her yet and not to lose focus on what the real issue is here.

Debbi Elvis, mother of Heather Elvis, who has been missing since December 2013

Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, who is prosecuting the case, would not comment on why the charges were dropped, but said a trial for the kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges would be set “very soon, I imagine.”

“I can’t go into when all that will be until the judge signs off on a date, though,” he said.

The Moorers have denied the charges. Attorneys for the Moorers could not be reached Thursday.

Sidney Moorer changed his Facebook profile picture Thursday night to a screenshot of tweets from what appeared to be Heather Elvis’ Twitter account. Those tweets mainly concern Elvis discussing her mother and father.

“Horry County prosecutors' have failed!” Sidney Moorer said in his Facebook status. “They arrested an innocent couple and held them hostage for more than two years. The solicitor got away with ruining their lives and damaging the lives of three young children.”

Sister Morgan and mother Debbi Elvis on the Heather Elvis memorial vigil and life since her disappearance. The vigil, H.E.L.P.P., stands for Hope, Encouragement, Love, Purpose, Perseverance.

Sidney Moorer’s post includes accusations that Horry County police and prosecutors held the Moorers illegally and made several mistakes in the case. He also accuses police of not “searching all avenues” and not arresting who “was responsible for [Elvis’] disappearance.” The post also states that Sidney Moorer did not have a “relationship” with Elvis, but did engage in a sexual activity with her.

Horry County Police representatives could not be reached Thursday.

Moorer and wife Tammy were arrested in February 2014 and charged with murder, kidnapping, indecent exposure and obstructing justice in connection with Heather Elvis’ disappearance. The couple remained jailed through 2014. Tammy was released in January 2015 and Sidney was released in February 2015 after bond was set at $100,000 for each of them by Circuit Court Judge R. Markley Dennis, according to records.

Sidney Moorer was set to appear in civil court in January after defaulting on $6,600 of payments on a Toys R Us account. Moorer said he was unable to pay the bill because he was “incarcerated on false charges,” according to court documents.

The civil suit was settled out of court in January, according to court records.

In December, Heather Elvis’ family started an online petition to remove Dennis from presiding over the the murder trial. That petition gained over 3,300 signatures in the past three months.

A murder trial date was set for May 11, but that date was canceled when a continuance order was filed March 24, and a new trial date was not set.

Many questions about Elvis’ disappearance remain, and a gag order – set in place March 2014 – prevents involved parties from saying what they know about the case – which has fueled speculation and rumors. Monthly vigils are still held at the landing, which volunteers cleaned and cleared just months after Elvis disappeared. The family also put a prayer rock in place at the landing to create an area where people can find comfort and to remember others at the landing because they said it isn’t just Heather Elvis’ place.

The Moorers received permission to move to Florida in September after saying they found work in the Sunshine State. While the couple relocated, they remain under restrictions there, including home detention monitoring, and they must also provide officials with their home and work information and must alert them immediately if anything changes, among other stipulations, court records show.

In September, Kirk Truslow, Sidney Moorer’s attorney, filed a second supplemental motion for discovery, calling the prosecution to “produce certain evidence,” according to records. It doesn’t state the type of evidence requested.

Staff reporters Charles Perry and Elizabeth Townsend also contributed to this story.

Claire Byun: 843-626-0381, @Claire_TSN

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