In June of 2013, 20-year-old Heather Elvis began an affair with Sidney Moorer, a 37-year-old married man with three kids. In December of that same year, she disappeared, never to be seen again.
Heather was born on June 30, 1993 in Carolina Forest, South Carolina. She was the oldest daughter of the family to parents Terry & Debbi Elvis & described as talented, bubbly & happy; she was a gorgeous young girl with her entire life ahead of her. Heather was artistic & independent, said to be a bit of a rebel who made decisions on her own terms, not worrying about what other people thought of her. She often shared her thoughts, interests & feelings on social media. Heather had a stable job, came from a good family & her life seemed on track; her family didn’t realize that she was hiding a secret that they wouldn’t discover until it was too late.
Around the time she graduated from St James High School in Murrells Inlet in 2011, Heather had been itching to move out of her family’s home & live on her own. Her family was supportive of her decision & she ended up finding an apartment in Myrtle Beach, a couple of miles from the beach. In order to pay for the rent, she got a job as a hostess at the Tilted Kilt, a Scottish-themed restaurant as well as the House of Blues; working two jobs as she studied cosmetology.
In June of 2013, Heather met 37-year-old Sidney Moorer, who was a Myrtle Beach native who owned his own business, Palmetto Maintenance & Cleaning Services; he often repaired the Tilted Kilt’s kitchen equipment. Heather openly spoke of her preference for older men, so it wasn’t surprising that she took notice of a man who was nearly two decades older than her. On July 10, she tweeted, “Baby did a bad thing” & a minute later, a second tweet read, “I’m in way too deep. But watch me get in deeper.”
Heather began to develop strong feelings toward Sidney & their relationship grew, despite him being married & having three kids. Their relationship was described as not only sexual, but also romantic & friends and co-workers from the Tilted Kilt said that the pair were very much in love. Sidney would come by the Tilted Kilt when Heather was working, bringing bagels & coffee. He even told friends that he was considering hiring her to nanny his children.
Heather’s roommate & co-worker, Brianna Kulzer said that everyone at work knew about the affair & made fun of Heather about it. She said, “Heather was made fun of a lot, and she was called multiple names by girls we worked with… One day, two girls decided to call the Tilted Kilt and pretend to be Tammy, Sidney’s wife.”
As the months went by & their affair continued, Tammy Moorer, Sidney’s wife, discovered the affair & called Heather in October of 2013 to confront her. Tammy told Heather that she was aware of the affair & that Sidney only considered her as nothing more than a booty call. This wasn’t Sidney’s first affair; his wife discovered another woman in the past & became very untrusting of her husband.
Tammy was described as the more domineering person in the marriage; she told her husband where to work, when to work & what to do. Sidney was described as utterly submissive. She allegedly forced Sidney to get her name tattooed on his body after she found out about the affair with Heather & she began to handcuff him to the bed at night. At one point, Tammy called Heather & told her, “You’re going to end it with my husband.” She put Sidney on the phone & sat next to him as he spoke with Heather, telling her that she was nothing to him, only someone who ‘spread their legs’ & generally tore her apart as a person. Heather was heartbroken but eventually moved on. In the meantime, Tammy password protected Sidney’s phone so that only she had access to it.
However, unlike Heather, Tammy Moorer was not ready to move on so she continued to harass Heather via text, even sending photos & videos of her & Sidney in bed together. She was relentless in her taunting, calling Heather from Sidney’s phone nonstop for hours on end & posting disparaging comments on social media. Heather’s manager at the Tilted Kilt, Jessica Cooke, said that Heather was “genuinely scared” of Tammy Moorer. Tammy also tried to get Heather fired, calling the Tilted Kilt & telling them that unless they fired Heather, Sidney would no longer be repairing their equipment.
This went on for weeks until the texts & calls suddenly stopped by the beginning of December. In the meantime, Jessica Cooke, the manager of the Tilted Kilt, started to notice physical changes in Heather; her uniform size needed to increase; her bra size went from an A cup to a C & her skit from a medium to a large. She started to worry that she might be pregnant & when Heater took a pregnancy test at work, it came back with “Error.” No one knows if Heather was actually pregnant, but the fact that she & Sidney were involved in a sexual relationship & her appearance was physically changing, there is a strong possibility that she was.
Meanwhile, on November 19, Sidney, Tammy & their kids headed out on a three week vacation, in hopes of reconciling their marriage. They went on a road trip to California to go to Disneyland in their new black Ford F-150 that they had just purchased. They returned home on December 11th.
Heather continued to move on & on December 17, 2013, she was going on her first official date since her relationship with Sidney ended. Brianna Kulzer, Heather’s roommate, was out of town at the time. That night, she & Steve Schiraldi, headed out to drive around & look at Christmas lights. During the date, Heather sent Brianna a text, telling her that her date was teaching her how to drive a manual car. Somewhere between 9 and 10 that night, Terry Elvis, Heather’s dad, got a text with a picture of Heather driving a stick-shift truck, saying, “Look at me, I’m a pro.” Apparently, Heather had always wanted to learn how to drive stick-shift. Little did anyone know that this would be the last picture anyone ever saw of Heather.
Steve dropped Heather off around 1:15am on December 18th & the two made plans to see each other again. During that same time, surveillance video showed Sidney Moorer walking around Walmart at 1:19am, purchasing a pregnancy test. At 1:35am, he called Heather from a payphone & their conversation lasted five minutes. At 1:44am, Brianna got an emotional phone call from Heather; she was crying & told Brianna that Sidney had called her & told her that he left Tammy & wanted to see her. Brianna said she told Heather, “Don’t ruin it, don’t throw away how far you’ve come in the past month or so for him.” Heather told her that she felt the decision was very hard & that she was confused about what she should do. She told Brianna that she was going to play on the computer & then head to bed to sleep on it. She told Brianna that they would talk the next day & they ended their conversation as they always did, by saying “Love you.” This was the last time Brianna ever spoke with Heather.
At 2:30am, Heather left her house & drove to Longbeard’s Grill in Carolina Forest where she stayed until approximately 3am; she tried to call Sidney several times between 2:29 & 3:16am; she called a final time at 3:19am & the two spoke for four minutes. Heather then drove to Peachtree Landing, a small, rural boat landing in Socastee, South Carolina. She parked her car there at 3:38am. Brianna described Peachtree Landing as being in “the middle of nowhere.”
At 3:41am surveillance footage from two cameras from further up the road from Peachtree Landing showed a black Ford F-150 heading toward the landing. At this same time, all activity from Heather’s phone stopped. The truck could be seen leaving Peachtree Landing at 3:45am. Horry County police found that Sidney Moorer was the only person who owned that truck & lived close to the landing. When his truck was searched, police discovered that the GPS had been disengaged the night of December 18th which prevented police from reviewing the car’s movements; it was the only time the system had ever been disengaged.
Video surveillance was obtained near the payphone that was used to call Heather; the security footage that was recovered showed a man walk up & use the payphone during this timeframe but the image was too grainy to definitively identify the caller.
The next evening, police got a call that a car was parked oddly at Peachtree Landing; it had been abandoned at a boat launch on the Waccamaw River. The car, a green Dodge Intrepid, belonged to Heather but was registered to her father, Terry. After police got in contact with Terry, they took him to the location of the car with his spare keys; they found receipts from earlier & little else. Terry remembers sitting in his living room when police knocked on his door. Initially, he thought that maybe the car had been stolen & abandoned; he said, until police started looking through her things, it really didn’t hit him, “Where’s Heather?”
The car was found in good condition; there was air in the tires, the windows were intact & the doors were locked.
Along with Heather, her car keys, purse & cellphone had also vanished. Terry and Debbi tried calling their daughter repeatedly but only received her voicemail. They immediately knew that something was wrong since this was totally out of the ordinary. They appeared on the local news, pleading for their daughter’s safe return. Because the car was found with no signs of distress; broken glass, blood, etc, the case was assigned as a missing person.
Police began searching for Heather & piecing together her last known movements; they spoke with her date, Steve, the last known person to see her; he was quickly cleared. Many people stepped up to volunteer to search for Heather, but after months, there was still no sign of her.
When police questioned Sidney on December 20th, he claimed that he hadn’t been in contact with Heather in at least two months. He even questioned if payphones still existed. Police told Sidney that they had surveillance footage & he backtracked & admitted to speaking with Heather from the payphone, only to express that he wanted her to quit calling him. He said that he & Tammy had been running errands that night & stopped at Walmart to buy a pregnancy test for Tammy.
After police obtained a search warrant for the Moorer home, they discovered the couple had installed a security system since they first went there on December 20th. Home security footage showed Sidney & Tammy washing their car after December 18th & burning the rags they used.
On February 21, 2014, Sidney & Tammy Moorer were arrested. Despite a lack of a murder weapon, body or forensic evidence, both were charged with murder & kidnapping. Because of the lack of evidence, the murder charges were dropped; they posted $20,000 bail & awaited their kidnapping trials. Prosecutors began to build their case & try to find a motive. This is when they were told by staff from the Tilted Kilted of Heather’s possible pregnancy.
In June of 2016, Sidney went to trial. After eight hours of deliberation over the course of two days, the jury was unable to reach a verdict & Sidney’s trial resulted in a mistrial & he was scheduled for a retrial at a later date. He was charged with obstruction of justice in August of 2017 for lying about using the payphone. After fifty minutes of deliberation, the jury found Sidney guilty & he was sentenced to ten years in prison.
In October of 2018, Tammy Moorer was tried on charges of kidnapping & conspiracy to kidnap. She, unlike her husband, wasn’t seen on surveillance at the payphone or at Walmart which made it a more challenging trial. Prosecutors took a much closer look at the Moorers’ phone records & found that in the timeframe that Sidney ended his relationship with Heather & the time she went missing, call logs showed that Tammy had literally stalked Heather.
Prosecutors leaned into Tammy’s characterization during the trial, showing that she was an extremely dominant, controlling person, telling the story of how Tammy confiscated her husband’s phone, forbade him from working at the Tilted Kilt & handcuffed him to the bed at night. They also brought up the tattoo of her name that she forced her husband to get on his lower abdomen. They brought in a witness, The Moorers’ son’s friend, Jacob Melton; in reference to the tattoo, Tammy had said, “If you wouldn’t have messed with that girl, this wouldn’t be happening.”
The defense didn’t argue the fact that Sidney did have that tattoo but argued that he had gotten it long before he ever met Healther, presenting photos of the tattoo process during the trial.
Prosecutors brought in a forensic video analyst who testified that the Ford F-150 seen on surveillance was indeed the truck that Sidney & Tammy owned. They also testified that their cellphones began to ping on towers near Heather after November 2, 2013, shortly after her breakup with Sidney. More incriminating, they showed pings on both of their phones on a cell tower close to the payphone Sidney used to call Heather.
After the state rested its case, the courtroom was shocked whenTammy Moorer wanted to testify. The night before she was set to testify, she had an interview with ABC News in violation of a court-imposed gag order issued toward her, meaning, she was not allowed to discuss the case in public. She denied any involvement in Heather’s disappearance & argued that timeline that the prosecutors presented, saying that she wanted “to make sure that everything I did was accounted for, that it’s looking normal, like any other day of my life.” She said that the kidnapping was nothing she or her husband would do; she said she’d never had a speeding ticket & didn’t even have sex until she was 18.
She argued that she never forced her husband to get her name tattooed on his body & never handcuffed him to the bed. She said that when she found out that he was having an affair, she was mad at Sidney, not Heather. During the interview, when she was asked if she was the dominant person in the relationship, she said no, that because Sidney was the breadwinner, he was the one that was running the house.
During her testimony, Tammy claimed that she had no idea who her husband was having an affair with & only found out when Heather actually called her to tell her who she was. She admitted that when she was trying to find out who the affair involved, she didn’t “go about it the right way.” She kept her cool & seemed credible on the stand until she was cross-examined & it took little to push her buttons.
Tammy’s text messages & social media activity solidified her whereabouts on the night that Heather went missing, but there was a gap in activity at the time that she disappeared. The jury deliberated for four hours & Tammy was found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap & kidnapping & was sentenced to two terms of 30 years in prison to run concurrently.
Heather’s roommate Brianna was relieved but also felt like it wasn’t enough of a punishment. She said that the smile on Tammy’s face made her realize that they’ll likely never know what happened to Heather that night.
Tammy Moorer’s cousin, Donald DeMarino, a convicted criminal who had done time for burglary & drug charges, came forward & testified, saying that Sidney had shown him a picture of Heather from his cell phone. He said that the picture showed him that Heather was clearly not alive & she had scratches on her face. He was asked if he expected the Elvis family to ever see Heather again & he said, “No.” Because the trial was for a kidnapping vs. a murder, DeMarino’s was not allowed to speculate whether or not Heather was alive or dead.
During the trial, the prosecutors showed the jury a video from the Moorers’ home security system; Sidney was not only washing his truck but also burning the rags that he had used afterward. Other video footage from the surveillance system showed Tammy & her sister Ashley Caison, searching the yard with mirrors; Ashley claimed they had only been pulling weeds.
When Sidney was retried in September of 2019, the jury deliberated for two hours & as with Tammy, he was found guilty of kidnapping & conspiracy to kidnap & was sentenced to two terms of 30 years in prison to run concurrently.
The Moorers continue to claim that they had nothing to do with Heather’s disappearance & her family & friends are no closer to knowing where she is or what happened to her. A prosecutor for the case believes that one of the two will come forward with the truth during the time in prison, hoping that when their appeals are denied, they’ll break & confess what happened to Heather.
Heather’s family continue to memorialize her at the Peachtree Landing, each year on December 18, the day she went missing. Morgan, Heather’s sister, knows that at one point in time, Sidney was in love with her sister; she hopes that one day, he will come forward so their family can know the truth. Terry Elvis, Heather’s dad, holds out hope that she’ll one day come through the front door. Deep down, he doesn’t expect that it will actually happen, but he says that he’ll never give up.
- ABC News: South Carolina love triangle: A woman’s affair with a married man leads to her diappearance
- True Crime Daily: Myrtle Beach missing: Suspects allowed to move out of state pending trial
- Mad-Ink-Media: Gone But Not Forgotten #2: The Heather Elvis Case
- New York Post: The tale of the waitress who messed with the wrong married man
- ati: Inside The Disappearance Of Heather Elvis – And How Her Affair With A Married Man May Have Gotten Her Killed
- That Chapter: The Case of Heather Elvis
Leave a Reply