On December 17th, 2013, Heather Elvis landed a new job in cosmetology and she was going on a date with a new guy. Two days later, her car abandoned car was discovered. When police looked through Heather's phone records, they saw that a mysterious number called her before the disappearance. The phone number lead to a payphone at a gas station and the caller was Heather's ex-boyfriend, Sydney Moorer. The two had been dating, but Sydney was married and his wife made him break things off when she found out. Sydney and his wife, Tammy were both arrested and charged with Heather's kidnapping and murder. It's believed that Heather may have been pregnant with Sydney's child at the time of her disappearance.
Heather Elvis was born June 30th, 1993 and was the middle child, she had an older brother Chris, and a younger sister, Morgan. Heather's family says that she wasn't really a girly girl, or a tomboy. She was somewhere in between and didn't really define herself with labels. She liked to ride 4 wheelers, play volleyball, and shoot paintball guns, but then she also like putting on dresses and getting all dolled up. Heather had a passion to create and would draw all the time. She would actually decorate the house with all of her drawings or things that she had written. The family had a desk with a computer that they shared and there were post-it notes all over. The one right in the middle was a reminder she wrote for herself, Heather is amazing.
One thing that Heather was really good at was cosmetology. She taught her younger sister a lot of tricks, but told her that cosmetology was her thing and she couldn't have it. In a typical sister response, Morgan got into cosmetology. After Heather graduated from high school, she got a job at a local bar, called Tilted Kilt. She seemed to be a natural hostess and would get people laughing and smiling when they came in the door. During this time, Heather was struggling a bit with the dating scene and was going through some difficult breakups. Things were looking up though because she had just landed a new job in, you guessed it, cosmetology. On December 17th, 2013, Heather found out she was going to be a makeup artist, she went out on a date with a new guy, and during the date, she learned how to drive stick shift in his truck. She was having an amazing day and was very proud of herself.
Two days later, there was a knock on the door at Heather's parents house. The police asked if they were missing a car. They peeked in the driveway and were like, no.....the cars are all there. They weren't even thinking this was about Heather because she didn't live at their house anymore, she was living in an apartment with a friend. They were told that Heather's vehicle, a green Dodge Intrepid, was found at Peach Tree landing, but she wasn't in it. Heather's mom, Debbie, tried calling Heather's cell and it just kept ringing and ringing, but no answer. The police took her dad, Terry to the landing. He had a spare key for the car and they wanted to take a look. When they got to the landing, Terry noticed that something was strange right away. His daughter's car wasn't parked straight in the lot, it was sideways and took up three parking spots.
Terry and the officers put on gloves and began looking through the abandoned car. They found Heather's driver's license, but her keys weren't there. The officer suggested that they should look in the trunk. Terry said he was so scared to open it and held his breath, but the trunk was empty.
Now, remember, Heather had a been living with a friend at her apartment with her friend Bri. She had actually been out of town for several days, but heard that her best friend was now missing. She called Terry Elvis and this was when he was with the police looking through the car. He asked Bri when she last talked to Heather. She said that a day ago, Bri had called her from the apartment around 1:30 AM and this was after her date. Heather told her Bri that the date went amazing and she was going to see this guy again the next day after he got off work. She didn't really call Bri to chat about this new guy though. She was pretty upset about a call she had just received.
Heather had been seeing an older man for awhile named Sydney and he had dumped her a few weeks earlier. Bri says that Heather was hysterically crying when she told her Sydney called. Bri thought they were past this whole things and asked her why she even answered. She told her it wasn't his number and he apologized to her and said he's leaving his wife and wanted to be with her. Bri basically told her not to do anything rash. Heather agreed to just go to bed and she could think about things in the morning. This was the last known person to talk to Heather before she disappeared.
Terry and Debbie still had Heather on their family phone plan, so they were able to contact the company and they sent over the records. After Heather called Bri that night, she made another call. In fact, she called this number several times. Her parents were able to Google the number and discovered that it belonged to Sydney Moorer. Heather's parents were conducting their investigation in the middle of the night and Terry decided to call Sydney to see if he knew where his daughter was. He explained who he was and before he could say anything else, Sydney began cussing at him and told him he didn't know who Heather was.
Terry and Debbie weren't willing to just wait around for answers. They plastered flyers everywhere, went to social media and contacted local news stations as well. Meanwhile, the police were beginning to focus in on the new guy that Heather had gone on a date with. He said he dropped Heather off at her apartment after their date and he went home. This ended up checking out and he was very cooperative with the police. They decided to turn their focus to Sydney and the roommate, Bri, had some information about him.
Bri says that Heather met Sydney that summer at the Tilted Kilt and he was the maintenance guy. They both really liked each other, but there was a bit of a problem. Sydney was married. Other employees from the Tilted Kilt say that the affair was definitely not secret. In fact, many of them actually made fun of Heather for dating a married man. Plus, she was only 20 and Sydney was 37 years old. Heather believed that Sydney was going to leave his wife and she talked about this often. She also told her friends that he was in an open marriage, so they didn't have to keep the relationship a secret. In October of 2013, Sydney's wife actually found out about the affair and that's when he broke up with Heather. Police talked to Sydney and he said that he did talk to Heather when she called him the night before her disappearance. They looked at the phone records and found a mysterious number listed that had never called Heather before. The number lead to a payphone at a gas station and there was a security camera pointed right at the phone. This call lasted about 4 minutes and she tried to call the number back several times.
If the conversation lasted four minutes and Heather tried to call back several times, it would seem likely that she knew the person on the other end. The security cam footage was pulled and it's very blurry. You can see someone walking up to the phone, but you can't see who it is. The police decided to call Sydney back in and asked why he'd be at the payphone calling Heather. This ended up working and he said yea, I did make the call. The police began piecing together a timeline from Heather's phone.
At 1:35 AM, Sydney called Heather from the payphone. At 1:44 AM, Heather called her friend Bri. Between 2:29 and 3:05 AM, Heather called the payphone nine times, but there was no answer. Heather called Sydney's cell phone at 3:17 AM and they talked for 4 minutes. Heather's phone was in her car from 3:25 to 3:37 AM and headed to Peachtree landing. Now, the police needed to figure out who met her at the landing.
There was a woman that lived near the landing and she told police that she had a home security camera...maybe it captured something useful? On December 18th, around 3:30 AM, a dark pickup truck passed the woman's home. The police believe this was Sydney's truck. Soon after this time, Heather's phone went dead and no one heard from her again.
The police were beginning to form a theory. Maybe Heather had become a problem for him and his marriage. So, he lured her to the landing and murdered her. They also believed that Sydney and Heather weren't the only ones at the landing that night. What if his wife, Tammy Moorer was also there?
Two months after the disappearance, Sydney and Tammy were both arrested and charged with Heather's kidnapping and murder. Tammy was interviewed and said they were a normal family with three kids. Sydney worked at local restaurants and Tammy stayed at home and homeschooled their children. They liked to do cookouts and go on family vacations. She admitted that she had been very upset about the affair, but was able to get over it. She hated what he had done, but she loved him. Tammy claims that within a day or two, she had a nice conversation with Heather on the phone. Now, I have been cheated on by every guy I was ever with, and I promise you, I wouldn't call the ladies up and have a nice conversation....maybe that's why I just have cats now. Tammy says she told Heather that she wasn't mad at her and Heather told her the whole story about what happened between her and Sydney.
Friends of Heather's say this simply isn't true. Tammy would call Heather nonstop for hours and hours off Sydney's phone and she was sending pictures of her and Sydney performing sexual acts.
Since Heather's body wasn't found, the prosecutors did have to drop murder charges. They both faced kidnapping charges, but everything was pretty circumstantial. A mistrial was declared for Sydney's case and Tammy's trial was up next. They argued that Tammy was the mastermind and she was consumed with jealousy. It turns out that there was a rumor going around their small town. Heather may have been pregnant with Sydney's child. Maybe this tipped Tammy over the edge? Tammy told people that she beat the hell out of Sydney when she found out about the affair. She didn't just get over it in a day or two. Then she made Sydney tattoo her name across his abdomen. She also began chaining Sydney to the bed at night.
Police were able to locate several text messages that Tammy had sent to Heather and there were some that had threats. Heather told her friends that she was really afraid of Tammy. Now, we all know that friends can be total assholes at times. Apparently, some friends of hers, decided to play a prank one time. They called Heather at work and pretended to be Tammy and she was terrified.
After Heather disappeared, Tammy ended up writing a nasty facebook post where she referred to Heather as a “psycho whore” and claimed that she had been stalking her and her children. During the investigation, it was discovered that this whole thing was definitely premeditated. In the days leading up to Heather's disappearance, Sydney and Tammy's phones showed that they were showing up near the bar she worked at, places that she went to often, and even her apartment. It certainly looked like they were stalking her. They decided to go after Heather when her roommate, Bri, was out of town.
There is footage from a Walmart that shows Sydney was purchasing a pregnancy test for Heather. It's believed that Sydney used the payphone to call Heather and tell her he purchased the test and to come get it. The jury was shown several items that were found on Sydney and Tammy's property. A shotgun shell, a bag of concrete mix and cleaning solution. When the police obtained a search warrant to search their home, they found that they had installed a new security system since the police had first visited on December 20th. They looked at their new F-150 and the truck had a GPS navigation system. There was only one time that the GPS had ever been disengaged and it was the night of Heather's disappearance.
The fancy new home security surveillance showed Sydney washing their car and vacumming it out. The judge initially denied the ability to use this footage because a lot of people wash their vehicles, it doesn't necessarily mean anything more than that. After watching it further, Sydney also burns the rags afterwards.
Tammy's sister, Ashley does give an alibi for her. She says that on the night of the disappearance, she was at the house babysitting the kids while Tammy and Sydney were out. Tammy sent a text to Ashley at 3:10 AM saying she was home. This would be before Heather actually went missing. Both Tammy and Sydney's phones were turned on and pinging from their home and were not at the landing.
Even though there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence proving that Tammy and Sydney had anything to do with this, there's something really interesting that happened. Heather's younger sister, Morgan had been attending the court dates and on Dateline, she explained that she looks a lot like Heather. One day, Tammy ran into her in the hallway and she heard Tammy gasp.
Tammy did take the stand and explained that she had an open marriage with Sydney. The only reason she actually got upset, was because he didn't tell her he was seeing someone else. Part of their deal was that they had to be honest with each other. Tammy claims that they were working on their marriage and trying to get pregnant, so the pregnancy test bought in the middle of the night, was for her. She said that Sydney needed the concrete for work and the cleaning supplies were for their dirty camper. The shotgun shell was probably from turkey hunting.
Tammy was found guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap. She was served to 30 years per count, to be served concurrently. Sydney was convicted of obstructing justice for lying to police during the investigation and he was sentenced to 10 years. Sydney was retried for kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap based on the outcome of his wife's case. The jury found Sydney guilty and got 30 years for each count, to be served concurrently.
I do want to mention that her family has been receiving a lot of negative comments from people that feel they should tell them that Heather was wrong for getting involved with a married man. First off, Heather's friends have made it very clear that Sydney was telling her he was in an open marriage and he planned to leave his wife. That's besides the point though, Heather is missing and that should be the only thing that is focused on. Heather's family says they will never give up and will continue to always search for her.
Dateline: Return to the Landing
20/20: Heather Elvis's affair with Sidney Moorer, married man, leads to her disappearance from Myrtle Beach - ABC30 Fresno
Heather Elvis' Friend Speaks Out: "I Don't Know Why They Did It" | PEOPLE.com
Heather Elvis' mother says ABC 20/20 report gives her hope (msn.com)