A South Carolina man was found guilty of kidnapping his missing mistress and sentenced to 30 years behind bars—the maximum sentence allowed.
Prosecutors said Sidney Moorer and his wife Tammy Moorer, who was convicted of kidnapping in the case last year, lured 20-year-old Heather Elvis to Peachtree Landing in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013. Elvis was never seen again.
Prosecutors believe they decided to kidnap Elvis because of Tammy Moorer’s jealously after learning of the affair between her husband and the Myrtle Beach hostess.
Sidney Moorer was initially tried on the kidnapping charge in 2016, but the case was re-tried after the first attempt ended in a hung jury, local station WCSC reports.
It took jurors just about two hours to find him guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap Wednesday.
“Well, we reviewed the evidence, we listened intently, we took a vote and we all seemed to agree,” one juror later told WPDE-TV after the verdict was announced.
Although both Moorers have now been sentenced to 30 years behind bars for the disappearance, Heather Elvis’ family said they still lack the closure they were hoping to find in the trial because they don’t know what happened to the 20-year-old they loved.
“He’s still holding her hostage from us,” her mother Debbie Elvis told the judge before the sentence was handed down, according to Myrtle Beach Online.
Terry Elvis, Heather's father, called Wednesday’s verdict “just another step” in a process that has taken nearly six years.
“I don’t see this as a victory,” he said.
Sidney Moorer addressed the court before his sentence was announced, but he continued to deny his involvement in the disappearance and provided few clues to where Heather Elvis may be now.
"If I could give them closure, I would," he said in court. "I have children of my own. I get it. There's just nothing I can give them.”
In their closing arguments to the jury, prosecutors and the defense both focused on whether or not Heather Elvis was pregnant before she died.
Assistant solicitor Nancy Livesay argued that rumors of Elvis’ possible pregnancy had prevented the Moorers from moving past the infidelity and resuming their normal lives. She said the couple had then carefully crafted a plot to kidnap Elvis that would leave few clues behind.
Before buying a pregnancy test at Walmart, Sidney Moorer removed his phone’s SD card so he couldn’t be tracked, she said. He later called Elvis from a nearby payphone rather than using his own cell phone. Prosecutors also showed the jury video of the Moorers thoroughly cleaning their pickup truck near where Elvis was last seen.
“There is no doubt who the villain in this story is,” she said. “It’s Sidney Moorer.”
Moorer’s defense attorney, however, contended there was no evidence to suggest Elvis was actually pregnant and said investigators failed to consider other possible suspects in the case.
Elvis’ family held a vigil Wednesday night near Peachtree Landing, where her car was found abandoned, WBTW reports.
Even after nearly six years, her family is still haunted by what may have happened to a woman whose life was just beginning.
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