Much of the testimony Thursday in the Sidney Moorer kidnapping trial dealt with cell phone records and pickup trucks.
Moorer and his wife Tammy have been accused in the 2013 disappearance of Heather Elvis. Tammy is serving a 30-year sentence for kidnapping. Sidney’s 2016 kidnapping trial ended in a hung jury. He is being tried again this week.
Heather’s abandoned car had been found at the Peachtree Boat Landing in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013. The car was returned to Terry Elvis, her father, the next day.
Jill Domogauer, a crime scene investigator for the Horry County Police, testified she went to the Elvis home to process the car on Dec. 20. She said Terry consented to the search of the car and she did not find anything suspicious in the vehicle.
She added that at this time, it was still a search for a missing person and not a criminal investigation and therefore her search was not as extensive as it would have been processing a known crime scene.
Domogauer then went to Peachtree Landing to check where the car had been found and the surrounding area. She said she checked all the way to the water line but not in the water and found no evidence of Heather or anything amiss.
“A DNR dive team checked the river there after we finished,” she said.
From there, she was called to assist detectives at Heather’s apartment in River Hills just off Highway 501.
Domogauer said she took photographs of the apartment and checked the interior but did not find anything out of the ordinary. She did find and empty pregnancy test box but added she did not know at the time how significant it might be in a later investigation.
The defense asked if she had checked out anyone else’s vehicles or residences during this time period and she said no.
A parade of other state witnesses detailed contents obtained from Sidney’s and Tammy’s phones in the days and months leading up to Heather’s disappearance. Included in these were a series of sexually graphic text messages sent from Sidney’s phone but believed to be sent by Tammy.
In one set of text messages, Heather tells Sidney she just wants to know that his wife isn’t going to show up at her job. Sidney replied that Tammy didn’t care about her since she had a boyfriend.
The experts testified that at 3:17 a.m. on Dec. 18, there was a four and a half minute conversation between Sidney’s and Heather’s phones. There were four more calls to Sidney’s phone over the next 20 minutes that went to voicemail.
The next phone activity was a text from Tammy’s phone to Sidney at 4:37 a.m. telling him to bring her some orange juice and pot stickers.
John Caulder, a retired investigator for the Horry County Police, said he was tasked with searching Sidney’s Ford F150 pickup truck that had been brought to the police headquarters in Conway in the latter part of December 2013.
He said he photographed the truck and checked its contents and found no evidence that Heather had been in the truck.
Joyce Aland, who lives on Highway 814 near the Moorers’ home, said she had heard that the Moorers may be people of interest in the Heather Elvis case. She said she realized the surveillance cameras on the front of her house may have video of someone riding down the road toward Peachtree Landing so she called the police to come check.
The state showed a video taken from her cameras during the early morning hours of Dec. 18 that showed a vehicle go by and then return about 10 minutes later.
The trial will resume Friday at 9:30 a.m. Judge Markley Dennis said it was obvious the trial would extend past Friday and asked the jury if they would like to continue proceedings on Saturday or come back on Monday. The jury opted for a free weekend away from the courthouse.
Dennis had issued a court order on the defense’s behalf to obtain Heather’s records from the Waccamaw Mental Health Center. His order stipulated that the records would be sent to him in a sealed envelope and he would determine if anything inside is relevant to the case.
On Thursday, Judge Dennis said he had gone over the records and did not find anything that would be pertinent to the trial and resealed the records.