Payphones may be hard to find these days, but one in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 18, 2013, played a big part in the police investigation of Sidney Moorer.
Moorer is on trial for the kidnapping of Heather Elvis nearly six years ago. His wife Tammy was found guilty of the same charge and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
On Monday, police said they found Elvis’s car abandoned at Peachtree Boat Landing in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, 2013. After learning the car belonged to Heather’s father Terry, they also found out that she had been employed at the Tilted Kilt at Broadway at the Beach.
Horry County Police Sgt. Danny Furr said a manager there told him that Elvis and Sidney Moorer had had a relationship and Moorer might know of her whereabouts. Furr said he called Moorer, who first told him he had not spoken to Elvis in six weeks but then changed his story and said he had talked to her the evening before she went missing.
Because Moorer had changed his story, Furr said he called Horry County police officer K.C. Canterbury to go to Moorer’s house to talk to him. Furr added that at that point, it was still a search for a missing person and not a criminal investigation.
Furr said three officers showed up at the Moorer house. Two were from the north precinct and he wasn’t sure why they were there.
Canterbury said he had come across Elvis’s car still at the Peachtree Landing earlier, run the tag and learned it was registered to Terry Elvis. He went to the Elvis home and Terry said the car was his but Heather had been driving it. He said he drove Terry to the landing to check the car.
The officer said Terry had a key and the two put on gloves and went through the car and trunk but didn’t find any signs of a struggle or a crime. Since the car belonged to Terry and it wasn’t reported stolen, Canterbury said he let him drive it home.
The officer told defense attorneys that he did not take any pictures or check for prints. He also added that he had known Elvis for some time.
Canterbury said he was later called to go question Moorer and he and two other officers met Sidney outside his home between 1 and 2 a.m.
John Martin, a violent crimes detective for the Horry County Police Department in December 2013, testified that he had done an investigation of Heather’s cell phone calls and found a call had come into her phone shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 18 from a payphone on Mr. Joe White Avenue in Myrtle Beach.
On Dec. 20, Moorer was questioned by detectives in Conway and asked about the payphone call. Martin said Moorer denied making the call but finally admitted to it after police told him they had a video of him at the payphone.
Moorer told police he made the call to tell Heather to leave him alone because she was leaving notes on his car and he was trying to patch things up with his wife after Tammy had found out about his affair with Elvis.
He told police he and Tammy had gone out to eat, stopped by Broadway at the Beach, then visited Walmart to buy a pregnancy test after he stopped to make the phone call.
Former SLED agent Roxanne Love produced a store video from the Walmart store on Seaboard Street in Myrtle Beach that showed Moorer at the store shortly before the payphone call was made.
The state will continue its case Thursday morning at 9:30.
On Tuesday morning, Judge Markley Dennis agreed with defense attorneys to issue a court order to have Waccamaw Mental Center release Heather’s records. On Wednesday, Dennis amended that order stating that the records would be delivered to him in a sealed envelope and he would determine which, if any, of the records are relevant to the case.