Heather Elvis has been missing for nearly a year, but the actual physical search for her seemed to end several months ago — after two people were arrested, and folks in Horry County, South Carolina, felt satisfied with who they were. The search for the missing young woman became a witch hunt early in her case after her loved ones and members of the community began pushing for the arrests of the couple that they believed to be responsible. Tammy Caison-Moorer and her husband, Sidney Moorer, were immediate pariahs of their community — all because Sidney and Heather had an affair prior to her disappearance and even after Terry Elvis publicly declared that the woman’s ex-boyfriend Jeremy had reason to stalk, abduct and harm her.
When the Moorers were arrested, Horry County Police refused to release the evidence against them, and to this day they continue to refuse to release that evidence. To this day there is also no publicized evidence to indicate that Heather Elvis is dead, much less that she was kidnapped and harmed by the couple who stand accused. FOIA requests have been filed by newspapers and motions have been filed by attorneys representing the suspects, but Horry County judges have refused to grant these requests. My Horry News reports that at least one publisher in the area has filed a motion to contest the judge’s latest decisions.
There are plenty of reasons to support the efforts of the news publishers. For starters, the South Carolina State Constitution requires judicial transparency and open court proceedings. The fact that officials — judges included — in this county are violating constitutional requirements is unsettling, and it presents a worrisome outlook on whether or not they even have the right suspects. After all, none of the police or higher-ups in the county have ever said or done a thing to convince anybody that Sidney and Tammy Moorer are the persons responsible for Heather’s presumed demise. At this point it just looks like police arrested their suspects based on public opinion, even after their suspects were reportedly living in fear of being harmed by a community turned lynch mob. Back in February, before the Moorers were arrested, My Horry News reported that two men shot at Sidney. The Island Packet shares that the entire Moorer family was holed up in one room when Tammy and Sidney were arrested. These are the actions of a family who were targets of threats of vigilante justice — threats that even included the Moorer’s children, who have always been innocent of any wrongdoing.
Why is Horry County refusing to share what evidence they have against Tammy and Sidney Moorer? The transparency is so lacking on the side of the prosecution that not even the suspects know what evidence stands against them. At least two different motions to compel have been filed on behalf of the Moorers, with no results. Meanwhile nobody is out searching for Heather’s body, even though the community appears to accept the idea that the Moorers abducted and killed her.
The prosecution has claimed that the lack of transparency in this case is to somehow protect Tammy and Sidney and to ensure that they’ll receive a fair trial, but if they don’t even know why they’ve been imprisoned how are they going to receive a fair trial? The term kangaroo court comes to mind with this case, and for very obvious reasons. If Heather Elvis was truly murdered by this married couple, the prosecution is going to need more than public opinion and speculation to prove it. Sadly, the state of South Carolina doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to incarcerating wrongly accused persons. Hopefully that’s not the case when it comes to the Moorers.