Attraction can strike between two people at the most unlikely of times, and it doesn’t always make sense to everyone around them.
That was certainly the case when friends of Heather Elvis, 20, discovered who had caught her eye in the kitchen of the pub where she worked.
The focus of her attention was a married man 18 years older than her.
Heather had no problem attracting guys her own age – they questioned what she saw in him, especially as he had a wife who had a jealous streak.
Young, outgoing Heather was studying beauty while she worked as a waitress at the Tilted Kilt, a Celtic-themed bar and grill in Socastee, South Carolina.
In June 2013, a maintenance man came into the restaurant to repair kitchen equipment and there was an instant spark.
Sidney Moorer, 38, was married to Tammy and they had three children.
It was a strange match, but Heather told her colleague, Brianna Warrelmann, who was also her roommate, that she liked him.
It was impossible to ignore the pair’s flirtations and Sidney would go out of his way to bring Heather coffee and bagels while she worked.
By the September, they were having a full-blown affair.
Sidney even talked about Heather becoming a nanny for his kids – presumably so they could spend even more time together.
But it was an intense and short-lived relationship.
After just one month, Heather tweeted: ‘Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
'It did not end well.’
Sidney told Heather his wife had found out about the affair and that it was over.
He had hinted they had an open marriage and she was only angry because he’d kept Heather a secret.
Whatever the truth, it was clear Tammy was furious and she turned her anger on Heather.
Tammy tormented Heather by sending her pictures of herself and Sidney having sex.
It didn’t stop there.
She sent Heather taunting messages such as, ‘Hey sweetie, ready to meet the MRS?’
And even threatened her with one message saying, ‘Someone’s about to get their a** beat down.’
At one point, Heather messaged her in response saying, ‘I think you are a little obsessed with me.
'I’m nobody you need to worry about any more.’
Still Tammy didn’t relent.
She went on a mission to try to get Heather fired from her job by saying Sidney would no longer repair at the restaurant if she worked there.
It didn’t help Heather – colleagues had already started whispering behind her back.
She had put on weight, and there were rumours she might be pregnant.
A colleague was aware she’d taken a test, but the result had been inconclusive.
Sidney didn’t escape Tammy’s wrath either.
Tammy handcuffed her husband to their bed each night to make sure he didn’t go anywhere, and she confiscated his mobile, changing his phone password to one only she knew.
Anywhere Sidney went, Tammy went too, and he dutifully agreed to all her terms in an attempt to save their marriage.
Incredibly, Tammy also made Sidney get her name tattooed above his crotch for any woman to see.
She was his property and she wanted everyone to know.
By the December, Heather was desperate to put the whole thing behind her.
She’d got a new job in a beauty parlour that she couldn’t wait to start just before Christmas, and she was looking to meet someone new.
On 18 December 2013, Heather went on a date with a man called Steven and the pair had a great night.
He dropped her back at her apartment at 1.15am the following morning.
In the early hours, Heather called her roommate, Brianna, who was away visiting family.
She said Sidney had called her to say he was leaving his wife so they could be together.
Heather sounded confused and upset, and when she said Sidney had asked her to come and meet him, Brianna tried to stop her going.
It was the last conversation they had.
After that, Heather disappeared and was never seen again.
She didn’t answer calls, contact loved ones, or turn up for work.
The police were informed, and an investigation into her disappearance began.
On 19 December, Heather’s green Dodge Intrepid was found parked awkwardly at the Peachtree Landing boat launch on the Waccamaw River, eight miles from her apartment.
It was the last place her mobile phone was used, and although the car was locked, it was clearly abandoned.
Police upped the investigation, and divers began a search of the river for Heather’s body.
The guy she had been on a date with was quickly cleared, then investigators focused on Heather’s tumultuous relationship with Sidney.
He admitted he did call Heather that morning, but only to tell his ex-lover to back off and ‘quit calling him’.
But his truck was caught on security cameras driving to and from the boat landing.
He’d made several calls to Heather’s phone – one from a pay phone, which was also caught on CCTV.
Plus, no one could ignore the relentless campaign Tammy had waged against her love rival.
Sidney and Tammy became prime suspects in Heather’s disappearance and were hounded by the community.
They defended themselves on social media by saying Heather was a ‘psycho’ stalker.
Eventually, four months after Heather had vanished, Tammy and Sidney were charged with her murder.
It was a bold move without a body, and the legal teams had problems building a case.
Despite many believing they had lured Heather to her death, there was a risk they could walk free if the case collapsed.
So in 2016 prosecutors dropped the murder charges against both Sidney and Tammy without prejudice, meaning they could be reinstated later should the state decide to.
They were both charged with kidnapping and obstructing the course of justice.
The legal journey was long and complex.
Sidney’s first trial for kidnapping ended in a hung jury, but he was convicted of obstruction of justice and sent to prison for 10 years.
In 2018, Tammy faced her trial.
Prosecutors said she used her husband to lure Heather to the landing, because she was jealous over the affair and angry there was a chance Heather could be pregnant.
‘When you mix jealousy, deceit and just an absolute crazed woman so worried about [Heather] stealing her husband, that is when unnatural things happen,’ they said.
The defence said Tammy wasn’t angry over her husband’s affair as they had an open relationship.
Tammy had been sending explicit messages to a teenager saying she was fantasising about him – and had researched ‘cougar life’ on the internet.
Even her lawyer called the text messages ‘blush-worthy’.
When Tammy took the stand, she admitted she’d initially been furious over the affair, but then said she’d spoken to Heather and they’d made peace.
But her constant campaign against Heather certainly didn’t suggest Tammy had forgiven and forgotten.
The jury agreed.
In the October, Tammy was found guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap.
At the sentencing, she begged for leniency, saying she needed to care for her children and insisted she was innocent.
‘I am Heather’s number one advocate,’ she said.
‘I want to know what happened to Heather probably just as much as her parents do… I have nothing to do with her disappearance.
'I’ve never met her.’
Heather’s dad, Terry, told the court how heartbroken he was that no one was taking responsibility for his daughter’s disappearance.
Heather’s mother, Debbi, said it had been a long and difficult journey and they were still left with so many unanswered questions.
‘They won’t release our daughter,’ she said.
‘They kept her and won’t let her go.
'Five years later they’re still holding her hostage.
'They stole her life and ruined ours.
'I’m asking you to give Tammy the maximum sentence you can.’
The judge sentenced Tammy, 46, to 30 years in prison for each charge – kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Sidney still faces a trial for kidnapping and the case remains open.
Officers hope that one of the Moorers will tell the truth and potentially turn on the other.
Heather hasn’t been seen in five years and her family have vowed to keep searching for answers.
Tragically, they know they are looking for a body – but they want justice, and until they find Heather, there’s a chance the truth will never be uncovered.
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