CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - There have been several searches, temporary tip centers have been set up, and signs have been posted all over the area for the past few weeks. Now that Friday marks one month since 20-year-old Heather Elvis was last seen, WMBF News is looking for answers from a law enforcement expert on where her missing person case could stand now.
"I beg you. If you know anything, help us put our family back together," Terry Elvis, Heather's father cried out a search effort earlier this month. "Help us end the worrying, the not knowing."
As the days pass, it's a sentiment shared around the community.
"It's just heart-breaking," said Toni Berchler, who volunteered at one of the tip centers on January 10. "And I want to do whatever I can to help the family."
Since local authorities aren't releasing too many details, WMBF News reached out to John Comparetto, a former detective who has been dealing with missing person cases for more than two decades. Comparetto has been following Heather Elvis' disappearance, and he says the community's focus is helping.
"The more media, the more attention, the longer we keep this going, the better chance of finding her," explained Comparetto.
It also increases the chance that someone might know what happened. Police say there has been a steady stream of tips coming in for the past 30 days, and it's a big part of the investigation.
"Your police departments down here are getting a lot more phone calls," said Comparetto. "And it means they have to look into every one of those phone calls and every one of those tips. But it's a good thing."
Although volunteers have been filing in to help the search efforts, many have been wondering why there just aren't many public details to go off of. Comparetto says it's all for a good reason.
"There could be some other items that really aren't for public knowledge right now that would hurt the case and slow down the investigation."
Now that one month has passed since Elvis was last seen, he says everyone knows what's at stake.
"It does get a little more difficult. But I can tell you, there isn't a police officer in South Carolina or anywhere in the country that would not give anything to give that phone call that we found Heather," said Comparetto.
At this point, he recommends the best thing to do is to keep flyers posted and to share Elvis' information online. All tips and information should be called in to 843-915-TIPS.
Followers on the Facebook page signed petitions and sent emails to Governor Haley. While on the Grand Strand Friday, Haley says she plans meet with the Elvis family. "This family raised some concern and needed extra attention, so we did finally get to talk to them and put their concerns to rest."
SLED keeps her updated on the investigation she says, and will step in when they ask her to. "We rely on the police departments. If they tell us they need something, we do it," Haley added.
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