HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Progress in the Heather Elvis case came from the court room Monday. A judge has allowed a key expert witness to be used in the trial coming up in June. His testimony identifies a truck from the night people last heard from Heather Elvis as the Ford F-150 belonging to Sidney and Tammy Moorer.
Heather's family is calling the ruling a small, bittersweet victory.
"Coming out of the courtroom was a big relief that the day was over, and we were really grateful for the ruling and for the judge listening and for that expert that just did a tremendous amount of work..." Heather's mother, Debbi Elvis said.
That expert was Grant Frederick. He's a forensic video analyst who says he can use the headlight spread pattern of a Ford F-150 truck captured on video from the night Heather Elvis went missing to prove that it was the same truck that belonged to Sidney and Tammy Moorer at the time.
"Is this an expert who can testify in trial? Yes it is. The extent of that testimony, the extent of his opinion, to the extent that the report says, I'll probably allow that," said Judge Markley Dennis.
While Elvis's family is calling Monday's ruling a victory, it's just a small step in the case.
"Our main concern is finding Heather," Debbi Elvis said. "Even though this is a great thing to happen, and it's a move forward in the right direction...we still want to go in the direction of finding Heather."
Yet again, the Elvises sat in court with the couple accused of kidnapping their daughter.
"It brings painful, hurtful memories each and every time," Heather's father, Terry Elvis said. "It's hard to sit in the room and stay still."
But the Elvises cling to their faith, holding on to one another.
"I know God was in that courtroom," Debbi Elvis said. "I could see it. I could feel it."
For now they look forward to the trial set for June.
"There's really no easy way to prepare for it or even think about it," Terry Elvis said.
They continue to ask for answers in their daughter's disappearance.
"I still think there are people within the community that know more than they are saying," Terry Elvis said. "There's information that's still out there, or someone has heard something or seen something...something was said to them that may be a key in finding our daughter."
The Elvises say that even when the trial is over in June, they won't have closure until they find Heather.
But while a trial date is set for Sidney Moorer, authorities have not yet set a date for Tammy.
If you have any information about what may have happened to Heather or her whereabouts, you are asked to call police.