TAMPA, FLA (WMBF) - It's been more than two years since Heather Elvis went missing, and the trial that could put accused kidnapper Sidney Moorer behind bars is just weeks away.
With a gag order in place on the case, the Moorers have stayed quiet throughout the process. Now, however, Sidney Moorer is breaking the silence.
WMBF News reporter Conor McCue traveled to Tampa, Fla., to meet Moorer while on a work trip and hear from him for the first time.
Under the Tampa skyline, Sidney Moorer put more than two years of silence to an end.
Moorer started with the last day Heather Elvis was seen, recalling it was the same day she left notes on his car at work.
"I called her and told her, 'Look, I don't know if these notes, whatever, enough is enough. Stop calling me, stop texting me, you know.'" Moorer said. "She said, 'I don't know why it has to be like this,' or something like that. I'm like, 'Look, this just needs to stop. It wasn't what you think it was. It was just...'"
Moorer explained how he stopped the relationship months before, after his wife Tammy found out.
He said Tammy only spoke with Elvis on the phone, and that conversation was about leaving him.
"She started talking to her about, 'Hey, will you go to an attorney with me to get a divorce?' She said, 'Sure, no problem,'" Moorer explained.
On the day Elvis' car was found at Peachtree Landing, Moorer said he started receiving phone calls. One, he added, was from Terri Elvis, Heather's father, and one from detectives.
Moorer told them he had talked to Elvis the day before, but had not seen her since October.
Conor McCue: "At this point, did you know what was going on?"
Sidney Moorer: "I didn't know exactly. They said they hadn't heard from her, but I had been told by her friends that it happened a lot."
Moorer said hours later, detectives came by his home, and claimed they even called Heather's phone from his cell phone.
He said the next few weeks were full of threats from the public and more inquiries from police.
Sidney Moorer: "I cooperated from the very first time anyone contacted me. I never said, 'Call my attorney, I'm not talking to you.' None of that."
Conor McCue: "Do you feel people know that?"
Sidney Moorer: "No, I don't think they do. When they came and asked to look at our house, we let them look in our house with no warrant. Look around. Do what you want to do!"
For Moorer, that all changed February 21, 2014 at 7:30 a.m.
Conor McCue: "You don't feel like a suspect, and they come in and arrest you. What are you thinking?"
Sidney Moorer: "He tells me I'm under arrest and I'm like, 'What for?' He goes, 'I'll tell you later.' I'm like, 'You don't have an arrest warrant?' He goes, 'Not on me.' I'm like, 'Alright.' I looked at the US Marshal and he goes, and I go, 'OK, I guess this is legit.'"
Moorer said he was worried about more than just his arrest.
"I still could never figure out why they arrested my wife the morning I was arrested," he said. "I found out she had been arrested, and I'm like, 'What for? What the hell did she get arrested for?' I was told she was charged with the same things I was. How the hell did she get charged? She didn't know her!"
Moorer said things were brought to another level at a bond hearing before Judge Stephen John.
Conor McCue: "What was so peculiar to you about that bond hearing?"
Sidney Moorer: "That bond hearing was unlike any other. My attorney shook his head when I talked to him after. He said, 'That wasn't a bond hearing; they just tried you.' He goes, 'You don't present evidence at a bond hearing.'"
Conor McCue: "Why do you think they did?"
Sidney Moorer: "I think it was, I know it was to give the public perception, look at all this crap we got on them. They had to have done it. They tried us, and we were convicted that day."
To this day, Moorer maintains no real evidence of a murder or kidnapping was ever presented.
A recent pre-trial hearing showed a truck believed to be Moorer's could be one piece of the state's evidence.
Sidney Moorer: "I don't think it was my truck."
Conor McCue: "So you're saying it could be your truck, but you were not in it?"
Sidney Moorer: "I'm saying that no one I knew was in it. Absolutely no one I knew. If it was my truck, I didn't know about it."
Conor McCue: "How could that happen?"
Sidney Moorer: "Remember I told you the police took my truck for 11 days? Which is a week longer than they ever hold one for. I don't know that the day and time is right on the video that they're using in court."
Moorer believed Horry County police and the 15th Circuit Solicitor's office aren't pursuing everything they've been presented.
Sidney Moorer: "I think there are a lot of leads that they could've pursued that they chose not to. I think there's a lot of information that proves our innocence that they have ignored, destroyed or manipulated."
Conor McCue: "These are pretty bold things that you're saying."
Sidney Moorer: "I think they said things way bolder than this at the beginning."
For Moorer, that new defiance dates back to what he said was one of the boldest statements over the past two years. That statement came from Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes during a March 2014 bond hearing.
"The manner in which this crime was committed is one of the more heinous crimes I've been involved with since being with the Horry County Police Department," Rhodes said to John.
"The police chief stood up in court and lied," Moorer replied. "My question to her, and I hope she sees this, and I would love for her to give a public answer to this. If this is the most heinous crime she's seen in her 20-year history in the police force, where the hell has she been? Because I have yet to hear any evidence of a crime scene, period, much less the most heinous one."
Moorer said he has gone through discovery and knows what evidence will be presented. He also knows what police took from his home during a 2014 search. He brought a list to the interview that includes high school diplomas, car titles, tax records and children's DVDs.
"I kind of wanted to go to court," Moorer said. "That's kind of a double-edged sword because you want to go so they have to prove something. I want to get to a point where I'm like, 'Give me what you've got, because I know you don't have anything. I don't understand what you're doing.' They should have to prove to the public that I did it."
Conor McCue: "You still have possibly another trial in the next couple months. Do you feel like that's going to be a fair trial?"
Sidney Moorer: "Not if it's in Horry County, I don't. They can send out 8,000 questionnaires for jurors, it will never be unbiased. I mean, I was convicted 25 months ago. I did it, that's what everybody had come to the conclusion. He did it, she probably helped or she did it, he probably helped."
Moorer believed the gag order is partly why he'll never get a fair trial in Horry County. He said the court order allows county leaders to avoid questions he believes should be answered.
Conor McCue: "One of the biggest things that's talked about in this case is the gag order. You're talking to us right now while the gag order is still in place. Why?"
Sidney Moorer: "The gag order states two different things. It says you can't discuss the facts of the case. The two problems with that is there are no facts, because there are a ton of lies. There are no facts and there is no case."
Conor McCue: "With you talking to us today, how do you think the public is going to take this?"
Sidney Moorer: "They can take it how they want. I know there are intelligent people that are watching this. I look at the saying that my grandmother used to say. She said, 'Sometimes, it's good to be quiet, sometimes it's not.' A lot of the time, the louder you are, the dumber you sound. A lot of the people who have been very vocal in this case that applies to. I think intelligent people are sitting back waiting for the information they need to make a decision."
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson chose not to do an on-camera interview because of the gag order, but did provide us with this comment:
"We're very close to the trial. It is more important than ever to uphold the gag order. The best chance of getting a fair and impartial jury is to limit pre-trial publicity."
We also reached out to the Elvis family about Moorer's statements in his interview. We are awaiting a response.