MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Although Terry and Debbi Elvis don't have the closure they really want, which is to find their daughter Heather, they left the courtroom Friday without the little bit of closure they were expecting to have by then.
"You've been hanging two-and-a-half years trying to find your child and now you're just hoping for that one step closer and it's gone," Debbi Elvis said.
She added she was hurt when she heard the judge declare the case a mistrial due to the jury's inability to reach a unanimous decision on Sidney Moorer's involvement in Heather Elvis' kidnapping.
"I know they worked very hard, very diligently and they really tried," Debbi Elvis said. "It's just how my heart felt when they walked out of the room that they were walking out on Heather."
However, both Debbi and Terry Elvis worry not all of the jurors treated the case fairly.
"We keep getting people telling us information that somebody had an agenda," Debbi Elvis said.
During jury selection, a juror told the judge he is an acquaintance of defense attorney Kirk Truslow, but said he would be able to make his own judgments independent of that relationship.
Truslow said he believed that he would be capable of that as well.
"The defense, as an officer of the court, had a responsibility to the people of the county to say, 'Hey, that might not be right,' and pluck that weed before it grew," Terry Elvis said.
The couple said they think the entire system broke down and the defense, the judge and the juror are all to blame in the decision to have an acquaintance of the defense on the jury.
"There were people that stood up and said they were friends or acquaintances or business acquaintances of ours," Terry Elvis said. "They excused themselves knowing full well they couldn't be unfair and couldn't be unbiased."
Approximately 800 juror questionnaires were sent out for the case and 300 people showed up for jury selection.
"They could've just gone one more or two more just to get a replacement for that and not take that chance," Debbi Elvis said. "It was too big of a chance."
The two said a retrial would be frustrating no matter what, but they feel worse wondering if every juror was as fair as possible.
"No matter what the outcome was, there's always going to be an issue and the appearance of bias and the appearance that he was going to have to live with once this was over," Debbi Elvis said.
The Elvises said the thought of going through another trial is hard to comprehend.
"People have the impression that, 'Yay, you get to go to trial. Justice is being served.' That's not how it feels at all," Debbi Elvis said. "You go and you sit in that courtroom and you live every part of the nightmare that you have gone through."
They hold onto hope that last week's trial will at least motivate someone to come forward with information because all that is known about Heather Elvis' disappearance was presented in court.
"Now is the time to call. Now is the time to say, 'I didn't know you didn't know this,'" Debbi Elvis said. "We're obviously missing something very important because we haven't found our daughter."
The Elvises plan to hold a fundraiser for the CUE Center for Missing Persons for Heather's birthday on June 30 at Peachtree Landing.