Surveillance footage, black F-150 truck focus of day four of testimony in Sidney Moorer trial

Updated: Sep. 13, 2019 at 8:05 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A black Ford F-150 was a common theme during day four of testimony in Sidney Moorer’s kidnapping trial.

Court started when prosecution brought two witnesses to the stand who testified regarding the headlights of a truck captured by surveillance in the area near Peachtree Landing around the same time Heather Elvis was last heard from.

Moorer is charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in connection with Elvis’ December 2013 disappearance.

The state first asked South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers to walk the jury through a re-enactment of what the surveillance cameras caught. Moorer’s own truck was used to perform the reenactment.

Then, a forensic video analyst expert took the stand to explain the physical features and reflections of the vehicle. His job was to analyze different trucks based on brand, height, color, taillight and headlight patterns, saying that even with the same make and model, each headlight spread pattern is different.

The discussion continued, with more testimony surrounding the defendant’s black F-150.

Horry County Police Lt. Peter Cestare testified that he went to Moorer’s home and found it odd that there were so many cameras both inside and outside the residence.

Cestare said he went to collect photographs of the home with consent from Tammy Moorer, Sidney Moorer’s wife. He told the jury she wouldn’t allow him to take photos inside of cabinets or closets, and when he asked to check the truck, she said the keys weren’t available.

The cameras Cestare noticed were changed sometime in between when he visited their home to take photos and when the Moorers were seen cleaning the vehicle, he testified.

“It was being cleaned extensively, the outside particularly of the front doors and the rear passenger doors; the interior crew compartment of that truck is being cleaned extensively," Cestare said. "When I say extensively, it goes on for several hours.”

He said what followed was particularly unusual to him.

“The rags they were using to clean the car with are being burned in a burn pile in the yard,” Cestare said.

On cross examination, defense attorneys asked why he didn’t take photos of the video camera when he went to the home originally, with the consent from Tammy Moorer. Cestare said he didn’t want to alert her, that he knew with the fear that whatever was being recorded would be wiped.

On Thursday, court proceedings focused primarily on cellphone calls.

This is the second time Moorer has been tried for Elvis’ disappearance. He previously went to trial for kidnapping in 2016, which ended with a hung jury.

Tammy Moorer was found guilty in October 2018 of kidnapping Elvis and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The trial will continue Monday morning at 9:30.

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