Classmates, family offer insight on Tammy and Sidney Moorer
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - An Horry County couple is charged with murder in a missing persons case that's lured national attention. Police say Sidney and Tammy Moorer killed Heather Elvis, even though her body has not been found.
Husband and wife Tammy and Sidney Moorer are parents to three children, and are now accused killers, according to Horry County detectives.
They're charged with the disappearance and murder of 20-year-old Heather Elvis.
Jennifer Garrett is a concerned citizen of the community. "What could possibly go through somebody's mind, when you have children yourself?" she asked.
A Socastee High School year book picture from nearly 25 years ago shows a much different woman than we've seen recently in court. Tammy Caison was involved with Students Against Drunk Driving, the Art Club, and was a member of the newspaper staff.
"It was kinda unreal to search for the yearbooks and see that I went to school with her," Melissa Reine said.
Melissa Reine says she did not know Tammy in school, but looked up her name after it came up during her search for Heather Elvis. "Oh my gosh, this is a female that lives in our community," she realized.
Reine says Tammy was a big rock music fan, and was pictured with the lead singer of the late 80s band Warrant.
A relative of Tammy's grew up with her and her family, and he says she was more than just a fan.
"When she was in her teens, she was, I call them groupies, followed rock bands around, I guess just call them groupies," said the relative, who wishes to remain anonymous. "[She was] bragging about being with them and stuff like that."
That relative asked to be disguised during our interview for protection, after threats he says came from other relatives. "On the way here, I got a call, threat, from family. Right now I'm the scum of the earth, because I'm not on Tammy and Sidney's side."
There were also threats from Heather Elvis supporters. "Not accusing the Elvis family, but know some supporters have crossed the line, personally threatening me and my kids, and we had nothing to do with it."
Those kids, he says, spent the weekends with Sidney and Tammy's three children, but he agreed to talk with us, to stand up for what he says is right. "No one wants to ever believe that your relatives killed someone, and I understand that, that's a hard thing to swallow."
He says when authorities charged Tammy and Sidney Moorer with Heather's murder, it divided even his immediate family. "It was turning my kids against me; it was turning my mother against me."
His children were last with the Moorers on December 31, days after Heather went missing.
"I mean, you're suppose do trust your family and when you find something out like that, it gives you a sick feeling in my stomach that I let my kids go over there," the relative stated.
He said Tammy and her family got much of their money from lawsuits and settlements. He added that the Moorers spent it boastfully, taking several yearly vacations to Disneyland.
WMBF News learned Tammy was approved for a business license last November for a travel agency at her home address called Magical Vacations by Tammy. Her husband Sidney had a license, also at their home address, for a mobile welding service company called Palmetto Maintenance; the license lists his business was established around 2002.
It's Sidney's work that led him to a restaurant where Heather Elvis also worked, and according to Terry Elvis, Heather's father, and police, Heather had a relationship with Moorer.
A manager at that restaurant said Sidney Moorer was a reliable contractor and came with positive recommendations.
WMBF News investigators did some digging to find Sidney was arrested in 2009 for shoplifting, and again in 2011 for assault along with Tammy's father, William Caison, for an incident involving their neighbor Edward Miller over a property dispute. That neighbor says he still fears for his safety after repeated threats.
Jennifer Garrett also filed an assault report against William Caison on January 19. She said she was helping search for Heather Elvis near William Caison's property in January when he rushed toward her. "He raised a stick and was very close to me and said 'I'm going to. I don't care if you're a woman. I'm going to bash your "blanking" head in.'"
The relative said Tammy met and married Sidney, originally from Summerville, nearly 20 years ago in Myrtle Beach, but said Sidney's family grew distant and stopped coming to Myrtle Beach roughly seven years ago.
So what about Sidney and Tammy's relationship?
"Sidney, to me always was a lucky-go-happy guy, but you could tell by being around them as a couple, that she called the shots," the relative said.
So what exactly happened at Peachtree Boat Landing, the place police found Heather's car around December 18, and where police accuse the couple of kidnapping and murdering Heather Elvis?
"I don't think Tammy will ever say what really happened, I think it's gonna be up to Sidney, to man up on this one and come clean," the relative added.
Last month Sidney Moorer told WMBF News Anchor David Klugh he couldn't talk about Heather Elvis or the case.
WMBF News Anchor David Klugh: "How are you all holding up?"
Sidney Moorer: "Um, crappy because people are threatening to kill us, and they're not in jail."
Now that Tammy and Sidney Moorer are in jail, WMBF News Anchor Michael Maely reached out to Tammy's family.
"Hi there, with WMBF News, can we talk to you about your daughter Tammy or your sister Tammy?" Maely asked.
Our efforts to give the Caisons a chance to comment ended with a call to the police.
Our calls to Sidney Moorer's relatives were not returned, but his attorney has said Moorer told him he's had no involvement in Heather's disappearance.
Tammy's attorney said he doesn't believe Tammy knows Heather Elvis or that the two ever met. While Tammy and Sidney's personal Facebook pages are no longer active, there is plenty of chatter out there, including a page claiming they're innocent.
Michael Maely spoke to the author of that page, who isn't local, but said she questions whether police have enough evidence after seeing national coverage of the case.
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