Lead investigator testifies about conversations with Sidney Moorer during day two of his obstruction of justice trial

Lead investigator testifies about conversations with Sidney Moorer during day two of his obstruction of justice trial

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Sidney Moorer's obstruction of justice trial continued Tuesday morning for a second day.

Moorer is accused of kidnapping in connection to Heather Elvis' disappearance. This week, he sits before a judge and jury to determine if he mislead detectives and hindered their investigation into what happened to Heather.

After a brief pre-trial hearing for Moorer's wife Tammy Moorer, the jury heard at least two hours of testimony from a former Horry County detective who was the lead investigator on Elvis' case.

Jeff Cauble detailed what he learned from the first conversation between detectives and Sidney Moorer at the Horry County Police Department.

The defense played audio of that conversation, recorded on Dec. 20, 2013, for the jury. This isn't new evidence – the recording was heard earlier this month during a pre-trial hearing when the defense had asked to suppress this interview.

In it, Sidney Moorer was asked if he used a payphone to call Elvis the night she went missing.

At first, Sidney said no, and even questioned if pay phones still exist. Detectives then tell him they have video of a pay phone on 10th Avenue, and ask again if he called her. He says maybe and then yes, and that he asked her to please leave him alone and stop leaving notes on his car.

Cauble says this is just one example of Sidney misleading detectives in the investigation.

According to the witness, Moorer came to the department voluntarily, he wasn't under arrest and could have left whenever he wanted.

However, it was when things started to not add up that Cauble began questioning what was really the truth in Moorer's story.

It would still be two months from that time before Moorer was arrested for obstruction of justice.

Cauble believes the defendant withheld information during that initial interview that could have been crucial to the case. That withholding ultimately cost detectives time and money, and impeded their investigation, he added.

"If somebody spits in my coffee, I'm not going to try to drink around it" Cauble testified. "I'm going to assume that all of the coffee is contaminated. So I'm going to throw that cup of coffee away and get a new cup of coffee. In this case, if someone lies to us in an investigation, we are assuming that everything is a lie as well until we figure out if it's the truth or not."

When Assistant Solicitor Nancy Livesay asked Cauble what he would have done different if Moorer had not mislead detectives, he responded:

We would have been able to start on this investigation earlier than what we did. If the information would have come out during the sergeant's first phone call that we learned during our interview he would have as he testified, called us out, CID would have been called out. Would we have been able to find more evidence, we would definitely have been able to get to the evidence quicker, we would have been able to get to an interview with him quicker. Do I know exactly what we would have found at this point? No, but it's always best to get the investigation started as fast as possible.

Defense attorney Kirk Truslow cross-examined Cauble on the finer points of his testimony, including the difference between an outright lie and an omission.

Truslow ultimately asked whether the investigation "would" or "could" have proceeded differently. Cauble admitted it "could" have been different.

In that recorded conversation with detectives, Sidney also said his wife was with him the entirety of the night, and that he had stopped at a Walmart to buy a pregnancy test for Tammy because they were trying to get pregnant. He said they stopped at multiple places and had sex, but then later in that conversation, he said Tammy had been drinking.

Other witnesses for the prosecution were those who had previously testified during the state during Moorer's 2016 kidnapping trial. They included Elvis' friend and former roommate, and the man who was told he was the last person to see Elvis before she disappeared on Dec. 18, 2013.

Testimony will resume Wednesday morning.

Watch the full Facebook Live stream of Tuesday morning's testimony below:

Watch the full Facebook Live stream of Tuesday afternoon's testimony below:

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