tv Dateline Extra MSNBC September 5, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
every turn. but leave the tourists behind and go inland a mere 20 minutes to a bend in the wakama river. it's tranquil. the trees are draped in spanish moss. there's a boat landing here with a fancy name, peach tree landing. >> it's a quiet spot that you can go think. >> you don't get a lot of that in a small town, so when you find a spot, i mean, you -- you go all the time. >> what happened here to 20-year-old heather alves one december night in 2013 became an enduring mystery. >> i know that there's no way that heather would not come home if she could come home. no way. >> you don't realize how much somebody's face means to you until you can't see it anymore. >> a family anguished clinging to hope, searching for answers, a jury that would consume them for years. >> one of my best friends came
to the house and he looked at me and he said i hope she didn't suffer. i can't get that thought out of my head. >> heather was born in 1993, the middle kid sandwiched between elder brother chris and younger sister morgan. as morgan vividly remembers, heather would never let a label define her. >> she wasn't really a girly girl or a tomboy. she was somewhere in between. she loved heels. she would never let you swap shoes with her though. i mean, god forbid i borrowed a pair of shoes and i did not tell her. she was coming for me. she -- she just loved them, but she also would drive four wheelers and play volleyball and she shoot paint ball guns and
then she -- i would turn around and put on a dress and go, you know, look beautiful for photos. >> her parents debby and ter alves say she drew all the time decorating the family house with her doodles. >> everywhere that you went in the house there was some kind of writing some kind of drawing or doodle. >> so her brain is working overtime. >> constantly. >> it was just as a reminder, small desk in the house that has a computer at, there's little sticky notes all over the top part of the desk, and -- and the one that sits right in front of my face says in her handwriting. heather is amazing with a little heart on it. >> and heather was amazing when it came to cosmetology, the art of makeup in a way that only siblings. can she parked morgan's interest in it, too. >> she said cosmetology was hers. she was -- i was not allowed to have it, and i did it anyway.
and that's kind of, you know, what sisters do. >> oh, my gosh. >> don't tell me no because i'm going to do it anyway. >> she wanted to be a makeup artist and she wanted to do fashion and possibly weddings and things like that. she wanted to do something where she can be creative and design what she was doing. >> she had her license. she had just recently gotten it, and it was something that she wanted to do so she pursued it. >> after graduation from high school in 2011, heather began working at a local pub called the tilted kilt where she became a hostess. brianna known as bri worked with her there. >> walked up to a table, have them laughing, having a conversation. same thing when they were leaving. >> bri shared almost everything with heather, including her apartment and when heather confined she didn't always see eye to eye with her parents, that was hardly unusual for a young woman determined to make her own way. >> they loved each other dearly.
i think they just knocked heads because heather wanted to explore. >> as for boyfriends, bri watched heather go through ups and downs. just recently she had emerged from a difficult relationship with an older man. >> i show she still had feelings for him. i don't just fall out of love like that. as much as sometimes we wish we could. >> but on december 17th, 2013, everything was falling into place for heather. she got a new job as a makeup artist, had a date with a new guy, even learned how to drive a stick shift in her date's trucks. there she is in a picture she texted her dad. >> she was proud proud of herself. it was a good day for her. >> and you two must have been so proud of her that day. yeah, i think the picture was -- it was like i did it without you, you know, but you couldn't help but be proud of it. >> and then two days later a knock at debby and terry's door.
a police officer with an odd question. were they missing a car? >> that was his exact words. are you missing a car? and i looked in the driveway and i said, nope, they are all there, not thinking about -- that he found a car somewhere. >> was heather's car registered in her name? >> no. it was still in our name. >> that's why he's at your doorstep. >> yeah. terry came up right behind me and asked what was going on, and he explained that he found heather's car at the landing. >> what was going on? if heather's car was at the landing, then where was she? coming up, a family holds on to hope. >> one of the local hospitals said that heather elvis had come in on their own and had been released. >> but fear creeps in. >> felt like something is wrong. >> he said let's take a look in the trifnlg was scared to death to open that trunk. >> when "the landing" continues. >> when "the landing" continues.
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heather elvis' parent didn't know what to think. two days earlier their daughter had been all smiles out on a date. now a policeman was at their door. he just found heather's car at peach tree landing, abandoned. the officer said do you have spare keys to the car and he said, yes, let's grab those and go take a look at it. heather's mom debby tried calling her daughter's cell phone. >> kept going straight to voice mail but it wasn't ringing. >> and her dad terry rode down to the officer with the landing. >> as you pulled up to that direction you can see that the car was sitting facing the water. >> he took us there explaining what the officer showed him that night. >> he had shined the spotlight on the back of the car and he checked the tag. >> it was his daughter's dodge intrepid. right away terry could see that
something was off. >> but instead of being this way the car was turned this way. basically taking up two, three parking spaces. i unlocked the car for him. he stopped and he put on gloves. he handed me a pair so that he says just to be on the safe side. >> terry elvis couldn't understand it. the last time he heard from heather was when she sent that photo from her date. she was fine. now she was nowhere to be found, and he was searching her abandoned car. >> on the center console her driver's license was there. >> that's weird. >> and a couple of other business cards and identification cards, but there were no keys. >> that's when the officer said something that made terry elvis' heart skip a beat. he says let's take a look in the trunk and i went back and i turned a key and he said let me open, it and i said, you know, just let me lift it.
>> he held his breath as the lid to his daughter's trunk popped open. >> were worried about it? >> i was scared to death to open that trunk and we both looked in it and it was fine. there was nothing there. >> there was plenty of clutter. no sign of foul play. >> by in a point bri who had been out of town for several days had gotten word that her best friend heather was missing. >> i called her dad who was with police at the time at peach tree and he had asked when the last time i talked to heather was. >> bri told the two men that heather had called from their apartment a day earlier around 1:30 a.m. tuesday fresh from her date. >> she started saying well we had an amazing date and i'm supposed to see him tomorrow when he gets off work. >> but bri said heather didn't want to chat about the new guy. she was upset about a call she had gotten from the older man she once dated. his name was sidney. weeks earlier he dumped heather. >> her exact words sidney called
me and i was like what, and she was like, yeah, and i said, well what did she say. he said he wanted to be with me and see me. >> b ri said not to do anything rash. >> i said don't you dare. you've been going so good. look how far you've come without him. you've finally met a good guy and she was lyrics you know, what you're right. i'm going to get some sleep. i'm exhausted and i love you. we always say i love you when we hang up and hung up. >> and that was it, bri said, the last time she spoke with heather. it was news to terry. he had never heard of a sidney before. then the officer had an idea. >> the officer starts calling hospitals to check and see if she's been admitted somewhere, and when he called one of the local hospitals they said that a heather elvis had been -- had come in on their own and had been released. >> he thought heather must be okay. eventually the officer told
terry to take heather's car and head home, but terry's relief was short lived when he told his wife the story about heather checking into a hospital. debby didn't believe it. >> because she knows it's expensive to go to the emergency room and she wouldn't want that kind of expense so she would have called me and said, hey, this is what's wrong. what do i do? >> so the couple did what they could calling family and friends. no one had heard from heather. eventually though one relative cleared up that hospital mystery. >> we find out that the heather that was in the hospital is my cousin's daughter named the same thing. we didn't have the middle name on it, just the first and the last. >> what are the odds that it's another -- >> at the same time. >> heather elvis at the same time going to the hospital? >> yeah. >> it was -- it was puzzling. >> so where was their heather? confusion was turning to fear. >> it felt like something was wrong. >> heather's sister morgan arrived home from a basketball game.
>> had they told you at this point what was going on? >> i just kind of picked up what was going on through conversation. >> that heather was nowhere to be found, that no one could get ahold of her which to me was very surreal because you don't think something like that will happen until it does. it's just something you see on "dateline" specials. you don't see it happen in your own life, so your brain almost tells you that it's not happening, that she's just, you know, doesn't have her phone on her or something. >> that's when it dawned on them they could retrace heather's steps by way of her cell phone. she was still on their family plan. >> i ended up going online and going to our cell phone provider because you can look at the call records and they pull up the information and they e-mailed it to us. >> they could see the most recent calls their daughter made and received. after her call to bri heather dialed another number several times. >> these are the early morning
calls. >> yeah, and i'm like whose number is this? >> the worried parents suddenly found themselves playing detective in the very real case of their missing daughter. >> we goggled the numbers trying to figure out what they went to. >> and they got a hit. the numbers heather dialed belonged to a man named sidney moore. they figure that had had to be the ex-boyfriend bri had mentioned earlier. >> terry is like i'm going to call. i'm just going to call him. >> wow. >> i said you can't call somebody in the middle of the night. >> he did anyway. on the other end a man answered. the way terry recalls it the man was not happy. >> i said, you know, you don't know me, but i'm heather's father, heather elvis, and before he could get the next word out i'm getting cussed out left and right. >> like cussing about what? >> nothing, just cussing. don't call me, you know. i don't know what you're talking about. i don't know this person. >> okay. that's a very odd reaction.
but it's just -- >> that's what i thought. >> it's just cursing after cursing after cursing. >> the man who had dated their daughter was hotly denying he had ever heard of her. as the hours ticked by, terry and debby grew more anxious. they knew calling family and friends wasn't enough. they need had new plan to find their missing daughter. >> coming up, two new on-camera clues. someone at a pay phone. it appears that this is someone show knows. >> right. >> exactly. >> then someone in a pickup. >> you can see a dark pickup truck go by. soon after that her phone went dead and no one ever heard from her again when "the landing" continues. m her again when "the landing" continues. at pnc bank, we believe in the power of the watch out.
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area. they printed out flyers. >> there wasn't a storefront in myrtle peach that didn't have one or two flyers in, it and then they were in georgia and tennessee and florida. >> they posted pleas online for information. they turned to the news media, local. >> is heather alive? >> my heart tells me that my daughter is alive? and national, including "dateline"'s missing in america digital series. the elvises let our cameras into the agonizing early days. >> there's this hole that we all in the family just feel. >> and bearing silent witness to their acwish was another daughter, morgan. >> i can probably count on one hand how many times i've seen my dad cry, and to see something
like that make your whole world fall apart. >> police quickly turn their attention to heather's new guy, the man who had been with her on a date that night. his alibi that he dropped heather at her apartment and returned home checked out. >> the date has been questioned. he's cooperated with law enforcement, and he is no -- he's not listed as a person of interest or a suspect. >> but what about the old boyfriend sidney? plus wanted know more about his relationship with heather. her best friend bri was the one to tell him about it. >> he flirted with her just as much or more than show flirted with him. ? i took care of the maintenance pubs. >> you can tell that he did care of heather when he would see her
but there was a big problem. sydney was married though heather didn't seem to mind. heather had it in his we had a she cass going to leer his wife. bri knew that would never happen. sure enough he got wore of affair and broke things off with heather. >> it hurt me to see her go through that. >> sidney told police he was home the night heather disappeared, but he did say heather called him. police went back to her phone records where they found a call to -- the number was traced back to a gas station. >> this random number called
heather once and she tried to call that number back multiple times. >> from wnbf-tv, it covered the case. if she's having a conversation that's lasting that long and is repeatedly calling back. was it sydney this they culled the security situation from the gas station. >> you can see somebody puck up there. >> plus wondered if that somebody was sydney. if he had about home what was he doing at the hospital. >> moore told them in an interview that i made that -- investigators began to build a timeline from heather's phone. at is:35 p.m. sydney called heather and nine minutes later
heather called her friend bri. no one answered. her goep did connect at 7:17 a.m. for four minutes and then from 3:25 to 327 her coat was on the car on her way to beach tree. that is until a woman who lived near the landing here told police her home had a security camera. perhaps she thought it captured something around the tomb of heather's disappearance. >> around 3 pock in the morning on december 18th you can see a dark pickup truck go by her home. police believed it was sidney's truck. it was a huge make. >> soon after that her phone goes dead an nobody ever heard from her again. >> it was 3:42 in the morning.
police now had a theory. somehow heather had become a problem for sidney so he lured heather to the landing and killed her, and there was more. investigators believe sydney and heather won't alone. someone else was at the handing. >> come up, they believe that she was the ultimate brains behind this whole plan. >> who was the mystery person. >> the foyer and july osce exproceeds into other rage. when "the landing" continues. r e when "the landing" continues 1 fy in america according to j.d. power. number one in reliability, 16 times in a row. most awarded for network quality, 27 times in a row. proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon.
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to a series of members it's handling, including-hour kind ida, wile fired-ins west and at covid crisis. the united states mitt or nan 40 million covid cases as the delta variant fuels a foust wave of infection. hospitals are seeing an average of 100,000 patients a date. now back to "dateline." why do you think there's such a fascination for heather's disappearance? >> i think because nobody true hi knows what happened to her. her body has yet to be found. she was well hiked by a lot of people and i think that the fact that a 20-year-old can just vanish so quickly into thin air and to never be heard of again, it leaves a lot of people unhealthy. terry realized his daughter wasn't coming hope. maybe it was the afternoon long after heather disappeared when
he was standing at the mailbox talking to his best friend. >> one of my best friends came to the house and he looked at me and he said i hope she didn't suffer. i can't get that thought out of my head. >> the not knowing made it worse and then stunning news. >> new developments tonight in the heather elvis case. >> two months after heather's disappearance, sidney moore, heather's ex-boyfriend was arrested, and he didn't go to jail alone. he was joined by his wife tammy moore. both were charged with heather's kidnapping and murder. >> was this surprising to people? tammy and sidney moore are parents with three children and now they are involved in this crazy love triangle, kidnapping, potential murder? >> yeah. it's something that you see in a "dateline" episode. it's not a story line that
matches up with two people who have three children and who are supposed to be happily mayor lead. >> in an interview with "dateline" tammy told us her marriage was a happy one. >> we were a normal family, you know. it was about our family. our kids always came first before anything. >> then joyed cookouts took and family vacations. tammy home schooled the kid and sidney work at local restaurants. >> he was a server bar tenner throughout our marriage and then he became where he fixed the stuff in the restaurants because every time he learned about electricity, he learned about, you know, the tile work and all that so he -- practice made perfect and my house was some of the practicing so you'll see little boo boos in the house. >> tammy told us she found the affair upsetting but quickly got over it. i've always loved sidney but i hated the things that he had done and some of the reactions that came into the marriage from it. i didn't hate sidney. i hated the pain he had caused to the children.
>> she said within a day or two she had a nice conversation with heather on the phone. >> i said please just be honest with me and tell me what's going on. and she did. a first she said we're just friends. we just talk to one another and i said is that the try. said please tell me the truth. i said i'm not mad at you and she said, well, and told me the stuff they had done and what had happened, that's it. there was no cussing her out. i wasn't mean to her, nothing. >> prosecutors didn't buy tammy's story for one minute but they had to drop the murder charges. after all they didn't have a body. >> how did that feel when they told you about that? >> like there is some tiny bit of justice in the world for a brief moment and then all of a sudden it's like it never happened. >> but it wasn't over yet. it was only just beginning. both sidney and tammy still faced kidnapping charges. sidney was up first. his trial began in the summer of
2016. he pleaded not guilty. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. >> the prosecution's case was purely circumstantial. there was no physical evidence. but they argued those surveillance video and phone records proved the last person to talk and meet up with heather was sidney. however, the jury deadlocked. >> a mistrial has been declared in this case against sidney moore. >> the prosecution didn't give up. when it came time for tammy's trial, they came up with a bold new strategy. they argued that tammy had not only been sidney's partner in crime, she had been the mastermind calling all the shots. >> they believe that she was the ultimate brains behind this whole plan. >> prosecutors said it boiled down to this. far from being the understanding wife that accepted the affair tammy was consumed by it.
>> jealousy was lit in the defendant. she was livid and angry. >> an anger that became something more sinister when tammy heard a rumor around town. heather might be pregnant with sidney's baby. >> when this gets out and becomes common knowledge, the fire, will jealousy that is in tammy moore explodes into utter rage. >> prosecutors said that rage wouldn't be satisfied until heather was out of the way. they said it was obvious how much the affair had upset tammy by the way she had treated sidney afterwards. >> she said she beat the hell out of him. >> this witness said sidney had a tattoo of tammy's name across his abdomen. his understanding was that team made sidney get it. >> the state's theory was that was tammy's waive saying you're-mile-per-hour and you're never going to be anyone else's. >> the prosecutor said tammy had even chained sidney to the bed with handcuffs. >> i'm not speaking figuratively to you right now, literally chained him to the bed at night.
>> that played back into the state's theory that tammy was the controlling one in this relationship. she was the one who wore the pants in this relationship. >> but as angry as she was at sidney for cheating, prosecutors said team was furious with heather. she sent her several texts. the prosecution said some of them were threats. >> heather was really afraid of tam? >> she was. her friends had played a prank on her one time at work where they prestepped to be tammy calling heather's phone and she was absolutely terrified. >> and the prosecution said if there was any doubt about the way that tammy felt, just look at this nasty facebook post tammy had written after heather disappeared calling her a psycho whore. >> she could have said oh, i'm so sorry this girl is missing and i hope you find her and left it alone but, no, she goes on the attack. >> tammy is the one with the motive. she is the hunter. >> and it was a hunt.
the prosecution said the investigator told the jury he used cell phone data to being trat moores' movements. in the days before the disappearance they showed up near heather's workplace. some of the bars she liked, even her home. the prosecution suggested that the couple was stalking her and then in the early hours of december 18th, 2013, with heather's roommate out of town, the prosecutor said the couple struck. it began here. the prosecutor showed the jury surveillance video of sidney watching into a walmart and purchasing a pregnancy test for heather. >> as soon as they leave from walmart they go and call her. why? >> the prosecution's theory was that sidney had called heather to come and get the taste, take it and meet up with him later at the landing. they said what she didn't know is that team would be there, too. >> there's no doubt that sidney is the bait in this hunting.
he's the bait. >> prosecutors admitted they couldn't say what happened to heather at the landing, but they asked the jury to use their common sense. an investigator showed the jury a photo of several items found on the moore's property. >> there is a bag of concrete mix here and off to the side up here there's some type of a bottle of a cleaning solution. >> the prosecution suggested it was nothing less than a kidnapping kit. what the moores might have needed to kill heather and dispose of her body. how hard was it for you being in that courtroom every day and hearing these details and having to see tam? >> most days when i woke up i didn't want to go to the trial but i went because when you see your parents hurting, you wish that you could take all their pain away. and something like this, it's
impossible for me to do. you can do small things. you can sit with them and you can hold their hands when they need it. >> after seven days of testimony, the prosecution rested and the defense announced tammy was going to testify in her defense. as hard as it might be to listen to her, that was something morgan didn't want to my. >> coming up -- >> did you kidnap heather elvis? >> no, i did not. >> do you know who kidnapped her? >> i don't know. tammy on the stand and defensive. >> i want heather found. >> tammy was indignant. >> there's answers to this mystery and they refuse to solve it. >> when "the landing" continues. e it. >> when "the landing" continues. ♪ you'll jump for joy. ♪ here, better protection costs a whole lot less.
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. tammy moore said her kids should have been tackling homework and hanging with friends. instead, they were sitting in a courtroom watching her be accused of a terrible crime. >> tammy is the one with the motive. she is the hunter. >> nobody deserves this. i just want to get home to my children and take care of them. >> tammy believed she was being victimized by a relentless prosecutor. >> none of this should ever have happened. the state should be locking to see what really happened to heather. heather is not getting justice by putting an innocent person in jail. she never will. there's answers to this mystery and they refuse to solve it. >> i think that from the beginning tam i was just indignant that she was even charged with this.
>> the defend attorney. >> they cannot prove to you that anybody they know went to the boat landing. >> the defense told the jury to start with the evidence or lack of it starting with heather's car. >> the vehicle did not indicate anything happened inside the car. >> the police testified that he couldn't find any evidence of a struggle. they found -- the defense said you couldn't actually tell whether it was sidney and tammy's truck caught on camera heading to peach tree landing. >> you had low image, low resolution surveillance video. our speared that you can absolutely not drawing any conclusion beyond the fact that that may be a certain make and model. >> this video didn't pass the
smell test? >> didn't even give off and odor. >> another piece of flawed evidence was the cell phone data that suggest tammy and sidney had been stalk is heather. >> would i say you could compare their phone activity to anybody else's who lived and worked in the area. where the night clubs and res transare. it would appear if i what the jury needed to under was the simple fact no piece of evidence put team at the landing. if anything, the evidence placed her miles away. >> did tammy's children stay in the house there with you where your mother lives? >> yes. tammy's sister ashley told the court she was baby-sitting tammy's kids on the night of december 17, 2013. she said tammy and sidney went out together in the hours leading up to heather's disappearance but ashley
remembers when her sister came home. >> does she know about what time it was. >> for the defense it was a time stamp proving tammy was home before heather with enmissing. both bones were on and pinging from the house, not from the landing when heather was there. it was all so hard for morgan to gissen is to. that all changed during a crucial moment in the trial. >> when i found out that team was going to testify i really wanted to be there because i do look like heather and she ran into me in the hallway, and it was the first time see had ever really made eye contact and been up close and personal with me and i could hear her automobily gas. >> when tammy took the stand she seemed confident, ready to tell her story. she told the jury she wasn't a
ruthless kidnapper. she was a mom. >> my youngest is on the far left over there. >> and she was a wife who found out her husband was cheating on her. she texted the other woman's phone noam. >> at the end of the day tammy said the only reason she was angry with sidney is because he wasn't forthcoming about their affair. in their marriage they had an arrangement. >> i think it's a good idea to have a open marriage for a little bit and the only thing i ask is for you to be honest with me. sidney wasn't honest with me and that's why i got angry at sidney. >> she said when heather went missing. they were working on their marriage and even hoped to get pregnant. the tests show brought at
walmart -- sidney had gotten a it a toon long before he mitt heather and had an answer about the handcuff. >> did you ever lock him to the bed and leave with the keys. >> no, i did not. he was a strong man. >> did you kidnap heather elvis? >> no, i did not. >> do you know who kidnapped her? >> i do not. >> are you glad that you're able to tell people what happened and what you did do and didn't do. >> i want people to know the truth and i, too, want heather found. >> tammy has said that she wants to find heather. she oulare liked heather and didn't do this and yet she goes on facebook calling her a psycho
whore. which is it? >> you know, i can't really, you know, explain everything that -- that tammy said or felt. i think it was a huge mistake to call her names and do that sort of thing. >> he said why would she be writing nasty facebook posts about her? >> if you are really that gifted in terms of carrying out the perfect crime, i think all these things are completely inconsistent. >> unless you're a loose cannon. >> exactly. but if you're a loose cannon, then you kidnap somebody or kill somebody, it is completely consistent that would you do it in a violent way, in a way that would leave a mark and leave evidence. and we don't have that here. >> they listened to her testimony about heather with disgust. >> she deserves to be found. >> it was so offensive to hear her name come out of that
woman's mouth while she was sitting, giving testimony. every time she said that heather elvis this and heather elvis that. i want her found. >> as her parents, it must be skroosh nighting hearing that. >> for her to say that she was an advocate for heather, i'm so -- i was so mad. i was livid. >> you sat there so quietly in that courtroom. did you want to -- >> scream? it was infuriating. some of the things that she said. >> the trial was far from over. it was the prosecutor's turn to question tammy and the prosecutor wasn't going to pull any punches. >> coming up -- fireworks in the courtroom. >> this is a story about jealousy and deceit. and this story has been around for a long, long time.
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>> reporter: when tammy moorer took the stand in her own defense last month, she sailed through her direct testimony. but then came prosecutor nancy livesay. >> miss moorer, do you know who i am? >> i do. >> okay. and who am i? >> nancy livesay. you've made my life miserable. >> reporter: but nancy livesay was just getting started. the prosecutor's mission? to show the jury that tammy was hardly the tolerant wife she claimed to be. when it came to heather elvis, the prosecutor argued, tammy was angry, vengeful, and tammy's
texts to heather proved it. >> you texted her, "you can tell me who you are right now or i will find out another way. that way won't have a great turnout for you." >> yes. >> and at the time, how old were you? >> i think i was 41 or 42, i'm not sure. >> okay, and so do you know now, when you sent her that text, she was a 20-year-old girl? >> i know now. i didn't know then. >> reporter: the prosecutor suggested tammy behaved like a stalker. >> and you said on 11/11, "i think the bitch is hiding. isn't that what you said? >> if it's on there. >> okay. here's my question to you. how many times had you gone up there and looked her to believe that she was in hidin'? 'cause it certainly leaves the impression -- >> never. >> never? then -- >> never. >> -- what makes you think "the bitch is in hiding"? >> i was just bein' a jerk at the time, i guess, nancy, is all i can say. >> have we ever met outside of
this courtroom? >> i don't think so. >> okay. just didn't know when we got on a first name basis. >> reporter: after ten days and more than 40 witnesses, each side wrapped up. >> this is a story about jealousy and deceit and this story has been around for a long, long time. >> reporter: the prosecution driving home its case that tammy had motive to kidnap heather elvis. >> they don't have one fiber, one teardrop, one piece of salt, one piece of a shoelace at the boat landing. >> the defense arguing there was not a scrap of evidence to prove it. what would the jury do? >> all right, ladies and gentlemen, i understand that the jury has reached a verdict. >> reporter: it took jurors less than four hours to reach a verdict. >> we the jury find the defendant, tammy caison moorer, guilty of kidnapping. >> reporter: guilty of
kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap. two counts. in court, tammy took it stoically. later she was emotional. >> i told my kids, "if a verdict came in, then i was goin' away." because i knew that's what it would be. >> reporter: the elvises got the verdict they wanted, but it wasn't going to bring heather back. >> it didn't change anything. people say it didn't change the big picture. it didn't change the little picture. >> you expect it to feel good -- to be a victory, but it doesn't feel like that at all. >> reporter: heather's sister morgan looked across to the moorers. >> the only thing i saw was another family getting torn apart. >> reporter: yeah.
well, those -- those children sitting behind their mom. >> yeah. >> reporter: i'm sorry. >> i have lived firsthand a family getting torn apart. and i wouldn't wish that on anybody. >> reporter: tammy moorer was sentenced to 30 years per count to be served concurrently. she is appealing. her husband sidney was jailed last year convicted of obstruction of justice for lying to police during the investigation. and the state may not be done with sidney moorer. prosecutors retried him on those kidnapping charges. as for debbi and terry, they're in the same place they've been since their daughter went missing. living with the hope that one day they'll get answers about what happened to heather, the young woman who had so many years ahead of her. and what would you say to heather if that little sliver of -- >> if i could talk to her right now? >> reporter: -- if that little sliver of hope is still out there? >> i'm gonna bring you home. somehow, some way, i'm bringin' you home. >> we've said it every time. you know, we're not giving up. never gonna give up. >> doesn't matter what it takes.
>> everything else takes a back seat. it really does. life does not go on. people around you, life goes on. but you're still stuck. you're holding on to the hope. he wasn't my biological child but my heart, you can't tell that to your heart. i loved that boy. that's not fair that he was taken from his children or from his family. >> jesse fell for vince, a man in uniform holding the fort during his long deployments. >> my hat goes off to all military wi
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