A fateful night where a young Heather Elvis had just returned home after her first date with Steven Schiraldi.
Heather was learning to drive a manual transmission truck that evening, sending a photo to her father, Terry Elvis.
It was the last photo she would ever send him.
The next morning, around 5:00 am, Heather’s vehicle, a dark green Dodge Intrepid, was found at Peachtree Landing, locked, and vacant.
An officer that same day walked up to Terry Elvis’ house, and asked him if he had any vehicles missing.
Checking around, he stated “no” and that they were “all here”.
The officer asked “what about a dark green Dodge Intrepid?”
That was Heather’s car, registered in Terry’s name.
Terry grabbed the spare keys, and accompanied the officer in his vehicle to Peachtree landing.
This is where mistakes were made, either on purpose, or due to negligence.
As they approached the vehicle, Terry unlocked it.
Without calling for backup, or crime scene investigators to preserve evidence, the duo rummaged through the contents of the vehicle, tainting whatever evidence may have been there.
After they had either knowingly or unwittingly wrecked the crime scene, Terry Elvis was then permitted by the officer to further damage the case by removing the vehicle from it’s location, and drive it home, where it remained parked.
The vehicle was never processed by the state at the time Heather disappeared, which means no Luminol or other chemical tests for DNA were ever performed.
This is the first time Horry County Police Department would bungle the case, but not the last.