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Heather Elvis still missing: Call goes out to boat owners for help in search

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With Heather Elvis being missing now for over a week, the call went out to boat owners Thursday for their help in the search for the Socastee, S. C., woman. Authorities and volunteers have decided to expand the search for the missing 20-year-old over the coming weekend to include more ground area as well as waterways, radiating out from Peachtree Landing on the Waccamaw River, where Elvis' car was found on Dec. 19.

The Sun News reported Dec. 26 that CUE (Center for Missing Persons), a missing persons advocacy and organizational agency out of North Carolina, has asked for the extra help of boaters and fishermen with boats to join in the search over the coming weekend. Extra eyes engaged in the search might make the difference.

“Anything that doesn’t fit that looks like it’s fresh, call law enforcement,” Monica Caison, director of CUE, told The Sun News. “I know it seems like an eternity for the family, but she hasn’t been missing that long. Anything that looks like it’s been out there a week could be a clue.”

But "that long" has grown to ten days for some family members. For the father, Terry Elvis, it has been a day longer. He said, according to WBTW in Myrtle Beach, he last saw his daughter on Dec. 16.

"I thought I knew the meaning of pain, I thought I knew the meaning of love, I thought I knew just how much my children meant to me," he told the Myrtle Beach station. "I had no idea how deep it runs. It's amazing, I never knew you could feel that way, so if anyone knows anything please come forward."

Terry Elvis runs a sign shop at Market Commons in Myrtle Beach. He has been actively helping CUE in their search efforts as well as printing up missing persons posters.

Those posters can be seen all over Myrtle Beach and throughout Horry County.

In an interview with WPDE Monday, he also made an emotion-filled plea for the safe return of his daughter.

The actual search efforts have been ongoing since Thursday of last week. On Friday and over the next couple days, an extensive search was made around the Peachtree Landing area where Heather Elvis' car was found. Boats from various local and state agencies assisted Horry County Police in their search efforts. A helicopter rendered air assistance.

Bernie Thornton, a CUE Center volunteer, told WPDE in Florence that the job was simple. "Just ride and looking out through the woods, just keep an eye on the water."

He added, "Looking for any signs or anything really to give us something to go on."

And something to go on seems to be in relatively short supply, if the amount of information that has filtered out to the public is any indication. What authorities know is: Heather Elvis was last seen at her parents house in Carolina Forest on Tuesday, Dec. 17. The last time her cell phone pinged was at 3 a.m. the following morning. Her vehicle, a dark green 2001 Dodge Intrepid was found abandoned and undamaged at Peachtree Landing in Horry County (about ten miles from Carolina Forest) on Thursday, Dec. 19. Her father, Terry Elvis, immediately filed a missing persons report. The 20-year-old, a hostess at the Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, didn't show up for her scheduled shift on Friday, Dec. 20.

Local and state authorities immediately started searching for signs of the missing woman and canvassing the area for possible witnesses as to her whereabouts or where she may have been last seen. Police found no indication that Elvis had been been near or gone into the water, but they cannot rule out the possibility.

The family quickly moved into action as well, creating a Facebook page, FindHeatherElvis, to help spread the word and to also help organize searches and possibly gather information that might help find their missing family member. Posters were created that can be downloaded and printed and posted. A reward of $11,000 is being offered as well for any information that might lead to finding Heather Elvis.

Elvis is described as 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighing about 118 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about the young woman's whereabouts or her circumstances are urged to call call 915-TIPS, or send an email to crimetips@horrycounty.org. For updates on how to help or how the case is developing, go to FindHeatherElvis on Facebook.

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