A new laptop computer remains gift-wrapped under the Christmas tree for missing 20-year-old Heather Elvis, where her parents have left it for her to open.
The brown-eyed aspiring makeup artist has not been heard from since the early morning hours of December 18, after returning home from a date.
Heather’s car, a 2001 dark metallic green Dodge Intrepid, was found abandoned at the Peachtree Boat Landing in Myrtle Beach, about 8 miles from her apartment.
Heather was excited about the holidays and landing a new job set to begin five days after she went missing, two of the reasons why her father, Terry Elvis, believes she did not intend to vanish.
“She texts me the photos in December, without saying anything, of the things she wanted for Christmas,” Terry Elvis said. “It’s a tradition. She knew it was under the tree because she had texted it to me.”
Heather had been working as a restaurant hostess at Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery in Myrtle Beach. She shared an apartment with a female co-worker, one of the last people known to have communicated with her.
“She called to tell me about her date and that she learned how to drive stick shift,” the roommate told HLN. “I have a manual car, so she was really excited to tell me that.”
Heather’s roommate, who was out of state at the time, says she talked to Heather around 2:00 a.m., after Heather had been dropped off from her date. She says as far as she knows, Heather was safe at home and alone in the apartment.
“She was looking forward to seeing him again,” the roommate said.
Hours earlier, at 10:43pm, Heather texted a photograph to her father.
“She texted me a picture of herself driving this guy’s truck, a Ford Pickup, stick shift,” Elvis said. “At the bottom, she texted, ‘Ha, I’m a pro.’”
According to Horry County Police Department Lieutenant Robert Kegler, the man who took Heather on the date is not suspected of involvement in her disappearance.
“He’s been interviewed and is not listed as a suspect or person of interest at this time,” Kegler said.
Large community and police search efforts have been canvassing the air, water and land areas surrounding Heather’s apartment, as well as the area where her car was found.
“It was locked, parked parallel to the edge instead of straight on,” Terry Elvis said.
“I kept calling her phone, it went straight to voice mail.”
A reward of $25,000 is offered for information leading to the safe return of Heather Elvis.
“A lot of the tips that were coming in tonight and today, they were very, very helpful,” Terry Elvis said Tuesday. “We are still looking for more puzzle pieces and looking for more people to come in.”
Anyone with information about Heather’s whereabouts can call Horry County Police at 843-915-TIPS or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.