SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — Saturday marked the 8th year since the disappearance of Heather Elvis in Horry County.

News13 sat down with Heather’s mother and sister as they reflect on the day that would change their lives forever.

“I wake up every morning and that’s the first thing I think of, and so my day starts with Heather not being there,” Debbi Elvis, Heather’s mother, said.

Heather disappeared on Dec. 18, 2013, when she was 20 years old and has not been heard from since. Her car was found abandoned later at Peachtree Boat Landing in Socastee.

“I despise when people say that it’s been so many years since Heather went missing, and that’s not accurate,” Morgan Elvis, Heather’s sister, said. “It’s been so many years since Heather was taken from us.”

Although her body has never been found, police assume Heather is dead. Investigators think Elvis was having an affair with Sidney Moorer. He and his wife, Tammy, have been convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

“Missing-persons cases happen all the time,” Debbi said. “You can’t say it’s not going to happen to me, it’s not going to happen to my family members. It happens all the time, and we need to be prepared and be proactive.”

On Saturday, the family hosted a vigil to celebrate the lives of loved ones who are no longer here, all in Heather’s honor.

“People who have not gone through this, they won’t understand they don’t have the capacity to understand,” Morgan said. “And I have to do something to help bridge that connection and so that’s what we do. That’s why we have these events.”