Arrest in attempted Myrtle Beach kidnapping may shed light on Brittanee Drexel case

troot@thesunnews.comJuly 28, 2010 

Myrtle Beach police arrested a man Wednesday in connection with an abduction attempt of a 20-year-old woman along Ocean Boulevard last week, Capt. David Knipes said.

Timothy Shaun Taylor, 37, of McClellanville turned himself in to Myrtle Beach police Wednesday to face charges of attempted kidnapping and first-degree assault and battery, Capt. David Knipes said. Taylor is being held at the Myrtle Beach Police Department Jail pending a bond hearing.

The arrest brings hope to the family of Brittanee Drexel, a New York teen who was last seen on April 25, 2009, while on Spring Break in Myrtle Beach, according to Monica Caison with the CUE Center for Missing Person in Wilmington, N.C.

Caison said it isn’t clear if the recent kidnapping attempt is connected to Drexel’s case, but it could prompt someone with information about what happened to her to come forward and contact police.

“I think they’ve done a great job in tracking this information down and we’re excited this has come to an end so quickly,” Caison said Wednesday. “We are praying hard that this can produce some information the Brittanee’s case and end the nightmare for the family.”

Last week Knipes said there is nothing to link the two cases together, but the same investigators are working both incidents.

On Wednesday, Knipes said the agencies involved with the Drexel case will interview Taylor about her and more information will be released as it becomes available.

Drexel, who was 17 at the time, was last seen on video surveillance leaving the Blue Water Hotel at 2001 S. Ocean Blvd., police said.

Dozens of searchers have scoured Myrtle Beach and wooded areas in Georgetown and Charleston counties looking for clues in Drexel’s disappearance.

Searches began in Georgetown and Charleston counties after officials learned Drexel's cell phone gave off its last known signal on April 26, 2009, around U.S. 17 Bypass and the South Santee River in the Georgetown County.

The arrest on Wednesday stemmed from 4:30 p.m. July 21 in the area of 22nd Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard when the woman told police she was walking from a nearby store back to her hotel and a van with three men inside tried to abduct her, police said.

The woman fought back against the men and told police she was able to get free before they pulled her into the van, which was described as being pale blue with several rust spots and a side sliding door, according to the report.

The woman said there was a yellow sticker in the back passenger window, but she was unable to get the license plate number because the incident occurred so quickly.

The woman said she elbowed one of the men and he had blood coming from his face when she turned around, according to the report. She said the men got back inside the van where a third man was waiting in the driver’s seat.

Anyone with information about Brittanee Drexel's disappearance can call Myrtle Beach police at 918-1300 or go to the Web site at www.helpfindbrittaneedrexel.com.

More details will be posted as they become available.

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