MYRTLE BEACH — The search for information about three missing people in the area will be highlighted Friday and Saturday when a national tour makes stops in Andrews, Myrtle Beach and Aynor.
Volunteers with the Center for Missing Persons or CUE center will host three stops during the organization’s “On the Road to Remember” tour, which began in North Carolina and has highlighted cases in eight states including Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and Florida.
In the Myrtle Beach area, the cases of Crystal Soles, Brittanee Drexel and Zachary Milanowski will be featured.
The national tour to highlight specific cases began in 2004 with the case of North Carolina college student Leah Roberts, whose wrecked and abandoned vehicle was found but she wasn’t.
“Each year as we begin in preparation of the tour, we are reminded of the overwhelming amount of unsolved cases from across the country; we have to do more,” said Monica Caison, founder of the CUE Center. “The cases we feature are a small number compared to the NCIC statistics listing between 700,000 to 850,000 cases reported annually on a national level, but I’m confident we will make a difference in those we represent.”
Having her daughter’s information featured on the tour gives Gail Soles hope that her daughter Crystal will be found. Crystal Soles was 28 when she was last seen early Jan. 24, 2005 at Shaw’s Corner Store near Jones Avenue and Main Street in Andrews.
“One day the right person will come through, speak up and let us know where Crystal’s at. I do believe that,” Gail Soles said Wednesday. “I can’t give up. I’ve got to keep going. No matter what we love this child. I don’t think people would give up if it was their child. There’s never a day that goes by that we don’t think about her.”
Soles said she also continues to support CUE Center volunteers and the families of other people last seen in the area. CUE Center volunteers have conducted at least 20 searches during the years since Crystal Soles was last seen, Gail Soles said.
“Without Monica [Caison], I don’t think we’d get as far as we do at times. She keeps our hopes up,” Gail Soles said. “They’ve been with me ever since Crystal’s been missing. They’re the ones who give me hope and keep you going, you know. Monica has said she’ll be there with me until the end when something is found.” But until then, Gail Soles said she hopes area residents will attend her tour stop or one of the others in the area.
The stops and attendance by area residents “let me know that people still care about her and us,” she said.
The tour also will highlight the case of Brittanee Marie Drexel, who was last seen April 25, 2009, leaving the Blue Water Hotel on Ocean Boulevard while she on spring break in Myrtle Beach. Drexel was 17 at the time and Monday was her 22nd birthday.
Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes said Wednesday that Drexel’s case remains open and under investigation. He said officers continue to investigate tips when they receive information about Drexel and her whereabouts.
The final stop in the area will be in Aynor with the family and friends of 19-year-old Zachary Malinowski, who was last seen Aug. 25 when he left a home on Seventh Avenue in Aynor to go get something to eat. He was spoken to by phone about 12:15 a.m. Aug. 26.
His car, a 1996 Chevrolet Beretta, was found “completely burned” along Valley Forge Road, said Lt. Robert Kegler, with Horry County police. The case remains under investigation.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.