Coroner says bones found near Myrtle Beach don’t belong to Brittanee Drexel

troot@thesunnews.comDecember 31, 2013 

While searchers were looking for one of three women reported missing in Horry County in December, they found human remains, according to authorities.

A search party checking an area along Tidewater Road found the bones about 11 a.m. Saturday and called Horry County police to report them, according to a police report. Several bones including a human skull were found in the area.

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said the bones, which are still being analyzed by an anthropologist in Charleston, are from a male 20-years-old or older, but are “definitely not Brittanee Drexel.”

Horry County police Lt. Robert Kegler said Tuesday that the investigation into the bones and the disappearance of Heather Elvis, 20, and Jamie Lynn Cross, 24, continued and no new information was available for release.

A third woman reported missing Monday with urgent medical needs was found Tuesday in good condition, Kegler said.

Rachel Provow, 36, walked away from her caretaker’s home on Burcale Road between 6 and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 28. Detectives determined no crime was committed.

The search party that found the bones was looking for clues in the disappearance of Elvis, who was last seen about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 17, according to police. In a report filed late Dec. 19, a police officer on patrol saw Elvis’ vehicle parked at Peachtree boat landing and called her father, who is the owner, to inquire why it was parked there. Her father said he last heard from Elvis about 10:43 p.m. Dec. 17 when she sent him a text message.

Then on Dec. 25, Jamie Lynn Cross, 24, of Myrtle Beach was reported missing after she was last seen two days earlier getting into a vehicle to go to dinner with a 31-year-old man, according to a police report. Cross had borrowed $35 from her brother and left about 4:30 p.m. that day.

In the report, police were told Cross had “done this before, but usually contacts someone within 24 hours” after she leaves.

Edge said the remains the search party found were not laying together in skeleton form, and possibly were scattered around an area by an animal.

Pieces of a hip, the skull, and a couple longer bones were found strewn about the area, according to the report. No clothing was found in the area and officials said in the report the bones appeared to have been in that area for a while.

Horry County police’s crime scene investigators were called to the scene and collected the bones and evidence.

Edge said the bones are still in Charleston and a report of the anthropologist’s findings is expected in a week to 10 days. The bones will likely be sent to the University of Texas for DNA testing, which could take several weeks.

Authorities have searched that area and others for clues about Elvis’ whereabouts, but as of Tuesday afternoon they had not found her. There is a $20,000 reward for information about her whereabouts.

Cross stands about 5-foot 11-inches tall, weighs more than 200 pounds and her hair was most recently neon pink.

Elvis is 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs about 118 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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