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Bond set for man charged in attempted kidnapping in Myrtle Beach; Brittanee Drexel family hopes for link

Bond was set at $70,000 this morning for a man charged in an attempted kidnapping last week in Myrtle Beach.

Timothy Shaun Taylor, 37, of McClellanville - a man with an extensive criminal record - surrendered to Myrtle Beach police Wednesday to face charges of attempted kidnapping and first-degree assault and battery, according to Capt. David Knipes.

Most of the bond - $50,000 – was for the kidnapping charge, with $20,000 for the assault and battery charge. The bond was set by a judge in Myrtle Beach Municipal Court.

The trial was set for 1 p.m. Sept. 3 in Conway.

Taylor was arrested Wednesday in the attempted kidnapping of a woman last week along Ocean Boulevard, and police don't believe there is a link to last year's disappearance of a New York teen last seen in the same area.

The alleged victim's mother had a heart attack as they were returning home from a vacation in Myrtle Beach due to the stress the incident has caused the family, according to testimony in Myrtle Beach Municipal Court this morning.

The mother is now in intensive care, according to the testimony.

Taylor has his own attorney, Judge Scott Long said, and does not qualify for a public defender.

Taylor faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on both charges, Long said.

"I've never seen the person," Taylor said when given a chance to speak. "I wasn't in the area."

He did not eneter a plea, though, as the hearing was just to set a bond for his potential release prior to the trial.

When he heard that Myrtle Beach police wanted him, he said he called the police department seven times and then drove there to turn himself in.

"I didn't try to hide anything because I know it wasn't me," he said.

Myrtle Beach police Detective Lester Cook asked Long to set a high bail because authorities believe that Taylor, if released, could be a potential danger to the community.

Taylor"s arrest has given missing teen Brittanee Drexel's family something to cling to, though.

Police said this morning that 'there is nothing to show a direct connection to the Drexel case,' Knipes said, but that police ''will continue to explore all evidence and leads.''

According to records from the State Law Enforcement Division, Taylor's criminal record includes convictions dating to 1994 for charges that include driving under suspension, giving false information to police, disorderly conduct, failure to stop for blue light, driving under the influence, and criminal domestic violence.

Monica Caison from the CUE Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, N.C., said his arrest brings hope to the family of Drexel, a New York teen who was last seen in the Ocean Boulevard area on April 25, 2009, while on spring break in Myrtle Beach.

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.

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

"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 of Taylors arrest. "We are praying hard that this can produce some information the Brittanee's case and end the nightmare for the family."

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 Georgetown County. Taylor's arrest stemmed from an incident about 4:30 p.m. July 21 in the area of 22nd Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard, when a 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.

The woman said she fought back 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.

It was unclear Wednesday if police are seeking two other suspects.

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