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Missing children investigators to review Brittanee Drexel case next week in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach police have asked a specialized team of law enforcement professionals to review the case of a New York teen last seen in Myrtle Beach on Spring Break in 2009.

Members of Project Alert, a group of retired law enforcement professionals who are trained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, will arrive Monday to review the case with Myrtle Beach police investigators.

Brittanee Drexel, whose 19th birthday was Oct. 5, was last seen on April 25, 2009, on video surveillance leaving the Blue Water Hotel at 2001 S. Ocean Blvd., police said. She was 17 at the time and had come to Myrtle Beach with some friends and without the consent of her parents.

More than 170 people from across the nation are Project Alert members, according to the center’s website. The group will go over the entire Drexel case with investigators next week and then provide suggestions about the case to local authorities.

“Their expertise is in so many different areas with them being retired law enforcement that we thought we should take advantage of this system,” Myrtle Beach police Capt. Joe Vella said of the group. “Our chief is focused on it . . . they will assist us and give us ideas and suggestions. We’ll use their expertise along with ours to continue to work the case.”

The consultation by Project Alert members is funded through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Drexel has been profiled on dozens of local and national television shows, billboards and websites. Authorities say they will continue to profile her case with the hope that someone with information regarding her whereabouts will come forward with details.

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

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.

Various rewards are available from law enforcement and a New York based church for information about Drexel.

Anyone with information regarding Drexel are asked to call Myrtle Beach police at 918-1382 or they can submit information online at http://helpfindbrittaneedrexel.com.

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