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Crystal Soles' mom hopes for closure after remains found in Andrews

A discovery in Andrews has raised the hopes of Gail Soles, whose daughter has been missing more than six years.

Soles said she is excited that a search by law enforcement this week may have yielded clues about her daughter, Crystal Soles, who was last seen Jan. 24, 2005, in Andrews.

"I think it was a good search. Hopefully this is the right one and the right time," Soles said Thursday morning. "I really felt good about this search for some reason. I don't know what it is. Maybe we'll get a closure. We really need one. After six years it's been really hard."

Law enforcement officials and volunteers searched in the Andrews area on Wednesday and discovered some remains, said Soles, who hopes the findings are linked to Crystal Soles, who was 28 when she was last seen at Shaw's Corner Store near Jones Avenue and Main Street in Andrews.

Details of what searchers found were not available Thursday. Andrews Police Chief Jennifer Flowers, who organized the search, did not return telephone calls seeking information about the remains that were found, testing on them and the specific search location.

Those involved with the case said new tips about Crystal Soles prompted Wednesday's search where officials found some remains that are being sent off for testing.

"If this isn't her, I will continue to keep looking and searching. She was my only baby girl. Waiting and waiting and waiting is hard to do. It's the just not knowing," Soles said. "No matter what the outcome is I'm not giving up. I will never give up. I hope this is closure for our family. It has really been hard."

News of the developments are saddening for Dawn Drexel, mother of Brittanee Drexel, who was last seen on video surveillance leaving the Blue Water Hotel on Ocean Boulevard while on spring break on April 25, 2009.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Gail because she's been there for me through Brittanee's disappearance. It's sad that these people do this stuff to our children," Dawn Drexel said Thursday.

In Brittanee Drexel's case, dozens of searchers have scoured Myrtle Beach and wooded areas in Georgetown and Charleston counties looking for clues in the teen's disappearance. The searches began after officials learned Drexel's cell phone gave off its last known signal on April 26 around U.S. 17 Bypass and the South Santee River in the Georgetown County.

"It's been a longer road for her than it has been for me, but we're there to support each other," Drexel said. "We're behind Gail and are praying for her family.."

Monica Caison, with the CUE Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, N.C., said she was at the search with some volunteers and search dogs on Wednesday.

"Jennifer Flowers has done an incredible job with this case since she got a hold of it. The information has always been out there and it's been getting to the bottom of it. There's been more information produced," Caison said. "I'm glad that people want to help find Crystal. I always believe no matter how old a case is the community holds answers. Cases can take on a new life six, seven years later."

Any details about a case can help investigators with new leads, no matter how insignificant the person may think the information is, Caison said.

"Sometimes years later, people hold back something that's so small and trivial, but it could mean everything to law enforcement," Caison said. "I always say just call the police and let them know."

Soles said if the remains are her daughter's, her focus will shift to finding who is responsible.

"It's just hard to say. I don't know what my emotions will be. We want closure. We want Crystal to come home," she said. "After we find her I definitely want to know what happened and who done it. I think they should be punished. Please just turn yourself in."

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