‘I want Brittanee found’: FBI continues to search for clues in Drexel disappearance case

It has been 10 years since Brittanee Drexel went missing from a Myrtle Beach hotel. Though a decade has passed, FBI investigators say they are still working to bring justice in her case.

“It’s 10 years and we still don’t have anybody in custody, which is obviously not our goal, but we are making positive steps,” said Don Wood, supervisory special agent.

On April 25, 2009, 17-year-old Drexel was last seen on surveillance video leaving the Blue Water Resort on Ocean Boulevard.

Brittanee Drexel asked her mom, Dawn Drexel, if she could visit the Grand Strand on spring break with friends from Rochester, New York. Dawn initially told her no, but Brittanee went anyway.

The FBI took over the investigation in 2016, and a series of jailhouse informants led to new information in the case. The informants said they saw Brittanee Drexel at an abandoned home in the Georgetown area. There she was sexually assaulted, shot and fed to alligators to destroy her remains, they said.

FBI officials identified De’Shaun Taylor as a person of interest in the case. He remains in federal custody on unrelated charges.

To date, nobody has been charged in connection to Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance.

Brittanee’s disappearance has drawn national attention during the past decade. There were public searches for her soon after she went missing and large-scale hunts for evidence in the Georgetown area in recent years.

Dawn Drexel said she will continue to fight for justice and is frustrated with the lack of criminal charges.

“I want Brittanee found,” Dawn Drexel said. “I want her to have her memorial. I want to lay her to rest. Secondly, I want a conviction, and I want the person who’s done this to her to be in prison for the rest of their life.”

FBI investigators are reluctant to give up any case like Drexel’s without a resolution, Wood said.

“We continue to receive information from the public and continue to receive leads and develop additional leads from that information,” he said on Wednesday. “We’ve been working as diligently today as we have since day one.”

Wood said they understand the Drexel family’s anguish over the last 10 years.

The Drexel family plans two events this week to keep Brittanee’s case in the public’s mind and to honor the 17-year-old. On April 27, there is a fundraiser for Brittanee’s Little Angels at the Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet. The event will run from noon until 4 p.m. Brittanee’s Little Angels helps families of missing people.

Tomorrow, there is a candlelight vigil planned at Brittanee Drexel’s memorial tree near Savannah’s Playground and The Market Common.

“A lot of people have grown to love Brittanee, especially here,” Dawn Drexel said. “We loved her. We want to keep her memory alive and remember all the good times we had with her.

“She didn’t ask for this to happen, and she was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.