Monday, May 16, 2022

The Disappearance and Murder of Brittanee Drexel

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Brittanee Drexel vanished at the age of 17 on April 25th, 2009. Brittanee is originally from Rochester, NY and was taking a trip with some new friends to Myrtle Beach for spring break in April of 2009. Brittanee’s mother had not granted her permission to go on this trip—she was concerned because these friends were a few years older than Brittanee and Brittanee did not know them very well yet. Still, Brittanee was determined to go and told her mother that she was spending a few nights at a friend's house in Rochester. Instead, she went to Myrtle Beach.

The trip did not go as planned for Brittanee. According to her boyfriend, John Grieco, Brittanee wasn’t getting along very well with the girls on the trip. On April 25th, Brittanee decided to walk to her friend Peter Brozowitz’s hotel room at Blue Water Resort. Peter was an acquaintance of Brittanee’s from NY, and she was getting along much better with him than she was with the girls with whom she was staying. 

Brittanee entering the Blue Water Resort

Brittanee walked about a mile from her hotel to the Blue Water Resort—however, shortly after arriving, one of the girls texted Brittanee and demanded that she come back to their hotel to return a pair of shorts she had borrowed. Surveillance footage shows Brittanee leaving the Blue Water Resort at 8:48pm. She texted John as she traveled, expressing how she was annoyed about having to walk back to the hotel. At one point, Brittanee stopped replying. John grew concerned, as they had been constantly texting throughout the trip and it was unusual for Brittanee to stop replying without ending the conversation. John continued to try to get ahold of her, warning that he was going to call her mom if she did not reply. Hours passed without hearing from Brittanee, and John finally broke down and called Brittanee’s mother, Dawn. Dawn was able to contact the girls Brittanee had traveled with and they were unable to locate her as well. Dawn then contacted Myrtle Beach authorities to report Brittanee missing.

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Investigators had some strong leads to follow at first. Cell phone records revealed that Brittanee’s final phone ping was off of a tower 50 miles from Myrtle Beach, in Georgetown County. A massive search in that area turned up nothing. Sex offenders in the Myrtle Beach and Georgetown areas were looked into as well, yet they were unable to link any of them to Brittanee. After that, years passed with no sign of Brittanee.

Finally, on June 8th, 2016, the FBI held a press conference, stating that they had finally determined what happened to Brittanee. They announced that Brittanee was taken from Myrtle Beach to the McClellanville area,where she was held for a few days against her will and then was killed. When asked how the FBI came to this conclusion, the lead investigator said: “there has been an exhaustive amount of evidence in this case. The investigators are certain that this is what happened and I can’t give you the exact details on that, but we are certain.” The FBI then appealed to anyone in the McClellanville area to come forward with information on Brittanee’s whereabouts.

Years have passed since the FBI made this announcement in Brittanee’s case but Brittanee still remains missing. McClellanville local Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor has been named as a suspect in the case, but he denies all involvement and there have still been no arrests in the case. 


UPDATE (May 2022):  Brittanee’s remains have been found AND an arrest has finally been made.

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office announced on May 16th that they have arrested a man named Raymond Moody (62). He is charged with kidnapping, rape, and murder in relation to Brittanee’s case.

Moody is a registered sex offender, and he was named a person of interest in Brittanee’s case back in 2012. Back then, investigators searched a hotel room he stayed in at the time of Brittanee’s disappearance. It was never disclosed if they found any evidence at that time, but investigators did say that they did not have enough evidence to formally label him as a suspect.

Investigators turned their attention away from Moody in 2016, after the FBI announced that they believed Brittanee had been kidnapped and held hostage in McClellanville by a group of people associated with Timothy Taylor. However, Taylor was only 16 years-old at the time Brittanee went missing. Jailhouse informants told investigators that they saw Brittanee at Taylor’s residence back in April 2009. Taylor has adamantly denied any involvement in Brittanee’s disappearance and at this time, it appears that he is no longer a suspect.

It is unclear what led investigators back to Moody, but they were able to search property that belongs to him during early May. During their search, they found human remains. Dental records have confirmed that those remains belong to Brittanee Drexel.

Moody’s arrest warrant states that Moody strangled Brittanee to death on the night she was kidnapped. It is believed she was buried the next day.

News about Brittanee’s case is currently unfolding. Updates will be provided as they come.

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