Celebrating Brittanee Drexel's birthday

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Family and friends gathered Sunday evening to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Brittanee Drexel

October 7th, 2012 is Brittanee's 21st birthday, but the New Yorker went missing three years ago here in the Grand Strand.

"I always just feel like I need to be here…just in case," says Dawn Drexel, Brittanee's mom.

The vigil for her daughter began at dusk, with the crowd singing Happy Birthday to Brittanee. Everyone was silent while saying a prayer to bring her home.

It was a bittersweet day for her mother. She was very thankful for everyone gathering to celebrate her daughter, but couldn't help but to imagine how different today should have been for the family.

"It's hard. I remember when she was a baby, she wanted to do a lot of things on her birthday…and somebody took that away from us," says Dawn Drexel.

Dawn hopes that days like today will put Brittanee back on everyone's mind.

"Every time we put her face out there, we get tips and leads in her case," she says.

She says new searches are being planned for her daughter, but is not sure when they will take place.

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