MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – More than seven years after the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel, her biological father is speaking on camera for the first time.
John Kahyaohlu was interviewed for an upcoming segment of "Crime Watch Daily." He spoke about the moment he found out something had happened to his daughter.
"Well, her mother Dawn called me. She said, basically, 'John, Brittanee's missing,'" Kahyaohlu said. "And I go, 'What do you mean she's missing and she says, 'Well, unfortunately, she went to Myrtle Beach without my knowledge.' I was shocked."
Kahyaohlu had just recently been reunited with his daughter when she went missing from Myrtle Beach in 2009. The hours, weeks, months and years following Drexel's disappearance would be full of mystery.
He and the rest of Drexel's family were left wondering where she had gone and what happened to her, as well as reflecting on the last moments they had spent together.
"We were at Friendly's (and we) took a picture of her," Kahyaohlu said. "Friendly's, that's one of the biggest pictures that (is) being used to find her."
The answers to what happened to Drexel wouldn't come until earlier this year.
An FBI agent testifying in federal court said authorities believed Drexel was abducted from Myrtle Beach and then taken to a stash house in McClellanville, where she was gang raped, shot and then fed to alligators.
"A lot of the kids know what happened," Kahyaohlu said. "They're not coming forward. I'm not sure if they're afraid to come forward or if they're actually a part of it. But they definitely do know something and … they should come forward."
Authorities do have a suspect in the case -Timothy DaShaun Taylor.
That same FBI agent previously mentioned also testified that several people have come forward and outlined Taylor's involvement in Drexel's disappearance.
Taylor has not yet been formally charged in connection to the case and maintains his innocence.
The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Tune into "Crime Watch Daily" on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 3 p.m., to hear more from Drexel's biological father when his full interview airs. It can be seen here on WMBF News.