Sheriff: Brittanee Drexel remains discovered in Georgetown County; suspect charged in her murder
GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office announced that human remains found in the county last week are those of a teenager who disappeared in Myrtle Beach over a decade ago.
Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver said that Brittanee Drexel’s remains were found in the Harmony Township neighborhood.
Drexel, originally from New York, was last seen on April 25, 2009 outside the Blue Water Resort on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach when she was 17.
Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson confirmed that evidence led authorities to the site on May 4 and they uncovered the remains on May 7. He added that Drexel’s body was found four feet in the ground.
Weaver also announced that Raymond Moody has been arrested in connection to Drexel’s death.
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Moody is charged with murder, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which Weaver added, all occurred on April 25, 2009, which is the date that Drexel was last seen.
Weaver said that Moody buried Drexel, who was already dead, on or around April 26, 2009.
“It was really quick... and it was hours, it wasn’t days, the entire process was a series of hours, from the time that she went missing to the time that she was buried,” said Richardson.
Arrest warrants show that Drexel’s cause of death was by “means of manual strangulation.”
Moody was considered a person of interest in Drexel’s disappearance in 2012 but was never arrested in the case. He has been in the Georgetown County Detention Center since May 4 on an obstruction of justice charge.
WMBF News asked Richardson why Moody had just remained a person of interest for years, and was not charged in 2012. Richardson explained the reasoning behind that decision.
“There was a lot of investigation going on in the beginning. I think they named him as quickly as they could at that time, but what you’ll see as this unfolds is that there are all kinds of tentacles coming off of this. It took a while to really narrow down leads and we chased down every one of those,” Richardson said.
Moody is currently being held at the Georgetown County Detention Center under no bond.
Georgetown County Coroner Chase Ridgeway was able to identify Drexel through dental records on May 11. The State Law Enforcement Division also performed DNA analysis and confirmed it was Drexel.
Weaver said during the news conference that we may never know why Drexel was killed, but he said these new developments give people closure, including Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock, who worked on this case from the very first day.
“It’s not the final chapter we had been hoping for,” said Prock. “Every police officer has that one case that frequents their every waking thought.”
The FBI released the following official statement to WMBF News:
“Every law enforcement effort, and every lead that we acted on was about finding Brittanee and the facts. It’s our hope that because we now have received answers after so many years, the Drexel family can find some peace and closure.”
Moody’s preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 21, then he will have another hearing on August 18.
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