Aftermath of Georgetown Co. search for Drexel

Published: Aug. 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2011 at 11:39 PM EDT
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Investigators sprayed many surfaces to search for blood (Source: WMBF News Reporter Brandon...
Investigators sprayed many surfaces to search for blood (Source: WMBF News Reporter Brandon Herring)

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – With the investigation continuing into how New York teen Brittanee Drexel disappeared in 2009, WMBF News has been given an exclusive look at what investigators left behind in a motel room during a search Monday in Georgetown County.

WMBF News Reporter Brandon Herring was able to get inside the room at the Sunset Lodge Tuesday; one day after investigators with Myrtle Beach Police, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on the room.

Blue stains from a liquid spray covered several surfaces, including the curtains, the air conditioner, the kitchen sink, the refrigerator, the bathtub and walls in the bathroom and closet. Investigators apparently sprayed the room in a search for blood particles Monday. The also cut several swatches of wallpaper from the bathroom walls, leaving bare, white spaces on the wall along with blue spray.

"Maybe they found some spots of blood, but it could have been over the years," commented Richard Shurling who has handled maintenance at the Sunset Lodge for 14 years. "This place is 50 years old. So over the years there's not telling whose or what it could be."

Shurling pointed out a small whole in the wall from what he believed was a shotgun shot several years ago. Nonetheless, investigators had not overlooked it; they left behind measurement tape and labels around the hole.

Investigators also paid attention to the mattress.

"They've taken and cut the whole top part off of it, and then flip it over, they took the bottom off of it," Shurling said. "So of course we'll be replacing it."

Shurling said the efficiency apartment is now the only one at the Sunset Lodge that is not being rented. So he and the owner plan to check with investigators and get it cleaned up and available for rent as soon as possible.

Shurling said it should take less than a day to get things back to normal. For the sake of Brittanee Drexel's family he just hopes investigators found something that will help them in the case.

"I have a couple of kids of my own, and I just couldn't imagine just totally disappearing without having no idea," he said. "So really I feel for them, and hopefully this helps."

Capt. David Knipes, spokesman for the Myrtle Beach Police Department, said investigators searched the room because they learned a person of interest in the Drexel case may have lived there in April 2009. Drexel was just a few months shy of her 18th birthday when she was last seen on April 25, 2009 along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.

Investigators were on scene through most of Monday, collecting evidence that could be connected to Drexel's disappearance, but stayed mum on the topic as they worked.

When they were done, investigators left with a cardboard box and several paper bags presumably containing pieces of evidence collected from the room and the door was locked.

As always, find all past stories, videos, and search related information concerning Brittanee Drexel on this page.

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