Missing teen's father returns to Grand Strand in hopes of raising awareness

Published: Aug. 12, 2011 at 2:56 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2011 at 2:22 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The adopted father of missing New York teen Brittanee Drexel is back in the Grand Strand just days after investigators announce a new search in the case.

"I want to show the public that I'm here, if you know anything please come forward," said Chad Drexel, just hours after returning to Myrtle Beach from Rochester.

Chad Drexel and other family members are back in Myrtle Beach for an event on Friday that will unveil a new billboard meant to raise awareness about the ongoing search.

"I want more numbers out there, I want more people helping, I want to be able to talk to father to father." Mr. Drexel added.

The billboard, which is designed by Chad, is sponsored by the Kristen Foundation, a non-profit group aimed at raising awareness about missing adults. However, that decision is drawing criticism from some members of the Drexel family.

"I feel like you know a lot of people out there are just trying to get publicity from Brittanee, and I don't want anyone using my daughter for that." Dawn Drexel told WMBF News during a phone interview on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Brittanee's father fired back and defended the billboard as a chance to seek new leads in the case.

"I wish I could have 30 more groups helping, it's our daughter not just mine or Dawns, and I wish I could have more helping." Chad Drexel added.

Drexel was 17-years-old at the time of her disappearance and would turn 20 this October. She was last seen leaving the Blue Water Hotel along Ocean Blvd. on April 25, 2009. Drexel's family was in Myrtle Beach earlier this year to mark the two-year anniversary of the teen's disappearance and to ask the public to continue to call in their tips to authorities in the case.

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