MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WMBF) – An official with the FBI announced that it is believed Brittanee Drexel was killed after traveling to the McClellanville area from Myrtle Beach in April 2009.
That information was released during a Wednesday press conference regarding the investigation into the 2009 disappearance of Drexel.
FBI official David Thomas announced that a $25,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of those who killed Drexel.
Thomas said the investigation has revealed that Drexel was in the McClellanville area for several days and may have been held against her will for a portion of it.
"The investigation now is that Brittanee Drexel did leave the Myrtle Beach area. We believe she traveled to this area, around McClellanville and North Charleston, south Georgetown area, and we believe she was killed after that." said Thomas.
He urged anyone in the McClellanville area with information, no matter how insignificant, to come forward. Thomas also warned that the FBI has charged people in the past who had information in other high-profile cases and didn't come forward.
"The people that did this are still in the community," said Bradley Conway, the Drexel family attorney. "They're bad people"
During the Wednesday press conference, several members of Drexel's family were there. Many of them were very emotional.
"After seven long years of waiting and praying for the return of my daughter, we know she isn't coming home alive. Brittanee's life was stolen from her in a brutal and senseless fashion," said Dawn Drexel, Brittanee Drexel's mother.
Drexel disappeared from Ocean Boulevard on April 25, 2009. She was 17 years old when she traveled to Myrtle Beach from New York for spring break.
Several people in McClellanville area expressed condolences for the Drexel family, but refused to speak on camera.
One woman was quoted saying, "If we wanted to be in the spotlight, we wouldn't live in McClellanville."
Many in the community said they are saddened by the news of Drexel's death, and the negative light it shines on their town.
Those who denied an interview said their community is a small one, where everyone knows each other, and simply wished to not get involved.