Brittanee Drexel was born in Rochester, New York, on the 7th of October 1991 to Dawn and a man of Turkish descent.
Shortly after Brittanee was born, her mother Dawn married Chad Drexel, who adopted Brittanee. Brittanee was described as enjoying soccer, and many family and friends say that she was very fast with the ball.
In 2008, Dawn and Chad separated. Brittanee took this hard, and it affected her performance at school. Brittanee also suffered from depression, and the separation of Dawn and Chad made her depression worse. Brittanee remained living with her mother, but also kept in close contact with Chad.
In April 2009, Brittanee asked her mom if she could go to Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina, with her boyfriend and some other girlfriends for Spring Break. Dawn, her mom, refused. She said that she didn’t know any of the other teenagers who were going, and she had a feeling something bad would happen if Brittanee went on this trip. Myrtle Beach was also fourteen (14) hours away from their home in Rochester.
This decision led to several arguments between the pair.
That is, until the 22nd of April. Brittanee asked if she could go and stay at a friends house for a couple of days to calm down after the arguing, to which Dawn agreed. However, it was just a ruse.
Instead of staying at a friends house, seventeen (17) year old Brittanee left to go to Myrtle Beach with the other students.
On April 25th, Brittanee called Dawn from Myrtle Beach during the daytime. She told Dawn that she was at the beach, which didn’t alarm Dawn as she thought Brittanee was referring to a beach along the Lake Ontario shoreline. A trip to a beach along the shoreline made sense to Dawn as the temperatures were high that day.
At around 8pm on the 25th of April, Brittanee left her hotel, the Bar Harbor Hotel, and walked 1.5 miles (2.4km) south down South Ocean Boulevard to another hotel, the Blue Water Resort, to see a longtime friend who was staying there. Security cameras at the Blue Water Resort show Brittanee arriving, and then leaving at around 8:45pm.
Throughout her trip, Brittanee kept texting her boyfriend John Grieco, who had stayed in Rochester due to work commitments. At 9:15pm, when her texts suddenly stopped, John knew something was wrong.
John contacted her friends and the people she was staying with at Mrytle Beach to see if they knew where she was or what had happened, but no one knew anything.
John then immediately contacted Dawn, Brittanee’s mother, who had no idea her daughter was even at Mrytle Beach until John called.
Dawn then called Chad, and then the Rochester Police Department in hopes that they would establish communication with the South Carolina Police Force. Calls and messages to Brittanee’s phone remained unanswered.
Myrtle Beach Police began searching for Brittanee the next morning. They managed to identify that the last person who saw Brittanee was twenty-year-old nightclub promoter Peter Brozowitz. Brittanee and Peter knew each other from the Rochester area, and they had apparently met at a local nightclub the night before.
Interviews with Peter and the men with who he shared his room took place, but police said they had no persons of interest and that no one had been “ruled in or out.”
Brittanee’s phone pings were tracked on a path leading 50-60 miles (80-97km) south of Myrtle Beach, towards an area along the U.S. Route 17 near the Georgetown-Charleston county line. The pings had suddenly stopped on the morning of April 26th.
Authorities searched areas along this path and around Myrtle Beach for places where a body could have been dumped for eleven (11) days, but nothing was found. An apartment in Georgetown County was also searched, but this did not give any information to identify a suspect.
Brittanee’s mother Dawn, and nightclub promoter Peter, have had several confrontations on the TV show Dr Phil, where Peter has said he feels frustrated because his reputation has been ruined.
Dawn eventually relocated to Myrtle Beach to be closer to where Brittanee was last seen, and to keep an eye on the investigation. In 2014, on Brittanee’s cases’ 5th anniversary, Dawn gave a newspaper interview where she told her theory that Brittanee had gone against her wishes to go to Myrtle Beach because she had been “promised something” of interest, such as a modelling job.
Dawn believes that Brittanee had become a victim of trafficking, but the Myrtle Police doesn’t believe that this is a possibility due to their claim of “little or no trafficking” in their jurisdiction.
In 2016, the FBI announced that they believed Brittanee had been murdered shortly after she had been abducted. They are offering a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to the case being solved.
FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz testified that earlier that year, he had been told by a South Carolina inmate, Taquan Brown, that he had gone to visit a stash house to give money to someone.
It was at this stash house that he saw another inmate, Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor, sexually abusing Brittanee with other people present. Taquan claimed that whilst he was there, Brittanee tried to escape, but got recaptured and pistol-whipped in the face. After Timothy and Brittanee were inside the house, Taquan heard two gunshots which he assumed were the sounds of Brittanee being killed.
Taquan then claims to have seen a wrapped body being removed from the house, which was then dumped in one of the alligator ponds in the area.
FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz said that Taquan’s statement was partially corroborated with information received from another informant, who remains unidentified but was an inmate at Georgetown County jail when he talked to the police.
According to the other inmate, Timothy Taylor had picked up Brittanee in Myrtle Beach and taken her to McClellanville, where he showed her off to his friends and intended to sell her to his friends for sex trafficking purposes. However, when the case started receiving heavy media attention, Timothy decided to kill Brittanee to avoid arrest.
This information came to light at a bond hearing for Timothy Taylor.
Timothy Taylor had been arrested for federal indictment for interfering in interstate commerce by threat or violence, which related to a 2011 robbery of a Mcdonald’s in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina in which Timothy had been the getaway driver. He had already been convicted and sentenced to probation by the time the federal charges were brought against him.
In March 2018, Timothy took a lie detector test as part of his plea bargain negotiation. When asked if he had seen Brittanee after her disappearance, or if he knew that he was involved with her disappearance, the examiner concluded that Timothy was not being truthful.
After reviewing the results with Timothy’s lawyer, the examiner tried to continue the lie detector test, but Timothy was too angry to continue.
In December 2019, Timothy was sentenced to time served, 319 days.
In February 2019, Taquan Brown gave a telephone interview to Rochester station WHEC-TV from the McCormick Correctional Institution.
In this interview, he claims that he saw Brittanee four (4) times after her disappearance. Whilst some of his claims can be backed up, some of the people he named could not be located.
Taquan has also filed a lawsuit against FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz and other federal officials who he said publicly identified him which has given him a reputation as a “snitch” that has put his life in danger. He also claims that Timothy has offered $15,000 to anyone that kills him, and that he has already been assaulted.
As of 2021, Brittanee is still considered a missing person, and no trace of her has ever been found.
On the 16th of May, 2022, the remains of Brittanee Drexel were found and positively identified through dental records and DNA.
Raymond Moody, 62 years old, has been charged with Brittanee’s murder, kidnapping and first-degree sexual misconduct (rape). Investigators believe that Brittanee was raped and murdered on the day she went missing, the 25th of April 2009. The arrest warrant for Raymond alleges that Brittanee was murdered by manual strangulation.
May Brittanee rest in peace.
Missing, Unsolved, USA, South Carolina, Mystery, True Crime, Missing Child, Solved, Murder, Homicide, Missing Person