A Spring Break Nightmare: The Brittanee Drexel Case

On April 25, 2009, 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel disappeared while on a spring break trip in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Despite her mother's refusal to allow her to go, Drexel secretly left for South Carolina with friends. On the night of her disappearance, she left her friends at the Bar Harbor Hotel to visit a friend at the Blue Water Resort. Security cameras captured her leaving around 8:45 p.m., and her texts to her boyfriend abruptly stopped around 9:15 p.m.

Myrtle Beach police began looking for Drexel the following morning. They located security camera footage from the Blue Water Resort and interviewed friends and acquaintances, including Peter Brozowitz, a 20-year-old nightclub promoter from the Rochester area. Police searched Drexel's hotel room and tracked her phone's network pings, leading them south of Myrtle Beach. The pings stopped abruptly on the morning of April 26. Despite extensive searches, no significant leads were found.

In June 2016, the FBI announced that they believed Drexel had been murdered shortly after her disappearance. They offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the resolution of the case. Two months later, allegations surfaced against Timothy Da'Shaun Taylor, an inmate serving time on an unrelated charge. Another inmate, Taquan Brown, claimed to have seen Taylor sexually assaulting Drexel and participating in her murder. Taylor was subjected to a polygraph test, and some answers were labeled "deceptive" by the FBI. However, Taylor was not charged in connection with Drexel's case.

In May 2022, Raymond Moody, a 62-year-old registered sex offender, turned himself in to the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office on an obstruction of justice charge. Moody confessed to the crime and provided the location of potential remains. Human remains were located, buried in the woods outside Georgetown, and identified as Drexel's through DNA and dental records.

Moody was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping, and first-degree criminal sexual misconduct. The arrest warrant alleged that Drexel had been strangled and then buried by the morning of April 26, 2009. On October 19, Moody pleaded guilty to all charges and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison with an additional two consecutive terms of 30 years.