Updated: 04/25/2014 11:10 PM
Created: 04/25/2014 7:40 AM WHEC.com
What happened to Brittanee Drexel? She disappeared five years ago today.
Brittanee was a 17-year-old student at Gates Chili High School when she went to Myrtle Beach for spring break with a group of friends.
Now, five years later, her mother has moved to Myrtle Beach to find answers.
There is a tree for Brittanee in the heart of a Myrtle Beach park called Market Commons. It was planted a couple of years ago. Dawn Drexel says she likes to come to the park because it is peaceful and she can pray.
Dawn Drexel, Brittanee’s mom, said, “I hope in that we're going to find her soon. I still hold out hope for that. It is bittersweet.”
Five years ago, Brittanee snuck away to Myrtle Beach to have fun with her friends. On the night of April 25th, 2009, Brittanee walked to the Blue Water Hotel to pick something up from one of those friends. The hotel security camera captured video of her walking out through the lobby. She has never been seen since.
Drexel said, “I still feel she’s alive.”
Dawn believes someone has her daughter and she's worried if she talks too much, the person or people will take her further underground.
Drexel said, “I don't want to say anything about the human trafficking aspect of it.”
Since Brittanee disappeared, police have received hundreds of tips. Lately, police say most are from psychics who say they've had a vision. Over the years, investigators searched the areas south of Myrtle Beach where Brittanee's cell phone last pinged.
They searched swamps and woods west of Myrtle Beach where human bones were found. They belonged to a male. Nothing has solved this case.
And so, after all this time, the only thing Dawn Drexel can do is organize her own searches and come to her daughter's tree. It's peaceful and she can pray.
Drexel said, “I never thought this would be a reality in my life, but it has. This is a club that no parent wants to be in.”