10 years missing: Powerful vigil held for Brittanee Drexel

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WHEC) — Thursday marks a decade since Chili teen Brittanee Drexel vanished on spring break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Ten years is a long time, much longer than Drexel’s family thought they would have to live without answers. However, her family has never given up hope of finding her or getting answers.

On Thursday, as federal investigators chased down new leads, Drexel’s family came to Myrtle Beach to make sure no one forgets. Marking ten years since her disappearance, friends, family and even members of law enforcement came to a candlelight vigil to support each other and to let Drexel know she isn’t forgotten.

"I will fight till the day I die to get justice for my daughter…" said Dawn Pleckan.

They lit candles, recited prayers, sang songs, and left flowers and balloons by a tree that was planted in Myrtle Beach many years ago as a memorial to Drexel.

When they played a tribute on a large video screen with pictures of young Drexel you could feel the emotion in the crowd.

"It was heartbreaking. I teared up. I had to stay strong for my daughter and strong for my mom and grandma. That’s what they need," said Myrissa Drexel, Brittanee Drexel’s sister.

The vigil comes as the FBI takes a look at a new location potentially connected to the case. It’s a secluded property with an abandoned trailer in the small town of Jacksonboro, South Carolina.

Jacksonboro is about 125 miles away from Myrtle Beach. It’s in Jacksonboro that jailhouse informant Taquan Brown claims he witnessed Drexel’s captivity and murder after first seeing her weeks earlier at a stash house in another town.

Brown has spoken with authorities in the past and he provided new information during News10NBC’s exclusive phone conversations with him over the past two months.

Taquan Brown: "I don’t know what you all know, but Drexel wasn’t killed in the stash house. She was killed in Jacksonboro."

News10NBC has confirmed that agents searched the property in Jacksonboro last week.

Brett Davidsen: "How important now is Jacksonboro to your investigation?"

Agent Don Wood: "That remains to be seen."

In the meantime, people here are hanging on to hope that Drexel’s case will be solved and they won’t have to hold these vigils another year.

"I hope we can all sit in court and look the person in the eye, or people, and say, ‘you’re gonna get what you rightfully deserve,’" said Robin Holle, friend.

Remembrances of Drexel will continue this weekend with a fundraiser in Myrtle Beach and then a vigil Saturday to be held in Rochester.