Brittanee Drexel: 10 years missing

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WHEC) — Thursday marks a decade since Chili teen Brittanee Drexel disappeared.

Drexel was on spring break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when she vanished back in 2009. Investigators and family have been searching ever since. The FBI is tracking tips, but no arrests have ever been made.

Drexel’s family is down in Myrtle Beach and will be holding a candlelight vigil Thursday to mark 10 years since her disappearance.

But as time continues to pass, both Drexel’s mother and the FBI are holding out hope that new leads will bring more answers.

A tree was planted at Grand Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, shortly after Drexel disappeared. Today, it remains a lasting memory of the Chili teen who vanished during a spring break trip here 10 years ago.

"I just sometimes feel Brittanee’s presence…" said Dawn Pleckan, Brittanee Drexel’s mother.

Dawn Pleckan says she finds it hard to move forward until she has answers about her daughter.

"We still live this every day and will probably live it for the rest of our life until we get a resolution about what happened to Brittanee," said Pleckan.

Could those answers lie in the statements of a jailhouse informant?

Taquan Brown: "On this Monday, April 27, I saw the girl."

News10NBC’s Brett Davidsen: "In the stash house?"

Brown: "Yeah, there was about 8-12 guys there."

News10NBC has been speaking exclusively by phone with Taquan Brown, a South Carolina inmate who claims he saw Drexel on at least four occasions in 2009. He allowed News10NBC to record our conversations for broadcast.

Brown says Drexel was being held in a stash house in McClellanville, South Carolina, about 50 miles south of Myrtle Beach, something he first told investigators in 2016.

Davidsen: "Three years ago, you guys appeared pretty confident that you were getting closer to an arrest. How close do you feel you are now?"

Agent Don Wood: "I’d say we’ve made progress. I’m not gonna put a timeline on it or really quantify it but we have made progress."

And that may be because Brown claimed during our interview that the story of Drexel’s disappearance doesn’t end in McClellanville.

Brown: "Drexel wasn’t killed in the stash house. She was killed in Jacksonboro."

Jacksonboro, South Carolina, is another 75 miles southwest of McClellanville.

So that’s where News10NBC went this week to investigate further–to see how an abandoned trailer may provide answers the FBI is looking for.

Brett Davidsen will tell you what he learned about that property and its connection to Drexel Thursday night exclusively on News10NBC at 6 p.m.

We will have live coverage throughout our newscasts as family and friends remember Drexel 10 years after her disappearance plus exclusive new details from the FBI.