FBI believes Brittanee Drexel was held against her will then killed
FBI officials released new details on Wednesday in the case of missing Chili teen Brittanee Drexel.
Agents now say they believe Brittanee was in the McClellanville area for several days after last being seen by friends in Myrtle Beach in 2009. They also say they believe she was held captive and later killed.
"We think she was held against her will — at least for a portion of the time she was here," says Special Agent David Thomas.
Brittanee Drexel went missing on April 25, 2009 while on a trip in Myrtle Beach for Spring Break. At the press conference, the FBI shed important new light on the disappearance and a better timeline of her whereabouts is beginning to emerge.
For the first time in seven years, investigators say her last known sighting was not the Bluewater Resort Hotel in Myrtle Beach — where the Chili teen was staying — but rather she was last seen in McClellanville.
The tiny hamlet, with its one flashing light, is about 50 miles south of Myrtle Beach on the way to Charleston.
"We do know Brittanee was in this community for several days," says Special Agent Thomas. "It wasn’t just a one-time passing through. So by being here for several days, other people came in contact with her, saw her, know that she was here."
Agents also briefed Brittanee’s parents, advising them that they are sure their daughter is dead.
"Brittanee’s life was stolen from her in a brutal and senseless fashion," says Brittanee’s mother Dawn Drexel.
Although agents won’t say how they know Brittanee is dead. Dawn Drexel, while fighting back tears, indicated police have yet to find her daughter’s body.
"We need your help so we can find Brittanee’s remains and bring her home to lay her to rest and make sure that monsters like this can no longer victimize this community or kill anyone else’s child," said Dawn Drexel.
Brittanee’s father Chad Drexel said, "We need everyone’s help to bring something from her home to us. We need your help."
The Drexels left without answering questions. Dawn has retained attorney Bradley Conway — he says to help her navigate the case and act as a liaison.
"The family needs to be together," says Conway. "They need to deal with this loss as a family and without interruption."
In appealing for help, the FBI announced it is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. They are also putting up billboards across the area and blanketing the neighborhoods going door-to-door trying to find anyone with additional clues.
Agents would not say if they have any suspects in the case. There’s a lot of information they are still not divulging., but they did indicate they are ratcheting up the pressure — saying that if they learn of people out there who know what happened to Brittanee and they don’t come forward, they won’t hesitate to have them charged as well.