Mother of Brittanee Drexel responds to News10NBC’s exclusive interview
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WHEC) — The mother of Brittanee Drexel is responding to our exclusive interview with the man who told investigators he witnessed Brittanee’s murder.
Taquan Brown is in prison in South Carolina, serving 25 years for an unrelated manslaughter conviction.
He allowed News10NBC to record our recent phone conversations for broadcast which we played for you Tuesday.
Dawn Pleckan, Brittanee’s mother, watched our report and says it leaves her with more questions.
"I didn’t even know who she was. I didn’t know who she was until actually a few weeks later when everything started coming on the news," said Brown about the first time he saw Drexel.
The jailhouse informant says he told the FBI he saw Brittanee Drexel on four separate occasions in April and May of 2009.
Brown says he first saw her at an abandoned house in McClellanville, South Carolina — two days after the Chili teenager disappeared while on spring break in Myrtle Beach.
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 in there."
Brown says Drexel had a black eye and was being sexually assaulted. And he shared several details with News10NBC never released to the public before.
They were details new to Pleckan as well. She now lives in North Carolina and spoke to us via FaceTime.
"We’re not sure what we should believe," Pleckan said. "We don’t know what he has to gain from this. He said nothing, but we do have a lot of questions."
Brown says a few days after he first saw Brittanee, he went to visit his cousin Herman at his house in rural Jacksonboro, South Carolina — to show him a car he had just bought.
The home is on a sparsely populated dirt road about 80 miles away from the stash house in McClellanville.
Brown: "When I stopped by to show him the car, she was there."
Brown: "Yes, she was alive. She was at his house."
He returned to Herman’s house a few weeks later and says that’s when he saw a group of men with Drexel — including a man he only identified as "Nate."
"There’s a wooded area on the property line," Brown said. "So we were walking through the path and the shooting took place. Nate shot her with a double-barreled shotgun two times."
Davidsen: "Had you ever heard that name Nate before?"
Pleckan: "I have never heard that name Nate before. It makes me want to question who is this person. There’s a lot of questions I’d like to ask him face to face."
Brown first met with investigators two years ago.
Much of his account is consistent with, and even more detailed than, what the FBI has stated publicly.
We contacted the FBI to find out if they still believe he’s a credible witness. A spokesperson wouldn’t say. However, he did acknowledge they recently met with Brown and say they continue to assess and evaluate all the information they receive and follow up on every lead.
Pleckan hopes the newly released information brings about new leads.
"I hope it will turn up some heat. I think it will be looked into from the FBI and we’re just fighting for justice for Brittanee."
Brown also linked a man named Da’Shaun Taylor to the Drexel case, a man who the FBI said they believed had direct involvement in Brittanee’s kidnapping.
Taylor has not been charged with any crimes related to the case.
His attorney had no comment.