Name: Brittanee Marie “Britt” Drexel
Age: 17 years old
Last seen: April 25, 2009
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Status: Still Missing
Disappeared: Season 2 Episode 1 “The Secret Journey”
17 year old Brittanee Drexel was last seen in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 25, 2009. She disappeared after sneaking away for spring break.
Brittanee Drexel was born on October 7, 1991, in Rochester, New York, to parents Dawn Drexel and a man of Turkish descent. When she was a toddler, her mother married Chad Drexel, who adopted her.
She had two younger siblings and lived with her family in the Rochester suburb of Chili, New York. In 2008, her mother and step-father separated and filed for divorce. Her parents’ separation affected her academic performance and it aggravated her depression.
At the time of her disappearance, Brittanee was a junior at Gates-Chili High School and played for the soccer team where she was a star player. She studied cosmetology and also aspired to be a model or a nurse. She had a boyfriend of three years, John Grieco.
Brittanee has persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous, a condition that makes her blind in her right eye. She wore blue-tinted contact lenses to keep both eyes looking the same.
In April of 2009, Brittanee told her mother she was planning to travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for spring break with her friends and boyfriend. Her mother refused and they argued about it for days.
On April 22, 2009, Brittanee eventually got permission to go to a friend’s home for a couple of days to calm down. Instead, she left Rochester that night for a trip to Myrtle Beach with three friends, against her mother’s wishes.
On April 23, 2009, Brittanee called her mother upon her arrival at the Bar Harbor Hotel at 1010 North Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She said that she was at the beach with friends, which her mother assumed was at nearby Charlotte Beach in New York State.
On April 24, 2009, Brittanee spent the night out with friends at Club Kryptonite, a local nightclub between US 17 Bypass and 29th Avenue North.
On April 25, 2009, Brittanee spent time with friends around noon on the beach near the Bluewater Resort, another hotel on Ocean Boulevard, before returning to her room.
That evening, Brittanee headed out alone from the Bar Harbor Hotel around 8:00 pm to meet a friend who was staying at Blue Water Resort, about one and a half miles south of the boulevard.
Around 8:45 pm, Brittanee was captured by surveillance cameras leaving the Blue Water Resort. She texted her boyfriend, who stayed in Rochester, saying she was walking back to her room at the Bar Harbor Hotel.
Between 9:00 and 9:15 pm, she suddenly stopped responding to his calls and texts. Brittanee never returned to her hotel room that night and has never been heard from again.
Later in the evening, her mother contacted the Rochester police when all calls and texts to Brittanee’s phone went unanswered.
Brittanee left all her personal belongings in her hotel room, except her beige purse and pink cellular phone.
Police tracked her phone’s last signal to an area along U.S. Route 17 near the Georgetown County and Charleston County line. The signal stopped abruptly on the morning of April 26, 2009.
Police identified the friend Brittanee went out to meet at the Blue Water Resort as Peter Brozowitz, a 20 year old nightclub promoter at a club from the Rochester area. He denied any knowledge of Brittanee’s whereabouts.
On June 8, 2016, the FBI confirmed that Brittanee Drexel’s case is considered a homicide. They revealed their belief that she was held captive in McClellanville for four days before being murdered.
In 2016, Taquan Brown, a recent prison inmate serving a 25-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, claimed that he witnessed Brittanee Drexel’s murder
On April 27, 2009, two days after Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance, Brown went to a “stash house” about sixty miles south of Myrtle Beach in McClellanville, South Carolina, to make a payment to a local drug dealer, Shaun Taylor.
Brown allegedly witnessed a woman matching Brittanee Drexel’s description being sexually assaulted in the house by several men, including 16 year old Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor, the drug dealer’s son.
A few days later, Brown said the men shot and killed Brittanee Drexel when she tried to escape. They wrapped her body and dumped her into an alligator-infested swamp near McClellanville.
Despite Brown’s confession, investigators have not been able to generate any evidence or cooperation from others who reportedly saw Brittanee Drexel. Searches into McClellanville’s alligator ponds and the house where she was supposedly held turned up nothing.
Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor
In 2016, 25 year old Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor was charged with interference of interstate commerce by threat or violence in a 2011 attempted armed robbery of a Mcdonald’s restaurant in Mount Pleasant, where he was the getaway driver.
Taylor was sentenced by a state court to eighteen months of probation, which he completed. However, federal authorities later pursued charges against Taylor for the same armed robbery citing dual sovereignty doctrine, hoping he would talk about Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance.
Taylor maintained his innocence in Drexel’s presumed murder. He denied ever meeting Brittanee Drexel, and also claimed he had never seen Taquan Brown. In March 2018, he took a lie detector test, which he failed.
On December 9, 2019, Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor was sentenced to three years of probation and received no additional prison time. He pleaded guilty to one of the federal charges in exchange for probation.
Taylor has not been charged in connection with Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance.
Foul play is suspected in Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance, and authorities believe she was the victim of a homicide. A $25,000 reward is being offered by the FBI for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.
The circumstances of Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance remain unclear and her case is currently classified as a homicide. Her case remains unsolved.
Caucasian female born on October 7, 1991 with brown hair and blue/green eyes.
At the time of her disappearance, she had blonde highlights in her hair. She is 5’0 tall and weighs 103 pounds.
Distinctive Physical Features:
Brittanee has pierced ears and nose. She wears blue-tinted contact lenses.
Clothing and accessories:
She was last seen wearing a white, teal and gray spaghetti-strap top, black shorts and white or silver flip-flops.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel please contact the Myrtle Beach Police Department at (843) 918-1000, or call the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Resources & Further Information
News & Media Links
Brittanee Drexel Vanished During Spring Break, Will She Ever Be Found? – CBS News 09/09
Family, friends remember Brittanee as soccer star – WMBF 10/10
Waiting for Brittanee Drexel: mother thinks missing daughter was trafficked – My Horry News 06/14
Murdered Teen Brittanee Drexel’s Father: ‘Come Forward If You Have Information’ – People 06/16
FBI Confirms New York Teen Who Went Missing in 2009 Was Likely Held Captive and Killed – People 06/16
FBI: Brittanee Drexel held against her will, killed in South Carolina – WHAM 06/16
FBI agent: Missing teen Brittanee Drexel was kidnapped, shot and dumped in alligator pit – The Post And Courier 08/16
Documents show questions man asked in failed polygraph test in Brittanee Drexel’s case – ABC15 News 03/18
Activist calls on feds to ‘stop the witch hunt’ against man named in Brittanee Drexel probe – The Post and Courier 01/18
Man named in Brittanee Drexel investigation to be released on house arrest – The Post and Courier 08/18
FBI informant speaks with News10NBC; says he witnessed Brittanee Drexel’s murder – WHEC 02/19
Brittanee Drexel case: Jailhouse informant files lawsuit – Democrat & Chronicle 02/19
Supreme Court decision impacts case of man accused of being connected to Brittanee Drexel – WCSC 06/19
Man once suspected in Drexel disappearance to receive no additional prison time on separate charge – WCSC 12/19
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