Warning: The content in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — “She’s about four feet down,” Raymond Moody said in an interview, confessing to killing Brittanee Drexel.
The video and audio interviews of the confession were released by the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
In the video interview, Moody said he was driving down Ocean Boulevard smoking marijuana when he encountered Drexel. Moody said Drexel commented that the marijuana smelled good and he offered her some.
“She said ‘that smells pretty good’ and I was like ‘yeah, that’s some good pot, you want some?'” Moody said in the interview. “So we chatted a little as I was driving. I was surprised she got in [the car].”
Moody said while he and Drexel were in the car, her phone kept going off, but he never told her she couldn’t answer it.
Moody said they went to a campground in Georgetown County that he was familiar with before he raped and strangled her.
“I made her take her clothes off,” Moody said. “She was cooperative but it was against her will.”
“I started strangling her,” Moody said. “I was in a panic. I didn’t know what to do.”
Moody said he didn’t initially plan to hurt her but “it just happened.”
In the interview, Moody said he left her body under a tree and then later returned and took it to the location where police found her remains, 13 years later.
Moody served 20 years in prison for raping a child in California. He said he thought it changed him, but it didn’t.
“I wish I was different but I wasn’t,” Moody said in an audio interview in April.
Moody was investigated a decade ago but was cleared when nothing of evidentiary value came from the search at his place inside the nearby Sunset Lodge. It wasn’t until this spring with the help of improved cell tracking technology that investigators nailed down their entry point into the case.
Investigators built a case against Moody’s girlfriend, Angel Vause, and then got Moody to take responsibility.
Prosecutors said there was enough to charge Vause with being an accessory, but they chose to focus on Moody instead.
“A lot of times as law enforcement…you have to make a deal with the getaway driver to get the armed robber,” 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said at a news conference following the sentencing. “I don’t mean to minimize this. She’s got more to do. She would’ve been an accessory, but we had to proffer Angel.”
Prosecutors don’t believe Vause was there for the murder, but said she was in the car on the way to Georgetown County from Myrtle Beach.
Drexel, who was from Rochester, New York, disappeared on April 25, 2009, while she was on spring break with friends in the Myrtle Beach area. Authorities said her cell phone last pinged that day near the Charleston and Georgetown county line.
Her remains were found on May 11 in a wooded area along Old Town Avenue in Harmony Township in Georgetown County.
Moody pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was given a life sentence on the murder charge and 30 years each on the remaining charges, which the judge ordered to be served consecutively.
Moody was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice on May 4 in Georgetown County, but he initially was named a person of interest in her disappearance in August 2011. That charge was dropped at the hearing.
Authorities announced additional charges on May 16 after saying that Drexel’s remains had been identified.