MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Brittanee Drexel went missing during her spring break trip to Myrtle Beach one decade ago, and her mother, Dawn Drexel Pleckan has lived with the pain ever since.
“I can tell you it’s been hell the past ten years. It never goes away; you think about it every single day,” Pleckan said.
According to the FBI, Brittanee was abducted and trafficked in 2009, however, no one has been able to find her since then.
Now Brittanee’s mother fundraises for Brittanee’s Little Angels, a non-profit aimed towards helping victims of human trafficking and families with missing members.
“I want something that can carry her legacy so that no one ever forgets her. You have to remember too, Brittanee was put in a human trafficking situation according to what the FBI came out with back in 2016,” Pleckan said.
The South Carolina Attorney General, Alan Wilson says local human trafficking is more common than one might think.
According to Wilson, the United States is the top human trafficking destination in the world, and South Carolina sits in the top 20 states for trafficking hubs.
“Modern-day slavery is alive and well in South Carolina; it’s alive and well in every state in our country. The good news is that we’re awake and alert to it,” Wilson said.
The Attorney General’s Office established the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force in order to educate the public about human trafficking, provide support to victims and survivors, and prevent future cases.
Since Horry County is ranked in the top five counties in the state for human trafficking, Wilson helped established a regional coalition of the task force, which focuses on trafficking cases in the coastal region.
Kathryn Moorehead, coordinator for the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force says in the past year, they have seen more trafficking cases reported, often times involving children.
“We’re looking at trying to increase the number of services available to those children because as more people become educated on the topic, more and more people are going to be identified as victims,” Moorehead said.
To donate to Brittanee’s Little Angels, click here.
To learn how to join the Coastal Region Human Trafficking Task Force, click here.