MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) Ten years ago Thursday Brittanee Drexel went missing in Myrtle Beach.
The 17-year-old from Rochester, New York, was in Myrtle Beach on Spring Break when she disappeared.
News13’s Nicole Boone met Brittanee’s mother, Dawn Drexel Pleckan, at the Market Common Park in Myrtle Beach, where she planted a tree in honor of her daughter years ago.
“Brittanee was a beautiful, beautiful girl. She had a beautiful soul. Her smile lit up the room,” Dawn said.
But, the room went dark on April 25, 2009, when she learned Brittanee had vanished. “My heart just dropped.”
Frantic calls to Brittanee’s cell phone went unanswered leaving Dawn with this final voicemail greeting to hold onto. Brittanee’s voicemail said, “Hey, it’s Britt! Leave a message and I’ll get back to you soon.”
“When we got to MB, I ended up stopping at a news station, which was Channel 13. And, I went directly on the media in hopes to find Brittanee. You know I thought if I got her name and face out there somebody would see her and maybe call law enforcement.”
Brittanee came to Myrtle Beach with several other teens on Spring Break.
“I did think that there was some involvement with the kids that were back in Rochester because they wouldn’t even talk to me. They didn’t meet up with us to pass out flyers, to go look for her, to do anything,” Dawn said. “They were questioned by the police, and then they headed back to Rochester. And, there was many times that we had seen messages on Facebook and such that they’ll never come back to Myrtle Beach. Why wouldn’t you? What happened? And still to this day we don’t know anything.”
The CUE Center for Missing Persons reports she was abducted while walking outside the Blue Water Inn on South Ocean Boulevard.
The last image we have of Brittanee is from a surveillance camera of her walking into the hotel.
Dawn believes Brittanee was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It’s been hell going through all this the past ten years ”
Since Brittanee’s disappearance there have been countless searches for her, rewards offered, billboards hung, and major social media networking in hopes of finding her. It’s a story that got national attention.
“I believe that someone knows what happened to my daughter. They just don’t want to come forward because they’re afraid.”
Investigators say a jailhouse snitch told them Brittanee was taken to a drug house near McClellanville. The inmate said she was raped and shot to death.
“I believe there is some truth to what he’s saying.”
But, ten years later, Dawn still doesn’t know what happened to her daughter.
“We still have hope, but from what we know about the case, I had to come to the realization, which was very, very difficult, that these people murdered, raped, and murdered my daughter.”
If you have any information about Brittanee’s disappearance, call the FBI at 803-551-4200. The agency offers a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Dawn also hired her own team of investigators right after Brittanee’s disappearance.
She established her own tip line in 2018. That number is 585-420-8472.
The number for CUE Center for Missing Persons is 910-343-1131. The organization’s website can be found here.
The Bringing Home Brittanee Drexel Facebook page can be found here.