Myrtle Beach police raise awareness during “Missing Persons Month”

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)- For the first time, February is “Missing Persons Month” in Myrtle Beach, and Sunday marks “National Missing Persons Day.”

Myrtle Beach police say they get five missing persons reports each week and currently have three  active cases, with one dating back more than a decade.

Michele Paitsel, with the Myrtle Beach Police Department, works domestic violence and missing persons cases. She said awareness days and months can help shed light on the case and can lead to new details. She also said the department relies on the community’s help.

“We continue to contact the family, we continue to put resources out there in the community to see if anybody has heard anything or knows anything,” said Paitsel.

The three missing people in Myrtle Beach are:

Lakesha Turner. She was last seen by her family in 2006 and reported missing in 2008.

Johnny Brown was last seen on August 12, 2012, when he was staying with family at the Sea Crest on Ocean Blvd. He reportedly has a speech impediment making him difficult to understand.

Police still look for Brittanee Drexel. She was 17 when she disapeared during a 2009 spring break trip to Myrtle Beach. She was last seen outside the Blue Water Resort on Ocean Blvd. and is presumed dead.

“Its hard for the families. It’s hard for the friends, and it’s hard on us because we get in touch with the families and you become emotionally bonded to them too,” said Paitsel.

Myrtle Beach police said they see an increase in missing person reports during tourist season.

“Lately with human trafficking that’s come into play.  A lot more people have been reporting missing persons because of that reason,” said Paitsel.

Police said you do not have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing. As soon as you think someone is missing call police so they can start investigating. 

If you have any information on these missing persons cases call Myrtle Beach police at  843-918-1382 or you can send them a message on their Facebook page.

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