MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Brittanee Drexel’s mother reacts after items were taken from her daughter’s memorial, and city officials are urging the public to not “clean up” public property.

Brittanee Drexel has a memorial tree in Market Common. She went missing while on vacation in 2009, and the tree at Grand Park serves as a memorial for Drexel and her mother said it also promotes awareness to prevent what happened to Drexel from happening to another child.

“Poor Brittanee . . . you know, she didn’t do anything,” said Dawn Pleckan, her mother. “She went missing because a level 3 sex offender killed her.”

Mementos, flags, trinkets and floweres went missing from Brittanee Drexel’s memorial tree over the weekend.

“They need to keep their hands off her memorial tree,” Pleckan said. “We planted it there. That tree was donated to Brittanee back in 2009-2010.”

While city crews have recently cleaned up the area at Grand Park, officials said this time the suspect is unknown.

“We assume that someone saw it, thought it didn’t look nice and decided to clean it up a little bit,” said Mark Kruea, a Myrtle Beach spokesperson. “But the memorial was certainly there with the city’s permission. It is in memory of Brittanee Drexel. The Drexel family is very concerned about it. It meant a great deal for them for those memorial pieces to be there and now they’re gone.”

Pleckan said the memorial serves as a grave site for Brittanee.

“My daughter was in the ground of 13 years, why would I put her back in the ground?”

Pleckan told News13’s Claire Purnell to imagine what it would feel like to have someone steal flowers you left at a family member’s grave, because that is what this feels like for her and the Drexel family.

“Perhaps somebody saw it and did not realize the effect that it had on the community,” Kruea said. “They thought they may have been doing the right thing and it certainly wasn’t, from the family’s perspective, the right thing to do.”

“So, whoever has done this . . . we will find out. Because this would be like someone doing this to somebody’s loved ones grave sites,” Pleckan said.

Pleckan encourages anyone who may know anything about the missing items to contact Myrtle Beach police.

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