The 13-year mystery surrounding Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance in South Carolina appears to have been solved. The 17-year-old went missing in 2009 while visiting Myrtle Beach with friends. Her remains were found last week in Georgetown County and positively identified with dental records. Raymond Moody, 62, has been arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of justice in relation to the case. Here is a timeline of major events related to the investigation of Drexel’s disappearance:
April 25-26, 2009: Brittanee Drexel, 17, is last seen on video surveillance video leaving the Blue Water Resort on Ocean Boulevard. She had gone on a spring break trip without notifying her parents. A friend reported her missing early the next morning.
May 8, 2009: Just weeks after Drexel was reported missing, friends and family come together to hold a vigil on the beach as Georgetown and Charleston officials prepare to search a wooded area based on where the teen’s phone gave off its last known signal.
October 17, 2009: Nearly 100 trained volunteers from law enforcement agencies throughout the Carolinas and Florida spent about 12 hours searching throughout various areas around Georgetown County using Cadaver-sniffing dogs, but nothing was found.
April 2010: Dawn Drexel reveals Myrtle Beach police informed her they’ve identified three or four persons of interest related to the case. A Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputy even suggested they may be close to making an arrest.
January 29, 2011: Search party of about 150 people in Charleston County comb through a three-mile stretch looking for clues related to Drexel’s disappearance. The search didn’t turn up anything, but police said they got new tips in the investigation
April 25, 2014: The five-year anniversary of Drexel’s disappearance is marked by another vigil. Another law enforcement search was conducted, but nothing new was found.
June 8, 2016: The FBI holds a press conference revealing that they are now investigating Drexel’s disappearance as a murder. They believe she was held against her will in McClellanville before being killed. They also announced a $25,000 reward was being offered for anyone who could give them information leading to Drexel’s killer.
July 2016: Timothy Taylor was arrested on federal charges related to a 2011 armed robbery that he had already been convicted of at the state level. Jailhouse informants told authorities they saw Taylor and others sexually assaulting her at a “stash house” in McClellanville. One of the informants alleged Drexel was killed while trying to escape, and her body was dumped in an alligator pit. Taylor’s attorney alleged his client was in school when the informants allegedly saw him commit these crimes.
March 2017: FBI agents and other law enforcement conducted extensive searches through wooded areas and alligator pits in and around Georgetown County. No new information is released on what they did or did not find.
May 25, 2019: An abandoned house in McClellanville on property belonging to the Taylor family burned down. Fire officials explained that there were no apparent signs of arson. However, there wasn't any power at the house at the time. FBI officials declined to say whether the house was the alleged stash house where informants alleged they last saw Drexel.
May 4, 2022: Raymond Moody, 62, was arrested and booked into the Georgetown County Detention Center on obstruction of justice charges. Police declined to answer questions about whether his arrest was linked to Drexel, but the date of offense was later revealed as the day she was reported missing.
May 11, 2022: Authorities searching through a wooded area on the outskirts of Georgetown County reportedly discovered human remains. The remains were identified through dental records as Brittanee Drexel.
May 16, 2022: Officials reveal at a press conference that Moody has been charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct. Warrants released the same day allege he strangled her to death. It is the first and only arrest directly linked to Drexel’s disappearance.