Thursday marks ten years since Chili teen Brittanee Drexel disappeared while on vacation in Myrtle Beach.
The mystery surrounding Drexel’s disappearance and likely death has continued since she vanished on April 25, 2009.
Drexel had gone to Myrtle Beach with friends for spring break trip. The last known image of the 17-year-old was captured on hotel security video, showing Drexel walking out of the hotel on the day she disappeared.
Since then, despite extensive media coverage and rewards for information in the case, investigators have been unable to determine what happened to her.
“It’s been hell, going through all this the past ten years,” says Dawn Pleckan, Brittanee. “I don’t think it ever gets any better.”
Her family has worked for a decade to figure out where she went and bring anyone accountable to justice.
In recent years, the best leads in the case may come from a jailhouse informant who said he saw Brittanee being held against her will at a home outside of Myrtle Beach by Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor.
The informant said Taylor held, raped, and killed Brittanee at her home before disposing of her body in an alligator-infested swamp. However, police have seemingly been unable to fully verify that account, and Taylor has not been charged in Drexel’s death.
Pleckan says, “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 raped, and murdered my daughter.”
At the same time, Pleckan still suspects there is some link between Brittanee’s disappearance and the friends she went down to Myrtle Beach with.
“I did think that there was some involvement with the kids that were back in Rochester because they wouldn’t even talk to me,” explains Pleckan. “But, from what we’ve learned, I think that there is some link to them.”
She adds, “If they were her so-called friends, they would’ve done something to find Brittanee… I mean, they didn’t meet up with us to pass out flyers, to go look for her, to do anything. 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.”
At the end of the day, Pleckan believes someone has some piece of information that could help police solve the case.
She says, “I believe that someone knows what happened to my daughter. They just don’t want to come forward because they’re afraid.”
Thursday night at 11 p.m., News 8 will hear from Brittanee’s father.