CHILI, N.Y. (WROC) — Justice: sometimes it’s prompt, other times it’s glacial.
“As time went on, it just became apparent this was going to be a very difficult thing to sort through,” says Steven Peglow, a retired investigator for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. He worked on the Drexel case in the first stages of Brittanee’s disappearance in 2009, and for years afterward.
“Everyone that was with her and knew who she had spoken to and what she was doing down there, came back here,” he says.
Police say 62-year-old Raymond Moody is charged with murder, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct for the death and disappearance of Drexel. According to Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver, Moody has an extensive “sex offender criminal history.”
Police in the area recently reported the discovery of human remains, in a wooded area. Those remains were verified to be Drexel’s, via dental records.
Peglow says at least Brittanee’s parents now know what happened to her… the ‘not knowing’, likely the hardest part.
“This is probably not what you hoped for but what you kind of knew would come someday,” he says.
Chili mother Jennifer Santiheo says at least for the Drexel’s, there’s some kind of closure. “The fact that they know what happened to their daughter will bring the parents and the family some comfort,” she says.
Brittanee Drexel applied to the ‘Leaf and Bean’ coffee shop before she went to Myrtle Beach in 2009. Co-owner Katrina Scharvogel says with so many young people working here going on annual spring breaks, they often tell the story of Brittanee.
“But we do really reiterate to the kids that you aren’t invincible, there are bad people out there,” she says adding, “It could be the girl (who) works here, it could be the girl across the street.”
Peglow says he gives law enforcement down in South Carolina a lot of credit for cracking the case and arresting Raymond Moody. It’s been 13 years of false starts and hope.
“And to actually find out now– they found the true one, the real story, not just the one everyone was making to be true, is very good,” he says.