AP

NY teen found dead after 13 years; SC sex offender charged

May 16, 2022, 12:39 PM | Updated: 1:15 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The body of a 17-year-old girl from New York who disappeared while visiting South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach on spring break 13 years ago has been found and a sex offender has been charged with murder, kidnapping and rape, authorities said Monday.

Brittanee Drexel was last seen April 2009 when she was walking between hotels in Myrtle Beach. Her boyfriend, who stayed home in Rochester, New York, became concerned when she stopped answering texts.

Drexel was kidnapped that night by Raymond Douglas Moody, who raped and killed her before burying her body the next day in the woods, Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver said Monday at a news conference.

Drexel’s body was found last Wednesday in Georgetown County, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) down the coast from where she disappeared. The discovery came after a flurry of tips and investigation that included Moody’s arrest May 4 on an obstruction of justice charge.

Investigators remained silent about the break in the case until Monday, when Moody, 62, was charged. Jail records did not indicate if he had a lawyer.

Sheriff Weaver said Moody has an “extensive sex offender history” but did not provide details. Moody is on South Carolina’s sex offender registry for 1983 convictions in California for sodomy by force of someone under 14 and kidnapping, according to State Law Enforcement Division Records.

The sheriff, the Myrtle Beach police chief, the FBI agent in charge of South Carolina and solicitor all said little Monday about what helped them crack the case after 13 years of wild rumors that included stash houses for sexual abuse victims’ bodies to be fed to alligators and rumored links to other missing women.

Arrest warrants said Drexel was strangled the night she disappeared.

Police said dental records backed up by DNA testing confirmed Drexel’s remains had been found last week.

“It’s a good day to soberly be reminded of Brittanee and all that she and her family have had to go through,” Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.

Drexel’s parents made another trip to the Myrtle Beach area this week, but this one was different than the other visits that involved candlelight vigils, media interviews and updates from investigators without answers.

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter The search for Brittanee is now a pursuit of Brittanee’s justice,” said Drexel’s mother Dawn.

She thanked all the investigators who worked to find her daughter.

“This is truly a mother’s worst nightmare. I am mourning my beautiful daughter Brittanee as I have for the past 13 years,” she said.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock was working for the department when Drexel disappeared and said she never forgot the case as she rose through the ranks.

“It’s not the final chapter we had been hoping for,” Prock said Monday. “Every police officer has that one case that frequents their every waking thought.”

___

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

4 hours ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

6 hours ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

1 day ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

3 days ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

3 days ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

NY teen found dead after 13 years; SC sex offender charged