The body of Brittanee Drexel, who disappeared while on spring break in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has been located after 13 years, authorities announced Monday.
During a press conference held by the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Carter Weaver shared the news that Drexel’s remains had been located. Drexel, of Rochester, N.Y., was 17 years old at the time of her disappearance.
Raymond Douglas Moody of Georgetown, S.C., has been charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for the death of Drexel, who was reported missing on April 25, 2009.
Moody has an “extensive sex offender criminal history,” Weaver noted.
Human remains were discovered on May 11 and positively identified by the Georgetown County coroner as Drexel’s through dental records. The findings were later corroborated through DNA testing.
“To the Drexel family, we mourn with you and pray for you as you cope with the tragedies of 13 years ago,” Weaver said. “No one deserves to go through this, and our hearts go out to you. Our only hope is that this finding allows your family to grieve properly for Brittanee.”
Brittannee’s mother Dawn Drexel, who told CNN at the time she had forbidden her daughter to go to Myrtle Beach, called the discovery of her remains “a mother’s nightmare.”
“I am mourning my beautiful daughter Brittanee as I have been for 13 years. But today it’s bittersweet. We are much closer to the closure and the peace that we have been desperately hoping for,” Dawn Drexel said at the press conference.
She added, “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter. The search for Brittanee is now a pursuit of Brittanee’s justice.”