In Spring 2009, Brittanee Drexel went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and never returned to her New York home. Recently, from criminal testimony and new evidence, police were finally able to determine her whereabouts.
A Good Kid
Brittanee Drexel was like many other 17-year-old girls. She was beautiful and had big dreams. The star high school soccer player was looking forward to graduating and continuing her education at cosmetology school. She lived with her parents and siblings in Chili, New York. She also had a long-term boyfriend, John Greico.
Distinct Birth Defect
Unknown to most, Brittanee had a birth defect. She had an eye disease that casts shadows in her eye sight, called Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous. She needed numerous surgeries to control her condition. It was something her mother made known during many press conferences. However, her condition never stopped her and she continued to live her teenage life happily and a little bit on the wild side – including planning that fateful spring break trip.
Lying To Her Mother
Britanne had planned a trip to Myrtle Beach, along with some of her friends for spring break. However, her mother did not allow her to go. Her mother, Dawn, told her she did not know the friends she would be traveling with. Dawn also had mother’s intuition and felt in her gut something could go awry. Brittanee asked her mom if she could go to a friends close by, in Charlotte Beach instead – her mother agreed. Unfortunately, Brittanee had still planned to go to Myrtle Beach all along.
Last Words To Mom
Dawn had figured Brittanee had respected her wishes. Brittanee even called her mother the day she arrived in Myrtle Beach. However, Brittanee kept up the act and told her mom she was at the beach, In New York, and she was going to watch a movie and stay in with her friends later on. The last thing she said to her mother was “I’ll see you tomorrow. I love you.” Brittanee never saw her Mom the next day.
Brittanee did in fact go to Myrtle Beach. Simultaneously, Peter Brozowitz, a club promoter from Rochester, and four of his other friends, also decided to join her. They all were going to stay at the Bluewater Hotel on Ocean Boulevard. The 4 friends, told police they had briefly met Brittanee before, but they did not really know her. The 5 met on the beach for the first time near the hotel.
60 Hour Vacation
Brittanee Drexel was also joined by three of her friends: Jennifer Oberer, Phillip Oberer and Allana Lippa. They were staying in room 301 of the Bar Harbor Resort at the 100 block of North Ocean Boulevard. She was only on her Spring Break vacation for 60 hours before she vanished. A chilling video (still shot below) has surfaced of Brittanee in her room the night before she disappeared.
Left The Hotel And Never Returned
On the night of April 25, 2009, Brittanee left her hotel onto Ocean Boulevard. She was reported to be heading towards a hotel close-by where a friend of hers, Peter, was staying. At 8:15pm, there is surveillance video of Brittanee leaving her hotel (pictured below). At 8:48pm, Brittanee is caught on video surveillance, leaving, her friend’s hotel. According to him, she left the hotel after receiving a text from her friend whose shorts she had borrowed.
Throughout the night, it was reported she had been texting her boyfriend, John. She said she was beginning to feel alienated from her friends, as they were doing drugs. She messaged her boyfriend after she left her hotel, she even texts him about the shorts she borrowed and how her friend wanted them back. She tells him she will most likely pack and go to bed when she gets back to her hotel. He replies with “Why?” A text that is never answered.
Boyfriend Senses Trouble
At 9:03 the last surveillance footage of Britanne is seen walking by a traffic camera. When John’s text of “Why?” goes unanswered he begins to panic. He steadily continues to text and starts to call her. It was very unlike Brittanee to not respond. Now, John is very worried and he decided it was time to tell her mother, Dawn, of Brittanee’s real whereabouts. Her boyfriend and mother get on a plane that night and report her missing to local police.
Last Technological Contact
At 9:27pm, Brittanee’s cell phone pings to a cell tower, in Surfside Beach. Surfside Beach is 7 miles south of Myrtle beach. However, Brittanee’s hotel was north. At 11:58pm, her cell phone pings again to a cell tower once again, south of Myrtle Beach.
Brittanee’s last cell phone ping, at 11:58pm was 50 miles South of Myrtle beach. This was the last time her cell phones pings, which could be due to a removed battery or a turned off phone. As we know, she left the hotel by foot, therefore, she must have been in a car – all signs leading to a suspected abduction.
The Search Begins
After her mother and boyfriend reported her missing, the search for Brittanee began. They searched the area between the two hotels, up and down Ocean Boulevard, and along the beach. Police searched as far as Georgetown and Charleston county. Her family members began to hand out missing flyers. At one point police went to Georgetown High School to questions students after a tip. The police soon began to come up with suspects. The case eventually declared a homicide.
The Search Continues
In the beginning, people looked for Brittanne 11 days straight – from sun up to sundown. For the first 5 or 6 months, there were large search parties of 200-500 people. One weekend , there was an upward of 800 people searching Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas. However, they had no luck. They searched a radius as far as 60 miles, and cadaver dogs were eventually introduced. However, the police eventually gathered enough evidence to have their first “person of interest.”
Peter Brozowitz, the club promoter from Rochester, New York, was one of the first suspects. Borowitz checked out the Bluewater Hotel in Myrtle Beach around 2am, the night Brittanee disappeared. He left behind all of his belongings and his $100 hotel deposit. The day Britanne went missing she had meet Brozowitz and his friends on the beach in the morning and around 8pm in their hotel room – not long before Brittanee vanished.
Peter Says He’s Innocent
After Peter Brozowitz became a person of interest in Brittanee’s case. He quickly reached out to the media to broadcast his innocence. He appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show, and would deny anything to do with Brittanee’s appearance even though he was the last one to see her before she disappeared. Unfortunately, no hard evidence was found and none of the 5 men were charged. Police kept searching for a new suspect.
After some time had passed, information came out that Brittanee was mentally unstable due to a recent depression. Her parents were getting a divorce and she was having a hard time dealing with it. Her mom also had a theory that she could have possibly been lured to Myrtle Beach by a possible modeling job. Brittanne had always wanted to model and due to her vulnerable state she could have been easily convinced.
Brittanee’s mom, Dawn, seemed to have a very intuitive mother’s instinct. Along with modeling, she believed it was possible that the lure of a modeling job was actually a way to catch women to put into human trafficking. Myrtle Beach is a major hotspot for human trafficking hubs. Between 1997-2010, there were 12 documented cases of documented sex trafficking in South Carolina. It could possibly be Dawns worse nightmare.
Person Of Interest Two
After years of searching, the police discovered more evidence and released information about another person of interest, 51-year-old Raymond Moody. Raymond had stayed in a local Georgetown hotel around the same time Brittanee was in Myrtle Beach. Moody also received a traffic ticket in Surfside Beach, the day after Brittanee disappeared.
Why Randy Moody?
Moody is an Adult Tier III Offender who was convicted in 1983 of rape by force, kidnapping and lewd act on a child under 14, among other charges. He was also being looked at by authorities in connection with a 28-year-old missing woman. As he was in the area around the same time Brittanee was on Break, it’s no wonder police began to investigate him.
Unexpected Break In The Case
It has been over 7 years since Brittanee disappeared, but in 2016, information about Brittanee’s case came from an unexpected source. Taquan Brown (pictured below), is currently serving a 25-year sentence for the voluntary manslaughter, from a different case. He came forward with a confession that lead to the shocking discovery of what most likely happened to Brittanee the night she disappeared. FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz corroborated the inmate’s story with other secondhand information he had gathered.
The Disturbing Confession
Taquan Brown told a story that is hard for most people to hear. It begins when he was going to visit a ‘stash house,’ a place where criminals will keep much of their illegal loot: guns, drugs, and money. He said the house was in the McClellanville area of South Carolina. This was the same area where Brittanee’s phone had last sent out a ping in 2009. He continued to tell the last moments of her life.