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Thirteen years after New York girl Brittanee Drexel disappeared while visiting family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, an arrest has been made for her murder.
Sheriff Carter Weaver of the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that a suspect is behind bars for the 2009 murder of 17-year-old Drexel. Convicted sex offender Raymond Moody, 62, is facing murder and related charges, according to the sheriff.
Drexel went to Myrtle Beach in April 2009 and mysteriously stopped responding to messages shortly before she scheduled to return home.
Prior to her disappearance, Drexel messaged her boyfriend and said she was going back to her hotel room at the Bluewater Resort, where she planned to stay for the night before heading back to New York. At around 9:15 p.m. on the same night, all messages from Drexel stopped.
Although Moody was previously identified as a person of interest in the case, he was arrested until last week on obstruction charges. The charges were upgraded Monday.
Investigators previously said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Moody or even name him as a suspect. That changed when Drexel’s remains were found around two miles away from the hotel the suspect had been living in at the time.
“We mourn with you and pray with you as you cope with the tragedies of 13 years ago. No one deserves to go through this, and our heart goes out to you,” Sheriff Weaver said.
Along with Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock, FBI special agent in charge Susan Ferensic, and 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, CrimeOnline writer and the director of Atlanta’s Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, Sheryl McCollum, was in attendance with the victim’s parents at the press conference.
“The Cold Case Investigative Research Institute is honored to be among the invited experts that worked in this important case,” McCollum said Monday. “The remains recovered have been identified as Brittanee. Prayers for her family.”
Moody remains behind bars without bail.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Brittanee Drexel/Handout]