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A convicted South Carolina sex offender reportedly admitted to the murder of 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel, whose remains were recently found after 13 years of no answers.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Sheriff Carter Weaver of the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that a suspect is behind bars for the 2009 murder of Drexel. Convicted sex offender Raymond Moody, 62, is now facing murder 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.
News 13 reports Moody allegedly confessed to killing Drexel, then told investigators where to find her. Drexel’s remains were found hidden in a wooded area along Old Town Avenue in Harmony Township. Dental records positively identified Drexel, Weaver said.
According to the arrest warrant, Drexel was manually strangled and sexually battered on April 25, 2009, give or take a few days. 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said evidence shows the teen was raped and killed at the Santee River. The defendant then allegedly took her body to Old Town Avenue.
Although Moody was previously identified as a person of interest in the case, he was just arrested last week on obstruction charges. The charges were upgraded Monday to first-degree murder and related charges, the sheriff announced during a Monday press confer4ence
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]