Preston Winfrey, my new web guru, was given the honor of selecting my Sunday case this week, and he chose Brittanee Marie Drexel. Her case has been relatively high profile and bears similarities to Natalee Holloway’s: a beautiful high school student with everything going for her goes off to a resort town and is never seen again. She was seventeen and a junior when she disappeared from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 25, 2009. She was from New York and had gone to Myrtle Beach (without parental permission) for spring break.
In 2016, investigators announced they thought they knew what happened to her. The theory is that she was abducted, held against her will and gang-raped for several days. Her abductors planned to sell her into prostitution, but because her disappearance received such widespread publicity, they decided to kill her instead.
This theory is short on evidence, though, and although suspects have been named in the alleged kidnapping, rape and murder, no one has been charged and Brittanee has never been found.
I found this month-old article that talks in detail about several missing persons cases out of South Carolina. I can’t find anything I can usey; in fact, it looks like they used the Charley Project as their main source for some of these accounts. Woodrow Taylor, Shanta Johnson, Andrea Hayslette Brittanee Drexel and Lisa Neugent are mentioned, as well as three cases I don’t have: Cynthia Bullock, Glenn Howlett and Rebecca Slavinsky. No pictures for those three, though.
I found this article that says Brittanee Drexel, who’s been missing for over a year now, will be honored at her high school graduation ceremony on June 23. She was a junior at Gates-Chili High School in Rochester, New York when she went missing, meaning she would have graduated this year. She was enrolled in a vocational cosmetology program and also played on the soccer team.
At the graduation ceremony, Brittanee’s mom will attend and accept an honorary diploma in her stead. I think that’s a really sweet gesture made by her school and her class. I suppose they could have set up some kind of monument for her at the school or planted a tree in her honor or something, but that would seem to imply that they think she’s dead, which is by no means certain.
Authorities have determined that Lisa Mowrey, whom I wrote about earlier, died of “homicidal violence” including head trauma. I can’t say I’m surprised. It seemed pretty unlikely that Lisa, who was only eighteen and healthy, could have died and wound up where they found her by any other way.
They have found the remains of seventeen-year-old Angie Lynn Daley, who’d been missing from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania since 1995. She was a chronic runaway and as a result she wasn’t reported missing for two weeks. Angie’s skeleton was found under unusual circumstances: Jeffrey Eldon Miles, who had been arrested in the case of another missing woman, Kristy Dawn Hoke, lead the cops to Hoke’s body in a wooded area on the morning of April 7. That afternoon, the police found Angie in the same wooded area. She died of head trauma. They are not publicly linking Miles to Angie’s death, though it seems like a hell of a coincidence if he didn’t do it. This article says Hoke’s cause of death was different than Angie’s; she’d been stabbed in the neck and torso.
After quite a long time with little progress reported, the police finally have some leads in the disappearance of seventeen-year-old Brittanee Drexel, who went missing on April 25 last year. She’d sneaked away from her home in New York to party with friends in South Carolina for spring break, and vanished off the face of the earth. Authorities have announced they have three or four persons of interest in Brittanee’s disappearance, people from the area. They don’t believe she’s still alive.
The newspaper the Desert Trail has done an article about three-year-old Laura Bradbury, whom they describe as a “missing child,” although the police say otherwise. Her father has a website about the case and also self-published a book about it. Basically, her family was camping at Joshua Tree National Park in the desert of southern California when Laura, who was three, vanished. This was in 1984. In 1986, some hikers found a skull in the park that they think is Laura’s. Her father thinks otherwise and, if what he says is true, he actually has reason to be suspicious and isn’t just in denial about his daughter’s death. No death certificate has been issued for Laura, and as a result her father cannot claim her remains. He says a current photograph of the skull is not the same skull he was shown in 1986, and also that only one of four DNA tests on the skull matched Laura’s mother’s blood. For me, I think the skull probably is Laura’s and I’m not going to list her on Charley, but it seems the police investigation has had a lot of screwups over the years.
Remember this post?
There’s a classic example of that kind of thing right here. Most of the comments are shockingly insensitive, even cruel. They are either insinuating nasty things about Brittanee, blaming her mother for not supervising her enough, or actually accusing her mother of involvement in her disappearance.
One comment: Usually, parents with missing children won’t even face the thought that their child may be deceased, let alone say it publicly at this early stage of the search. Things don’t add up is right, and it’s with the moms behavior. Um, no. I can guarantee I’ve read a lot more about moms of missing kids than you, and there is no “normal” way for them to act, and some of them do face the worst possibilities even this early on. Other commenters say she must be involved because “she does not seem all that upset” and doesn’t sob hysterically in front of the camera. As if there was some manual on how parents are supposed to behave in these situations!
I don’t know a thing about the Brittanee Drexel case — I usually don’t start following missing person cases until they’re old enough to make my site — but people have no business saying such hurtful things like this in a public forum. Sometimes I just want to find these people and smack them, I swear.