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.
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.