GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (TCD) -- A 62-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with a 17-year-old’s disappearance and death in 2009.
On Monday, May 16, the Georgetown County Sheriff and other law enforcement officials spoke at a press conference to announce Brittanee Drexel’s remains were located 13 years after she went missing.
Drexel, who hailed from Rochester, New York, was on spring break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when she disappeared on April 25, 2009. FBI agents located Drexel’s remains on May 11, and the Georgetown County Coroner performed an autopsy to positively identify them as the New York teen.
According to Weaver, the suspect, Raymond Moody, has an "extensive" criminal history with sex offenses. Moody was arrested on charges of murder, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, and obstructing justice for concealing and/or disposing of evidence.
WPDE-TV reports Drexel was raped then killed. Her official cause of death remains pending, but the arrest warrant cited by WPDE says she died from manual strangulation. The warrant reportedly says Moody took "overt actions to conceal and/or dispose of evidence of a crime."
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Moody was pulled over by police one day after Drexel went missing and has been considered a person of interest for many years. He reportedly served 21 years in prison for the 1983 abduction and rape of a young girl in California and was suspected in other similar incidents but was never charged.
Drexel reportedly traveled to Myrtle Beach when she was a junior in high school without her parents’ permission. On April 25, 2009, she walked to another resort where her friend was staying but never came home.
At the press conference, Brittanee’s mom Dawn Pleckan said, "This is now a pursuit of Brittanee's justice."