Brittanee was born in Rochester, NY on October 7, 1991 to her mother Dawn. I have never been able to find the name of her biological father, but I don’t think he was on the scene for long, because Dawn married a man named Chad Drexel when Brittanee was a baby. Chad adopted Brittanee and gave her his last name.
“Her biological father was Turkish, and she had a very distinctive look,” her mother said. “Very European looking.”
Brittanee was born with a condition called persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous in her right eye. She had to undergo many surgeries and that eye was eventually rendered blind. As she got older, Brittanee wore contact lenses to cover her eye due to its tendency to wander.
Brittanee had two younger siblings – a sister named Myrisa and a brother Camden.
Chad was in the military and the family moved around a lot when Brittanee was young. They ended up eventually settling in Chili, a suburb of Rochester.
Britanee was said to be a great soccer player and was fast on her feet.
“Her teeth were beautiful, she always looked good,” her mother said. “She shopped at Abercrombie and Hollister.
“She was a size zero zero, then a zero. Everything was perfect, her hair, her make-up.”
“She loved going out to eat,” her grandmother added.
Brittanee was studying cosmetology in 2009 and aspired to be a model.
In 2008, Dawn and Chad split up. Brittannee would have been 16/17. Brittanee had a hard time with the separation. Her grades began to suffer and she struggled with depression. Brittanee continued to live with Dawn but still kept in close contact with Chad.
In April 2009, Brittanee asked her mother if she could go to Myrtle Beach, SC with her friends and boyfriend for spring break. Her mother said no because she didn’t know the other teens that Brittanee would be travelling with.
“I told her I didn’t know the kids, there was no parental supervision, and I told her if she came to Myrtle Beach, something would happen to her,” she said.
Brittanee and her mother fought a lot over this decision. On April 22, Brittanee asked if she could go stay at a friend’s house for a few days to cool down and give them some space from each other. Dawn agreed.
Brittanee instead took the opportunity to travel to South Carolina with her friends behind her mother’s back – a decision that would change the lives of the Drexel family forever.
Her boyfriend didn’t end up going on the trip because of his job. He couldn’t get the time off of work. But he stayed in contact with her via text while she was gone.
The friends she traveled with were Jennifer Oberer, Phillip Oberer and Allana Lippa.
The drive from Chili to Myrtle Beach is around 800miles which is about 13 hours.
They checked into the Bar Harbor Hotel when they arrived. It’s a 2-star hotel that seems to still be operating.
It seems to be very shady:
“My husband and I finally decided to take a much needed mini vacation. We checked in hotel and when we got inside I was disgusted. Broken bathroom door, blood on couch, pee stains under cushions and cocaine residue on table. We went to front desk to complain and were told, we know what goes on in these rooms…as long as you don’t break the TV 🤦♀️ As we chexked out early a drug deal was happening at the front door and we’re refused a refund…RUN! Don’t walk away! DO NOT STAY AT THE BAR HARBOR HOTEL!!!!!”
What they did for the first day or two isn’t really known. I guess they just went to the beach and hung out. Brittanee called Dawn at one point and told her that she was at the beach. Dawn was not alarmed, as she assumed that Brittanee had been referring to Charlotte Beach, a local beach.
On April 24, Brittanee and her friends went to Club Kryptonite in Myrtle Beach – the club is no longer operational and it closed down in the same year that Brittanee disappeared.
Brittanee allegedly knew a club promoter from Rochester who was also in Myrtle Beach, named Peter Brozowitz. “He was a promoter at a club back home [in Rochester],” Dawn said. “He was 20, Brit was 17, and he took her to Club Kryptonite.”
Peter introduced her to four other men at the club – Anthony Schimizzi, Phillip Watson, Keith Cummings and Matthew Abrams.
The following day, Brittanee walked down to the beach near a hotel called the Blue Water Resort which is where Peter and his friends were staying. She did this a few times during her stay in Myrtle Beach.
Her final trip to see Peter was on April 25, 2009. She walked from the Bar Harbor Hotel to the Blue Water Resort at around 8pm. Security cameras at the Blue Water Resort show her arriving. She was carrying a beige purse and wearing a black-and-white tank top, flip-flops and shorts. The cameras captured her leaving around 8:45. I believe Brittanee didn’t stay long as she was having an argument with Jen Oberer via text about a pair of shorts. I think Brittanee had taken Jen’s shorts and Jen was unhappy.
John said he stopped receiving texts from her around 9.15pm. He contacted her friends to see if they had heard from her – which they hadn’t. John became worried and contacted Dawn to let her know that Brittanee was nowhere to be found.
Dawn called Chad, who then called the Rochester Police. They kept texting and calling Brittanee but all communication went unanswered. “We kept trying to call Brit’s cell phone, and nothing…” her mother said.
Brittanee’s final phone pings were late on April 25 and early on April 26, near the Charleston and Georgetown County line – the pings went in a path 50–60 miles (80–97 km) south of Myrtle Beach.
At around 1am on April 26, Peter checked out of the Blue Water Resort.
The formal search for Brittanee started on the morning of April 26th. Myrtle Beach Police found the CCTV footage of Brittanee at the Blue Water Resort and they questioned Peter and his friends.
At the time, Captain David Knipes said “Everybody has been questioned, everybody involved has been questioned. Nobody has been ruled in or out and there are no persons of interest to report.”
Brittanee’s family deposited money into her account, hoping that they would see some bank account activity but there was nothing.
Dawn and Brittanee’s boyfriend John traveled from Rochester to Myrtle Beach. Dawn spoke to the media and said she tried to reach out to Peter for information.
“We had Peter on the phone three or four times asking why he didn’t call the cops, and why he wasn’t out looking for her, and he just said he wasn’t a babysitter,” Dawn said.
Dawn has also said that the other three people Brittanee had been traveling with never tried to help search for her. “I never spoke to them or any of their parents,” she said.
Dawn also spoke about what she thought Brittanee’s motivation for disobeying her and going to Myrtle Beach was. This info is from myhorrynews.com
She thinks Brittanee agreed to disobey her mother “because she was promised something” by somebody.
That might have been a modeling job, her mother thinks.
“Her mental stability wasn’t good,” she said. “I was losing my home, my ex-husband had moved out, and we were going through a divorce. She wanted security and stability.
“Maybe a modeling job … she always wanted to model. Girls can be lured, maybe they were grooming her.”
Monica Caison from the CUE Center for Missing Persons spoke about the search for Brittanee:
“At the onset [when Brittanee went missing], we searched 11 days straight, sunup to sundown, non-stop,” she said.
For the first five or six months, there were large-scale searches every day, with from 200-500 people involved in each one. One particular weekend, there were 800 people looking for Brittanee.’
Over the years, there was a lot of suspicion cast on Peter as it was believed that he was the last person to see Brittanee alive. On May 11, Dawn and Chad appeared with Peter on the Dr Phil show. This was just over two weeks after Brittanee was last seen.
“It’s seems to me that someone took Brittanee. Either she got in the car willingly or may have met somebody here that maybe she trusted that she was hanging out with since that Wednesday when she came down to South Carolina,” Dawn said.
“I don’t feel that Brittanee got hurt, I just have a gut feeling as her dad that she’s run somewhere,” Chad Drexel said.
Peter appeared on the show with his attorney, John Parrinello.
“Peter submitted a DNA sample at the request of Myrtle Beach (police) and there is no possible way that Peter Brozowitz had anything to do with Brittanee’s disappearance,” John Parrinello said.
As the year went on, Brittanee’s case was highlighted on America’s Most Wanted and in People Magazine. It was a very high profile case. She was also featured in an episode of ‘Disappeared’ which aired in 2010.
Dawn ended up moving to Myrtle Beach to continue the search for Brittanee.
In December 2009, campers found sunglasses investigators believed could have been linked to the case. Myrtle Beach Police announced they had three, possibly four persons of interest.
In June 2010, more than one year after she disappeared, Brittanee was honored at her high-school graduation ceremony. Gates-Chili High School gave her an honorary diploma, and invited her family to the graduation. School officials said it was the first honorary diploma issued in Gates-Chili High School history.
In August 2010, the City of Myrtle Beach announced 20 new surveillance cameras would be installed. This action was prompted by Brittanee’s disappearance.
In November, based on an anonymous tip, police searched an area near Charleston, South Carolina. Drexel’s mother, Dawn Pleckan, said it was the 47th search conducted since her daughter disappeared.
In August 2011, the name Raymond Moody first became associated with this case. Police searched Raymond’s former apartment in connection with Brittanee’s disappearance.
In February 2012, police said that Raymond Moody was the primary person of interest in Brittanee’s disappearance. A statement from police said there was no new information to share, and that Moody was “one of many people that we have investigated over the course of this investigation.”
Dawn told News 8 on February 16, 2012 that if police had new information about her daughter’s disappearance, they would have reached out to her. She said they had not done so regarding the Raymond Moody info.
In September 2012, Dawn wrote a letter that she hoped would lead to some tips and info. This letter was released right before what would have been Brittanee’s 21st birthday.
This letter is being written concerning information that I am aware of that surrounds the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel, whom went missing in Myrtle Beach, SC. The past three years have been a heart wrenching experience, and I know someone has knowledge of what happened to my daughter.
On April 25, 2009 I received a call that no mother would ever want to receive, saying that my daughter was in Myrtle Beach and ;the caller could not find her; this is where my nightmare began. My frantic calls to her cell phone the days that followed went unanswered trailing straight to her voicemail.
Once learning the identity of the people she went to South Carolina with on spring break, I began to make calls to them beginning first with Peter. I desperately sought any information from him concerning my daughter’s whereabouts, and his reply was, and I quote, “I don’t know and I am not her babysitter.” I then requested if he could go out and search for her, again his response was negative. He refused to participate in anything concerning my daughter. I called Peter at least six or seven times that night, three different stories were told to me and never did I obtain any truth; I gave up.
As I found out more additional phone numbers of the people from New York Brittanee traveled with I called to no avail, those people would not answer my calls. In my frustration to get someone who could help, I contacted a friend of our family who was in the military hours away and requested of him to go there look for my daughter and to file a missing child report, and he did, immediately; I was already in route from my home with family and friends.
Arriving in Myrtle Beach I learned Peter, a club promoter and his friends had left at 1:00 am to head back to Rochester, New York and that they had been asked to leave the hotel for remarks that were made to one of the hotel employees at the Blue Water Resort. He left his belongings and $100 deposit. Peter arrived in Rochester placing pictures on the Internet of him at barbeque and other fun activities, then he hired attorney, John Parinello. Brittanee had known him for five years and he displayed no empathy or concern of my missing daughter.
The others who Brittanee rode with were still there, leaving two days later upon my arrival, but they only stayed that long due to the police questioning them. Not one person that was with my daughter helped me in any way, not one of them ever contacted me with concern or offered to any help, and not any of the parents of these people to this day have reached out to help or console me in my grief. It was and still remains a hard thing for me to understand, most human beings have compassion for a total stranger, but not this group!
I began to receive calls from my family and friends back in New York that these same people who were the last ones to see my daughter were posting nasty remarks about my daughter and mad because she ruined their vacation. Their slanderous lies and horrible actions only aided the pain I was suffering along with all who love Brittanee Drexel. But that is all they did, they have never told what happened or offered any additional help to my daughter’s investigation, in my opinion. My daughter made mistakes and one of the largest ones she ever made was when she trusted this group of people with her life.
I later found out that the girls in this group of people treated my daughter poorly and by Brittanee’s text messages to her then boyfriend revealed how miserable she really was, Brittanee was also packed that day to leave. My daughter in well lit streets packed with beach vacationers from all over walked from the Bar Harbor to the Blue Water to get a pair of shoes she had left in a vehicle earlier that day. While walking, text messages rung in from Jenn wanting her shorts returned for the outing planned that night. Then there is the infamous camera shot of my daughter entering the Blue Water and exiting, never to be seen or heard from again. My question is when she entered she went to the right, but the elevators were on the left? That has always bothered me because the only thing to the right is the hotel pool area.
Another item that has me concerned is supposedly my daughter went to the sixth floor to retrieve her shoes and that witnesses advised early in the investigation that they were watching the Red Sox Game and eating, but later I found out the game began at 4:10 pm that day ending at 7:45 pm this was way before my daughter went there. They claimed that was factual because Brittanee grabbed some food off a plate of an individual there. Brittanee was seen on the street camera in route to the Blue Water and the times just do not match up, period.
While my daughter was at the beach, her and this group visited a place called Club Kryptonite (now closed down). I fear only what may have gone on and many rumors over time have sent my imagination to some dark corners throughout my daughter’s disappearance. Rumors alone have almost destroyed me at times. The fact that a body has not been found provides me a reasonable strength to press forward.
Did someone pick out my child that night? Did the wrong person notice my beautiful daughter that night? Did a plan devise that night to take my daughter or a plan prior in place? You see, this group of people had visited North and South Carolina before, Brittanee, although she wanted to think she was old enough, she was still just a child, not seeing the danger ahead.
How can my daughter arrive to a place and within sixty hours vanish? There were thousands of witnesses, yet not one person saw if she got into a vehicle, was forced against her will or even noticed her for the most part walking down the main road.
So many questions three years later that remain unanswered, leaving me and my family clinging to the hope that maybe after all the searches, all the media pleas and all the awareness campaigns, just maybe she could be alive? I am told to expect the worst, but how does a mother give up and not look for her child or ask the world to help her look.
Could my daughter be the next miracle story rescued from a human trafficking ring, or found by accident while being held captive by some freak or being used in some sort of sex slavery? Could someone with resources have taken my child on a plane or boat far away from the initial area and that is why no one to date knows anything of her whereabouts? These questions and a hundred more flood my late night thought and dreams.
Over the years I have had to deal with new announcements of what could have happened to my daughter; one year some local persons of interest possibly did something, to a registered sex offender possibility facing a clouded reality that my child may have been murdered. No one can provide me facts, only possibilities. In any story the fact my daughter is missing is horrifying enough; the unthinkable projections eat at me daily. Some days I feel the need to be rescued!
In closing, I have to acknowledge through this horrible nightmare the one good thing is I have met so many wonderful southern community people, those who endlessly search for my child at the CUE Center for Missing Persons, all law enforcement agencies always giving countless hours in Brittanee’s investigations, others that where total strangers, now almost like family (to all I am grateful for). My family and I could have never stayed the coarse with out each little and big act of kindness shown. I have been made aware that “good” still does exist in the world.
But I want and need my child back, I am broken, my family and friends are broken, we linger in a constant trauma of the ugly “unknown” fate of a missing child, my daughter, Brittanee Marie Drexel.
Mother of Missing, Brittanee Drexel
There was not too much movement in the following years. Human remains would occasionally be found and they were always ruled out as belonging to Brittanee.
In June 2016 the FBI held a news conference during which they stated that they believed that Brittanee had been murdered shortly after her disappearance. She had been abducted from Myrtle Beach and taken to somewhere in the vicinity of Georgetown, near where the cell phone pings had ended, before being killed there. The Bureau put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to the resolution of the case.
In August 2016, Charleston Post and Courier named 26-year-old Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor as the man who might have thrown Brittanee’s body into a pit of alligators.
According to the Post and Courier’s reporting, the FBI said an informant told them Timothy held, raped, and killed Brittanee at her home before disposing of her body in an alligator-infested swamp.
Timothy was arrested weeks later on an unrelated robbery charge. His attorneys claimed he was immediately interrogated about Brittanee’s case, but he was never charged in relation to it.
Alot of the alleged info about Timothy and Brittanee came from a man named Taquan Brown.
Taquan said that he had been at a stash-house in McClellanville, SC to give money to Shaun Taylor, Timothy’s father. He said he saw Brittanee run from the house, but she was recaptured. He said he saw Timothy pistol-whip Brittanee, then take her back inside. He then heard two gunshots, which he assumed were the sounds of the young woman being killed. Taquan said he saw a wrapped body being removed from the house, then dumped in one of many alligator ponds in the area.
Another informant also allegedly corroborated the info that Taquan gave. He said that Timothy had picked up Brittanee in Myrtle Beach and taken her to McClellanville, where he showed her off to friends and tried to sell her to them for trafficking purposes.
According to this informant, after Brittanee’s case became so high-profile, Timothy killed her.
Timothy issued a statement to the media, protesting his innocence in regards to Brittanee’s disappearance.
I had no involvement with anything to do with Brittanee Drexel. I don’t know
Taquan Brown and I don’t know why he would call my name. I am being prosecuted again for a crime I already helped them solve and already did my time for, all because some guy in prison is trying to cut a deal. It’s not fair to be charged for the same crime twice and that’s not how our system is supposed
Chad Drexel responded to Timothy’s statement with his own thoughts.
“WITHOUT A DOUBT ……….Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor is a suspect in my daughter’s Disappearance and Murder! My family and I will be following the FBI’s requests to keep specific details in our daughter’s case under wrap until THIS HORRIBLE PIECE OF TRASH goes to Prison for Life. After the guilty verdict, we will be happy to dispel these fairy tales that are being spun by Timothy’s family. It is disgraceful the way this FAMILY and their FRIENDS are supporting and claiming innocence of a ‘PROVEN’ FELON without even looking at the evidence presented and the FACTS surrounding the case.
In March 2018, federal prosecutors announced Timothy failed a polygraph test administered in 2017 regards to Brittanee’s case.
Prosecutors urged a judge to sentence Timothy to up to 20 years in prison, under a plea deal in a robbery case. The defense team claimed federal prosecutors were only pursuing a lengthy prison sentence because of a lack of closure in Brittanee’s case.
In 2019, Taquan Brown launched a lawsuit. He claimed his life was in imminent danger because authorities released his statement about Brittanee’s case to the media.
This info is from rochesterfirst.com:
The suit says the release of Taquan’s testimony to the media “inflames the individuals responsible for Brittanee’s murder hatred for the plaintiff. Plaintiff currently has a $15,000 bounty on his head and currently has a gang, bloods, trying to cash in on that bounty.”
Taquan’s suit was lodged against Assistant US attorney Jim May, FBI agent Jeffery Long, Stage AG Alan Wilson, Jeffery Scott with the gang unit division of the SC Dept of Corrections, Bryan Stirling commissioner of SC Dept of Corrections, and another prisoner.
The suit states defendants publicly called Taquan “snitch” and released his statement to the Post and Courier and WCSC. Brown says he believes “Shawn Taylor” threatened him and his mother’s life in connection to the murder investigation. He was later placed in protective custody.
Taquan alleges the defendants have conspired to violate his civil rights, deny him access to court for his PCR hearing, and deny him equal protection of laws.
Timothy Taylor has been held in prison while awaiting trial on an armed robbery charge. He was accused of being the getaway driver in a 2011 robbery of a fast food restaurant. In December 2019 he was released from prison after he was sentenced to time served. He had spent 319 days in prison awaiting trial. He had been facing up to ten years in prison.
This info is from an article at the time by live5news:
Judge David Norton noted that the only blemish on Timothy’s criminal record is a traffic ticket.
His attorney spoke outside the court following his release about Brittanee’s disappearance:
“There’s been whispers from government agents about that but never a single written accusation that we can respond to,” Chris Adams said.
April 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of Brittanee’s disappearance. Her mother spoke to the media at that time “I believe that someone knows what happened to my daughter,” she said. “They just don’t want to come forward because they’re afraid.”
Around the same time, the FBI said it believed Brittaneel was taken 60 miles outside Myrtle Beach, held against her will for days, and killed. Once again investigators said they believed her body was dumped in an alligator pit. They said their source was an informant.
In 2021, Timothy Taylor’s mother spoke to the media and begged for them to stop associating Timothy with Brittanee’s case. Just to note, I have seen her name reported as both Joan and Joanne. We will go with Joan in this episode.
“Please stop associating him with Brittanee Drexel,” said Joan Taylor.
“It has not been proven that my son did anything with this young lady,” she said.
“We just really appreciate it if you don’t associate him with Brittanee Drexel. He is not here for that and every time you do that you put our family at risk.”
This really seemed to be a case that was growing colder by the day.
More than 11 years after his name first became associated with the case, Raymond Moody confessed to killing Brittanee on May 4, 2022. He had confessed after he turned himself into the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office on an obstruction of justice charge.
Following his confession, Raymond told authorities where Brittanee’s remains could be found. On May 11, police found human remains buried about 4 feet into the ground. They were found in the woods off a gated private drive in Georgetown, SC. Brittanee was identified through dental records and DNA testing.
“This is truly a mother’s worst nightmare,” Brittanee’s mother, Dawn said at a press conference after Brittanee was found.
“I’m mourning my beautiful daughter Brittanee as I have been for 13 years, but today it’s bittersweet. We are much closer to the closure and the peace that we have been desperately hoping for.”
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter,” she said. “The search for Brittanee is now a pursuit for Brittanee’s justice.”
Raymond was charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He told police that he strangled Brittanee on the day she vanished and that he buried her body the next day.
Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver spoke at the press conference:
“To the Drexel family, we mourn with you and pray for you as you cope with the tragedies of 13 years ago,” he said. “No one deserves to go through this and our hearts go out to you. Our only hope is that this finding allows your family to grieve properly for Brittanee.”
Raymond is a creep and a bad guy. Here is a rundown on his criminal history:
- He was sentenced to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from Solano County on Dec. 15, 1983 to serve a 40-year, four-month sentence for sodomy of a child under the age of 14 while inflicting great bodily injury, rape with force/threat of violence, lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 and assault with intent to commit mayhem.
- Moody was released to parole supervision on June 9, 2004 and discharged from parole supervision on June 9, 2007.
- In 2008, he was charged with indecent exposure in Georgetown. That charge was later reduced to disorderly public conduct in court.
- In 2010, he was charged with first offense for failing to register as a sex offender.
- In 2012, Raymond was named as a person of interest in the disappearance of Crystal Soles. Crystal was 28 years old when she disappeared in Andrews, South Carolina, on January 24, 2005. She was last seen at Shaw’s Corner Store. According to her son Mitchell Soles, she had called home moments earlier to ask one of her parents to come and pick her up.
- Crystal’s mom Gail was at work at the time and her father, who was battling cancer, was unable to drive to get her.
- She then insisted she was going to make the short walk home but she never made it back.
- “It was during that walk home that she vanished, or was kidnapped, or whatever happened to her,” Mitchell said.
- As of May 2022, Crystal remains missing and as far as we know, Raymond has not confessed to police about being involved in her case.
Raymond had a long-term partner apparently, named Angel Vause. I have seen some other articles that say he had a ‘cell husband’.
Angel spoke to the media about her shock following Raymond’s arrest:
“I’m shocked, I’m stunned, but I don’t really know that side of him. I know the person he was with me. He was fantastic to me.”
Asked why she stood by him despite the investigation, Angel said: “I mean, they never had anything, dropped everything, let it go.
“So nothing came of it again until a week or two before he was arrested.”
“I’m devastated for the family. I’m so sorry. But like I said, I didn’t know that part of him.
“I would’ve described him as a kind, gentle man who give you the shirt off his back. He loved.”
On May 20, 2022, Timothy Taylor’s family spoke to the media about the updates in the case.
“To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory” said his mother Joan.
“We understand the tragic loss of Brittanee, of her life, and it has changed her family forever. As a mother of three, I truly understand. It pains me to even think about losing a child.”
“The years-long fight against false accusations and the media frenzy that have traumatized us, affecting every aspect of our lives. It has publicly questioned, without reason, our family, our family’s character, and has shaken us to the core.”
“Our family stood by him and consistently spoke out against the false accusations that too often are directed at people who look like us. An age-old story in America. Today, I stand here surrounded by family and close friends and speak on Timothy’s behalf because my son has endured enough.”
The FBI essentially cleared Taylor of his connection with the case in a statement provided to News 2 saying, “Throughout the investigation law enforcement followed multiple leads to wherever they led us based on the information we had at the time. We have an obligation to follow leads to their conclusion. The person we believe is responsible for Brittanee’s murder has been charged.”
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