‘A mother’s worst nightmare’: Arrest in Brittanee Drexel disappearance

Brittanee Drexel (Photo: The Post & Courier)

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WHAM) — Brittanee Drexel would be 30 years old today.

Instead, she’s immortalized as a teenager in the hearts and minds of so many who prayed and searched and shared the story of her disappearance in South Carolina 13 years ago.

On Monday, her parents, Dawn Pleckan and Chad Drexel, and the world learned Brittanee’s body had been recovered, and a man long considered a person of interest is accused of killing her.

Brittanee, who lived in Chili, went to South Carolina for spring break in April 2009. She vanished April 25. She was just 17.

Investigators say Raymond Moody kidnapped, raped, and killer her and buried her body one day after he took her.

Last week, Moody was charged with obstruction of justice dating back to April 25, 2009 – the day Brittanee disappeared. Her remains were found May 11, 2022 by investigators searching a wooded area in Georgetown County.

Now, Moody, a convicted sex offender, has been charged with murder, kidnapping, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Brittanee’s parents thanked law enforcement for their work and the media for keeping their daughter’s case in the public eye.

“This is truly a mother’s worst nightmare. I am mourning my beautiful daughter, Brittanee, as I have been for 13 years,” Pleckan said. “But today it’s bittersweet. We are much closer to the closure and the peace that we have been desperately hoping for.”

“Weighing this all out is tough on a dad, tough on a mother, but having faith and hope is what’s going to guide us through the end result,” Chad Drexel said.

This wasn’t the final chapter for which law enforcement was hoping, Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Brock said.

“Every police officer has that one case. that frequents their every waking thought. This was that case for many people and our time and many agencies throughout this circuit and throughout this state,” Brock said. “We all stayed close with the Drexel family as we exhausted avenue after avenue in this investigation that lasted 13 years and involved many dedicated law enforcement professionals from local, state, and federal jurisdictions.”

Turning to the Drexel family, Brock said, “We will continue to stand with you.”

Brittanee’s family is planning celebrations of life in Rochester and Myrtle Beach at a later time.

Investigators did not divulge how they determined Moody was a person of interest or what led to his arrest. They refused to answer questions from the media.

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