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Remains of 17-year-old girl who went missing in 2009 found in South Carolina, sheriff says

<i>Georgetown County Sheriff</i><br/>The remains of a 17-year-old girl have been found in Georgetown County
Georgetown County Sheriff
The remains of a 17-year-old girl have been found in Georgetown County

By Amir Vera and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

The remains of a 17-year-old girl have been found in Georgetown County, South Carolina — 13 years after she went missing while visiting Myrtle Beach — and a suspect in her death is in custody, officials said Monday.

Brittanee Drexel, from the Rochester, New York, area was last seen on April 25, 2009, on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. She reportedly was on the way to meet friends at another hotel when she disappeared.

Her mother, Dawn Drexel, told CNN at the time she had forbidden her daughter to go to Myrtle Beach, a popular destination for high school and college spring break. The teen went anyway, and after she disappeared Dawn Drexel drove to Myrtle Beach to help authorities in the search.

More than a decade later, the teen’s remains were discovered last Wednesday, Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver told reporters. The county, just south of Myrtle Beach, also is on the Atlantic coast.

“This is truly a mother’s nightmare,” Dawn Drexel said at the news conference. “I am 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.”

The investigation led authorities to a site where they believe a 62-year-old man buried her body a day after she went missing, the sheriff said.

Raymond Douglas Moody of Georgetown is charged with murder, obstructing justice, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, his arrest warrants show.

Authorities said Moody kidnapped and strangled the teen the same day she disappeared.

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter. The search for Brittanee is now a pursuit of Brittanee’s justice,” Dawn Drexel said.

Moody remains in custody. It is unknown whether he has an attorney and CNN was unable to contact family members.

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