Tip reignites search for Brittanee Drexel

By Graeme Moore
Sunday, December 06, 2009 at 7:31 p.m.

Read more: Local, Brittanee Drexel, Myrtle Beach, North Santee River, North Santee Community, Georgetown County, Dawn Drexel, CUE Center for Missing Persons, Horry County, Dive Team, Missing, Abducted

A new tip has reignited the search effort in Georgetown County for missing spring breaker Brittanee Drexel who vanished from Ocean Boulevard in April.

While Georgetown County investigators won't elaborate on the new tip, it was enough to bring in cadaver dogs, special dive teams and search crews.

The efforts began Friday when two cadaver dogs from the CUE Center for Missing Persons were brought in to work an area along the North Santee River.

The dogs, specifically trained to detect human remains, spent a couple of hours on and around a 25-foot dock that juts into the river.

Once those dogs were done working, the CUE Center requested a third and fourth cadaver dog to search the same area, but those dogs didn't arrive until Saturday. Myrtle Beach detectives -- the lead agency in the investigation -- also arrived on Saturday.

The second set of dogs searched the same wooded and swampy area but concentrated around the waters of the same dock which sits in an alcove of the river.

The dogs' work produced further developments which prompted police and searchers to request a dive team, CUE Center found Monica Caison said.

Members of the Horry County Fire Rescue's dive team suited up around 10:30 Sunday morning, and the three divers worked for close to four hours.

Around 11:45 a.m., one of the divers found some sort of hard material that piqued interests among the group of searchers and law enforcement.

No one at the scene could definitively classify what it was, but it will be sent to the Medical University of South Carolina on Monday morning to determine if it is a human bone.

The divers called the search for the day around 3:00 Sunday afternoon, but they are scheduled to return Monday morning.

A native of Rochester, NY, Drexel traveled to Myrtle Beach against her parents' wishes and vanished April 25 from Ocean Boulevard.

She was last seen leaving the Blue Water Resort and was reportedly headed back to where she was staying at the Bar Harbor Hotel.

Myrtle Beach detectives tracked Drexel's cell phone signals from Myrtle Beach to Georgetown County in the first days of her disappearance. As previously reported, the cell phone made a bee line from Myrtle Beach to somewhere near the North Santee Community around the hour Drexel was last seen.

A substantial reward is being offered for any information leading to Brittanee, and detectives are asking for the public's help. Anonymous tips can be phoned in to the Myrtle Beach Police tip line at 843-918-1963.

Tips can also be made by calling the CUE Center for Missing Persons at 910-232-1687.

No comments: