A 17-year-old girl, who was once enjoying her spring break at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has been reported missing since April 25, 2009.
That is, until now. More than a decade later, the body of Brittanee Drexel was discovered.
The body was discovered May 11 in Georgetown County, near the original spring break vacation spot where Drexel was last seen, according to a May 16 press conference.
Police used DNA testing and dental records to identify the remains, the New York Post reported.
Drexel was still a high school student when she left her hometown of Chili, New York, with her friends for Myrtle Beach back in 2009.
Drexel was last seen on surveillance video leaving a hotel in Myrtle Beach, according to another Post article.
Brittanee’s mother, Dawn Drexel, commented on the discovery of her daughter’s body.
“This is truly a mother’s worst nightmare,” Drexel said in the press conference.
“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.”
Suspect and sex offender Raymond Douglas Moody, 62, has been arrested in Georgetown, South Carolina, for the murder of Drexel, officials said.
Moody was charged with obstruction of justice, kidnapping, murder and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
The warrant stated that the cause of death was manual strangulation caused by Moody. However, an official cause of death is still pending, according to The Sun News.
Sheriff Weaver spoke out to the Drexels during 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,” Weaver 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.
Dawn said the family is organizing a celebration of her daughter’s life in Rochester, New York, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter. The search for Brittanee is now a pursuit of Brittanee’s justice,” Dawn said.