Was Brittanee Drexel Ever Found?

Brittanee Drexel
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Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and assault. Reader discretion is advised.

Hailing from the Rochester area in New York, Brittanee Drexel disappeared on April 25, 2009, while on a trip to Myrtle Beach during spring break. CNN stated that the teenager was on her way to meet friends at another hotel when she went missing. Authorities only found Drexel’s remains in Georgetown County in May 2022 after a sex offender confessed to murdering her.

The killer, Raymond Moody, had been suspect in Drexel’s disappearance from the initial stages of the investigation. However, investigators linked him to the case more than a decade later using improved cell tracking technology, reported WBTW. He eventually confessed to kidnapping, raping, and murdering the 17-year-old. The confessed murderer then led authorities to the location where he buried the victim’s body.

CNN and other sources confirmed that Moody pleaded guilty to all the charges against him. He received a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole on the murder charge. His additional terms were two consecutive 30-year prison sentences for the charges of criminal sexual assault and kidnapping.

Brittanee Drexel’s murder case was chronicled in Dateline NBC’s episode titled “The Last Walk” on Sunday, February 25, 2024.

How was Brittanee Drexel’s killer, Raymond Moody, caught?

According to WBTW, authorities investigated Raymond Moody in connection with Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance during the initial stages. They considered him a person of interest since he was stopped by police for a traffic violation in a beach town near Myrtle Beach one day after the teen disappeared, per Democrat & Chronicle.

However, investigators cleared him after failing to find concrete evidence from the search at his place inside the nearby Sunset Lodge. However, in 2022, they used advances in technology to pinpoint the time Drexel disappeared while walking along the street near Myrtle Beach. Then, using surveillance footage, they once again began investigating Moody. This time, they also focused on his then-girlfriend, Angel Vause.

Investigators then built a case against Raymond Moody’s then-girlfriend, Angel Vause. This led them to the real culprit and details from the night Brittanee Drexel went missing. They persuaded Vause to wear a wire during a conversation with Moody. This would eventually lead the latter to admit his role in the crime.

WBTB stated that authorities, using phone records, the exact moment when Drexel got in Moody’s car at about 9 p.m. The New York Post said that according to Myrtle Beach Online, Moody claimed Drexel voluntarily got into his car with him and his then-girlfriend Vause to smoke marijuana. The three drove to a campground in Georgetown, where he planned to have sex with the teen after Vause left.

Per the outlet, Raymond Moody, a registered sex offender, went into a rage and forced Brittanee Drexel to take off her clothes. He then raped the 17-year-old and strangled her to death. After committing the murder, he took the body to a separate location and buried it in the woods. After confessing to the crime, Moody led investigators to both locations in May 2022. Finally, on May 11, authorities found Drexel’s remains, reported WBTW.

According to the outlet, Moody pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. A judge then sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the murder charge. Moody also received 30 years each on the remaining charges, which he will serve consecutively.

Following the proceedings, Raymond Moody called himself “a monster” for taking Brittanee Drexel’s life. He further said, “And I don’t have the words to express how horrible I feel and how I’ve felt ever since that day, and I’m very sorry.”

Moody remains in prison, serving his lengthy sentence.

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