The FBI have searched a remote rural location hoping to find clues about the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted, gang-raped, shot and then fed to alligators.
The bureau was searching a rural area of South Carolina on Friday (24 March) in connection to the disappearance of Brittannee Drexel, which occurred almost eight years ago.
Last summer Taquan Brown, who is serving 25 years for an unrelated manslaughter case, testified that Drexel was abducted, gang-raped and then shot dead when she tried to escape in 2009.
Drexel, from Rochester, New York, disappeared while on spring break in Myrtle Beach.
No arrests being made in connection with the girl'sdisappearance.
WDPE, a local radio station, confirmed FBI Supervisory Agent Don Wood told them there was digging on a "private piece of property" near a dirt road.
An FBI spokesman in South Carolina told Fox Carolina that agents were involved in "investigative activity" in Georgetown County.
Drexel was last seen in CCTV footage captured 25 April 2009 leaving the Blue Water Hotel in Myrtle Beach. She did not have the permission of her parents to stay at the hotel.
Brown says Drexel was held in a drug stash house against her will by captors who raped her repeatedly.
Brown added that he saw Drexel being pistol-whipped before claiming he heard two gun shots from inside the house where she was held, before her body was wrapped up and taken away.
An attorney for Dawn Drexel, Brittannee's mother, said his client was notified that a search was taking place for the remains of her daughter.
Attorney Brad Conway told WHEC News that Dawn Drexel was contacted by law enforcement and advised they were investigative warrants being served.
"Other than that, we've been given no other information and we're on standby, as is everybody else right now, to find out what, if anything, they found that would be of value to Brittanee Drexel's murder case," Conway said.
In August 2016, the FBI announced that it is believed Drexel was killed after travelling to the McClellanville area of South Carolina almost 60 miles away.
In June, investigators said they believed Drexel was dead, and offered a $25,000 (£20,000) reward for information leading to an arrest connected to her disappearance
A transcript obtained by the Post and Courier of Charleston stated that Special Agent Gerrick Munoz testified that Brown said that he had visited a property where she was raped by several men.
The FBI agent testified that she was taken to the stash house where one suspect "showed her off, introduced her to some other friends that were ther… they ended up tricking her out with some of their friends, offering her to them and getting a human trafficking situation".
You may be interested in: