A convicted sex offender who brutally raped and strangled an upstate New York teenager in 2009 pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to life in prison — and heard sharp words from the victim’s mother.
“I hope you suffer in prison for the rest of your useless life,” Dawn Drexel, the mother of Brittanee Drexel, told admitted killer Raymond Moody.
Moody, 62, was arrested in May after Brittanee Drexel’s body was finally found in South Carolina.
Moody had led investigators to Drexel’s body in the woods of Georgetown County, on the coast about 35 miles south of Myrtle Beach, prosecutors said. Moody confessed to the crime in May and again in court Wednesday.
Previously, Moody was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old girl in California in 1983. He served 21 years in prison.
“I was a monster. I was a monster then, and I was a monster when I took Brittanee Drexel’s life,” Moody said Wednesday.
Drexel, a 17-year-old Rochester native, was on spring break in Myrtle Beach when she disappeared on April 25, 2009. She was last seen on security footage that showed her leaving a hotel.
Moody claimed that Drexel voluntarily got into a car with him and his girlfriend, Angel Vause, and the trio traveled to Moody’s campsite in Georgetown County.
Police and Drexel’s family never believed the teenager went voluntarily.
But in his confession, Moody also told police that after Vause left the site, he raped Drexel and strangled her to death. Moody claimed that after the rape, he realized he was looking at another lengthy prison sentence and decided to kill Drexel.
He hid Drexel’s body before Vause returned, then went back to the campsite the following day to bury her, police said. Thirteen years later, Moody led police back to the woods and human remains were found. Dental records confirmed they were Drexel’s.
Authorities said because Drexel’s body wasn’t found for 13 years, they will never know if she was strangled or killed some other way.
Moody pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and rape. An obstruction of justice charge was dropped.
At the hearing, Dawn Drexel said she was proud her daughter fought back. She wore some of her daughter’s ashes in a necklace, local TV station WCSC reported.
“That’s all I have left,” she said. “That’s all we have left after what you did to her.”
With News Wire Services