FBI expand search to Georgetown county for Drexel case

  • New York teen Brittanee Drexel, went missing while on Spring Break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2009
  • Friday, the FBI expanded their investigation to Georgetown County in SC
  • For years, FBI agents have chased leads that went nowhere to McClellanville, about an hour away, where the last pings of the teen's cell phone were traced
  • Police said they believed she had been held for three days against her will in the area
  • In August, an FBI agent testifying in a bail bond hearing for  Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor implicated him and his father, Shaun, in Drexel's disappearance
  • According to a jailhouse confession by Taquan Brown, who claims he saw her final moments, the teen was gang-raped, shot, and thrown into an alligator pit 
  • Da’Shaun Taylor's mother calls the allegations 'crazy' 

By Kiri Blakeley and Kaileen Gaul For Dailymail.com

Published: 22:52 GMT, 24 March 2017 | Updated: 11:28 GMT, 25 March 2017

The FBI expanded their search in Georgetown County in South Carolina to a wooded area in the case of Brittanee Marie Drexel who was allegedly gang-raped, murdered then fed to alligators.

The 17-year-old from New York disappeared eight years ago while on spring break in Myrtle Beach. No arrests have been made in connection to her disappearance.

The 'investigative activity' was centered around a wooded area near Foxfire Court according to the Post and Courier.

WDPE confirmed FBI Supervisory Agent Don Wood told them there was digging on a 'private piece of property.' 

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Brittanee Drexel was 17 when she vanished after leaving a friend's hotel in Myrtle Beach in April 2009 Brittanee Drexel was 17 when she vanished after leaving a friend's hotel in Myrtle Beach in April 2009

Brittanee Drexel was 17 when she vanished after leaving a friend's hotel in Myrtle Beach in April 2009

Police expanded their investigation in Georgetown County and focused on a small wooded area near Foxfire Court Police expanded their investigation in Georgetown County and focused on a small wooded area near Foxfire Court

Police expanded their investigation in Georgetown County and focused on a small wooded area near Foxfire Court

Brittanee Drexel's mother Dawn Drexel is reportedly waiting 'pins and needles for information Brittanee Drexel's mother Dawn Drexel is reportedly waiting 'pins and needles for information

Brittanee Drexel's mother Dawn Drexel is reportedly waiting 'pins and needles for information

Attorney Brad Conway said the search was pertaining to the Drexel investigation and did not provide details.

Conway told WYFF4: 'Of course we have every confidence in the FBI and the law enforcement working this case, but without knowing more information, Dawn Drexel (Brittanee's mother) is on pins and needles, waiting to find out what they found, if anything, and how this will affect hopefully the eventual prosecution of the people responsible for what was done to her daughter.' 

Drexel, then 17, traveled to Myrtle Beach from Rochester in 2009 with some friends without telling her parents and disappeared without a trace after leaving her friend's hotel on April 25.

In June, investigators said they believed the missing teen was dead, and offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

FBI agents have implicated Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor (left) in a new report that cites a jailhouse confession by Taquan Brown FBI agents have implicated Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor (left) in a new report that cites a jailhouse confession by Taquan Brown
A jailhouse confession by Taquan Brown, who says he saw Brittanee Drexel's final moments, may lead to breaking her case A jailhouse confession by Taquan Brown, who says he saw Brittanee Drexel's final moments, may lead to breaking her case

FBI agents have implicated Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor (left) in a new report that cites a jailhouse confession by Taquan Brown (right) who claimed he saw Drexel's rape and murder (he is in prison on a separate case). Taylor has not been charged in Drexel's disappearance.

In August 2016, an FBI agent gave the first detailed account of what authorities believe happened to the teen, based on an account from an imprisoned man who says he saw Drexel's horrific last moments and made a jailhouse confession, according to the Post and Courier. 

FBI agent Gerrick Munoz said in a report, citing the prisoner's account, that Drexel was being held in a 'stash house' outside of McClellanville, about an hour outside of Myrtle Beach.

Police had previously said they believed that the high school student was held for at least three days against her will near McClellanville, as that is where they traced signals from her cell phone after her disappearance.

Brittanee Drexel (above) went to the hot beach spot with three friends Brittanee Drexel (above) went to the hot beach spot with three friends
The missing teen told her mother she was at a beach in New York The missing teen told her mother she was at a beach in New York

Brittanee Drexel (above) went to the hot beach spot with three friends without her parents knowing - her mom thought she was at a beach in New York

The blonde teen was last seen leaving her friend's hotel where she stayed for ten minutes before leaving and disappearing The blonde teen was last seen leaving her friend's hotel where she stayed for ten minutes before leaving and disappearing
Brittanee Drexel, 17, vanished during a 2009 spring break trip with friends Brittanee Drexel, 17, vanished during a 2009 spring break trip with friends

The blonde teen was last seen leaving her friend's hotel where she stayed for ten minutes before leaving and disappearing 

The inmate who was sentenced to 25 years for voluntary manslaughter told police he knew what happened to the young woman.

Taquan Brown of Walterboro, told agents that he entered a 'stash house' in the days after Drexel's abduction and saw Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor, then 16, 'sexually abusing' her.

Brown said he then went outside to give Da'Shaun's father, Shaun, some money, and saw the girl run from the house, but she was caught and 'pistol-whipped.'

According to Brown, she was then dragged back into the house, and Brown said he heard two gun shots and later saw the girl's body wrapped up and taken away.

Dawn Drexel, mother of Britanee Drexel, speaks to reporters during a news conference in McClellanville, SC on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 Dawn Drexel, mother of Britanee Drexel, speaks to reporters during a news conference in McClellanville, SC on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dawn Drexel, mother of Britanee Drexel, speaks to reporters during a news conference in McClellanville, SC on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas told reporters of a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Drexel's case  FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas told reporters of a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Drexel's case 

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas told reporters of a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Drexel's case 

Munoz said several witnesses said the teen's body had been thrown in an 'alligator pit' and 'eaten by the gators.'

So far agents have not been able to find the girl's remains despite checking 14 alligator ponds. They believe there are about 40 in the area.

Joan Taylor, the wife of Shaun Taylor and mother of Da’Shaun Taylor, says the story implicating the pair is 'craziness' made up by investigators to get her son to confess to the crime.

However, agents say the gruesome account has been backed up by other 'tidbits' and 'second hand information' that have been coming in recently, and by another inmate in Georgetown County.

Munoz said that, according to the second inmate, who got the account secondhand, Da’Shaun allegedly managed to get the girl from where he met her in Myrtle Beach back to McClellanville and then 'showed her off, introduced her to some other friends that were there … they ended up tricking her out with some of their friends, offering her to them and getting a human trafficking situation.'

The teen is believed to have spent her final days around McClannanville as police traced pings from her cell phone to the area The teen is believed to have spent her final days around McClannanville as police traced pings from her cell phone to the area

The teen is believed to have spent her final days around McClannanville as police traced pings from her cell phone to the area

When her case began to receive massive publicity, the alleged abductor felt he had a problem and so she was 'murdered and disposed of' said the FBI agent.

Father Shaun and son Da’Shaun are still just suspects, with no hard evidence against them, reports the Post and Courier.

In part of an effort to get Da’Shaun to cooperate with the Drexel case, he is currently being held on additional charges relating to being the getaway driver for the robbery of a McDonald's in 2011.

Although he had confessed and served his time for that crime, agents hit him with parallel charges. Da'Shaun's lawyer, David Aylor, calls the ploy a 'squeeze job' to get him to admit to the Drexel crime, which his lawyer says he didn't commit.

Da’Shaun posted $10,000 bail  and was released.

Da'Shaun's mother, Joan Taylor, told the Post and Courier that authorities are 'trying to pin something' on her son. She said the implication that her son and husband were responsible for Drexel's rape and murder are untrue and 'not in our nature.'

She said her son lost his arm in a childhood accident, works as a mechanic, and supports a son, daughter, and grandmother.

She said both her son and husband are fed up with the allegations and think they're 'crazy.'

 

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FBI expand search to Georgetown county for Drexel case
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