It has been over seven years since 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel disappeared, seemingly without a trace, while on spring break. Since then, her case has captured national attention. No arrests have ever been made in the Brittanee Drexel case, although recent developments have convinced the FBI and even her family that the teen is dead and that the details of her final days and moments were horrific.
Now, the FBI is releasing previously undisclosed details of Brittanee Drexel’s case, reports Fox13Now, as her family struggles to find closure in the aftermath of the unthinkable.
Brittanee vanished from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 25, 2009. That was when she left her hotel and was never seen alive again, at least by her friends and loved ones. Now the FBI is reporting that, according to the teen’s heartbroken mother, Dawn, Brittanee Drexel never had permission to spring break in Myrtle Beach to begin with.
“‘And I told her, I said ‘No, Brittanee.’ She goes, ‘Why? Nothing’s gonna happen to me, mom.”
According to Dawn Drexel, her daughter had been hounding her for permission to go on the trip with her friends for weeks leading up to spring break 2009, but her mother shot her down over and over again. Eventually, Brittanee stopped asking to go to Myrtle Beach and asked instead to visit a friend’s home in Rochester, New York. According to Dawn, her daughter even convinced her mother that her friend’s parent was okay with the plans.
“They had put this person on the phone and I thought I was talking to a parent and I told her she could stay since, you know, it was her spring break.”
However, Brittanee Drexel was lying to her mother; no parent ever spoke to Dawn Drexel. Instead of going to Rochester, Brittanee, and three friends went to Myrtle Beach instead. Up until the last time her mother talked to her on the phone, the very day she vanished, Brittanee Drexel continued to tell her mom that she was in Rochester.
The next morning, Brittanee’s mom got the devastating, unexpected news of her life when her 17-year-old daughter’s boyfriend called both told Dawn Drexel the truth and broke the news.
“He’s like, ‘She’s in Myrtle Beach and they can’t find her.”
Dawn Drexel immediately headed to where her daughter was last seen and got involved in the missing person case. When she, her husband, and family friends got to Myrtle Beach to search, the learned the whole disturbing story but found no sign of Brittanee. The last time she was seen, she was headed from a male friend’s hotel room back to his car to grab some shoes she’d left behind. This was two days after she’d arrived at the spring break destination and done some partying. Brittanee Drexel was caught on security tape headed back to the car, and she was never seen alive again.
Since Brittanee’s disappearance, Dawn has started the Brittanee’s Little Angels foundation to help families of missing/trafficked children.
After Brittanee went missing her cell phone pinged twice after her disappearance, then stopped. For seven years, the Brittanee Drexel case remained cold.
Until this summer. That’s when a federal prisoner by the name of Taquan Brown told investigators that he’d seen Brittanee Drexel’s final moments. Brown, in the midst of a 25-year manslaughter sentence, said that Brittanee had been kidnapped, gang-raped, beaten with a gun, and ultimately shot to death just days after she went missing. According to Brown, Brittanee had been being kept at a human trafficking
“stash house” when he witnessed her murder.
Perhaps even more horrifying, Brown told the FBI that her alleged abductor, rapist, and murderer Da’Shaun Taylor (allegedly the leader of the group responsible for Brittanee Drexel’s fate) dumped her body in an alligator pit to get rid of the evidence.
Despite what FBI agents call the credible testimony of Taquan Brown, 25-year-old Da’Shaun Taylor has vehemently denied any connection to the Brittanee Drexel case, even stating that he has no idea who accuser Brown is.
“I don’t even know the guy.”
Taylor is facing a lengthy federal prison sentence; the only suspect in the Brittanee Drexel case has already been charged with robbery in an unrelated incident, and he has allegedly been offered a reduced sentence if he’ll spill what he knows about Drexel. His attorney says that his client can’t take advantage of the FBI’s deal because he doesn’t know anything about the Brittanee Drexel case.
“Da’Shaun has the ability to get himself out of 10 to life if he could provide information, and he just doesn’t have any information to provide.”
Despite what Taylor and his attorney have stated, investigators have reason to believe that the 25-year-old could be involved in Brittanee Drexel’s murder, reason that goes well beyond the word of an incarcerated source. Reportedly, Taylor’s own father, Shaun, was picked up by law enforcement after he allegedly tried to abduct a young woman from the same spot where Drexel went missing. That incident happened only one year before Brittanee’s disappearance.
While Shaun Taylor was charged for the attempted kidnapping in 2008, the charges were dropped because Taylor had an alibi. Likewise, son Da’Shaun also claims to have an alibi for the time period surrounding the vanishing of Brittanee Drexel.
The FBI admits that, while their jailhouse informant’s story is now being touted by the government as what really happened to Brittanee Drexel, there’s not enough hard evidence to bring Da’Shaun Taylor up on charges in connection with her case. However, FBI Special Agent Mike Connelly says there’s still a lot going on with the case, and he expects that it will eventually be resolved to the family’s satisfaction.
“There’s so much I can’t say about this investigation, and the reason being it’s really at a sensitive point right now. There are people out there who know what happened to Brittanee. We’re going to work as long as it takes until we can solve this case.”
Anyone with any information about the Brittanee Drexel case is encouraged to contact the FBI at (800) CALL-FBI; there is a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.
[Featured Image by Drexel Family/FBI]