Authorities have finally connected the dots in the disappearance of a 17-year-old who went on a spring break trip her parents had forbidden her from taking.
In 2009, Brittanee Drexel snuck away from her home in Chili, New York, to take a road trip with her friends to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She had told her parents she was just going out for one night, after they said that she couldn't go on the spring break trip, according to the Independent Journal Review. The teen went missing and had not been seen since April 2009.
Brittanee was last seen in a surveillance video from the hotel where she and her friends were staying, the Blue Wave Resort. Her cellphone's last known location was 60 miles south of Myrtle Beach.
The teen's parents, police and the FBI searched extensively for her over the past seven years. Police now say Brittanee was taken from Myrtle Beach to McClellanville, south of Georgetown, South Carolina, and held against her will for a few days before she was killed.
"After seven long years of waiting and praying for the return of my daughter, we know she is not coming home alive," said Dawn Drexel, Brittanee's mother. "Brittanee’s life was stolen from her in a brutal and senseless fashion."
Police had already suspected the teen had been murdered, but had not told her parents until now. Investigators are now trying to find out who kidnapped and killed Brittanee in 2009. Her body has not been found.
The lead investigator for the case said that "there has been an exhaustive amount of evidence in this case. The investigators are certain that this is what happened and I can't give you the exact details on that, but we are certain," according to WPDE.
Police have posted a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.
The girl's parents say they want to find the location of Brittanee's body. "We need your help so we can find Brittanee's remains and bring her home and lay her to rest," said Dawn at a news conference on June 8, asking those with information on the case to come forward.
"Please help us to bring these killers to justice," Dawn said. "Help us to put them in prison where they belong for the rest of their useless lives. They will never again take one of our children away in such a brutal fashion."