A person was sentenced to life in jail Wednesday after confessing to the 2009 killing of a 17-year-old lady who disappeared whereas on a seaside trip in South Carolina.
Raymond Moody led police to Brittanee Drexel’s physique in Could after advances in know-how helped investigators decide that the teenager’s cellphone was in Moody’s automobile the evening she disappeared whereas strolling alone alongside the Myrtle Seaside waterfront.
Drexel, a highschool scholar from upstate New York, had been celebrating spring break with mates.
Moody, 62, confessed to her killing, saying he’d provided marijuana to Drexel and that she voluntarily went to his campsite 35 miles (56 kilometers) away in Georgetown County. After his girlfriend left, Moody mentioned he tried to have intercourse with Drexel, who refused.
Moody mentioned he then strangled Drexel as a result of he realized he would return to jail as a convicted intercourse offender — he had beforehand been convicted of raping an 8-year-old lady in California.
“I used to be a monster. I used to be a monster then and I used to be a monster once I took Brittanee Drexel’s life,” Moody mentioned in a Georgetown County courthouse after pleading responsible Wednesday to homicide, kidnapping and rape for the teenager’s killing.
Drexel was all the time texting and her boyfriend, who stayed dwelling close to Rochester, New York, started in search of her inside quarter-hour of her disappearance in April 2009, prosecutor Scott Hixon mentioned.
That search went on for greater than a decade. Drexel’s household repeatedly got here to Myrtle Seaside to maintain consideration on the lacking teen. There have been candlelight vigils and police sifted by lots of of false ideas because the case captured the eye of the true-crime group.
Amongst these ideas had been rumored hyperlinks to different lacking girls and wild allegations of stash homes through which sexual abuse victims’ our bodies had been being fed to alligators.
“Some had been excruciatingly sickening intimately on what some individual claimed they did. Legislation enforcement needed to spend a major period of time disproving what I’d name crackpot, actually breathtaking claims,” Hixon mentioned.
Moody’s girlfriend got here to police in 2011 and mentioned she was abused. She knew Moody served 20 years of a 40-year jail sentence for raping a baby in California and mentioned she now not believed Moody’s story that mates picked up Drexel whereas she was gone.
Investigators searched the place Moody was staying and questioned him, however couldn’t collect sufficient proof to cost them.
Then, in 2019, investigators determined to restart their investigation and take a brand new have a look at the proof. Notably, advances in know-how allowed police to pinpoint inside a minute when Drexel’s cellphone went from shifting at a strolling tempo to quick sufficient to be in a automobile.
Initially, investigators had tried to kind by dozens of autos seen on a surveillance digicam across the time the teenager disappeared. Greater than 10 years later, now realizing the precise time Drexel acquired right into a automobile, they had been capable of pinpoint it to an SUV owned by Moody.
When authorities returned to query Moody, this time he confessed, telling investigators he had buried her physique in a wooded space in Georgetown County, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) down the coast from the place she disappeared.
Hixon mentioned investigators might solely go by his model of occasions and can by no means know if Drexel acquired into Moody’s SUV on her personal or was compelled inside. Hixon additionally mentioned that as a result of the teenager’s physique wasn’t discovered for 13 years, they’ll’t know if she was strangled or killed another manner or whether or not Moody abused her in different methods.
Drexel’s household joined prosecutors in asking for the life sentence. They mentioned she was a loving teen, who performed soccer, favored style and was like a mom for her youthful siblings.
Daybreak Drexel wore her daughter’s ashes in a necklace round her neck and instructed Moody he was a serial baby predator who must be particularly ashamed since he had three daughters.
Drexel’s mom mentioned she was proud her daughter fought again, scratching Moody on his head, neck and face earlier than she died.
“I hope you endure in jail for the remainder of your ineffective life,” Daybreak Drexel mentioned.
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