SLED adds agent to Drexel investigation

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A team of investigators looking to crack the case of a missing New York teen is growing, as the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office calls for help from state law enforcement.

Lt. Neil Johnson, spokesman for the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, said the agency has requested an agent from the State law Enforcement Division to assist with the Brittanee Drexel missing persons case.

SLED spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office made the request last week, and has since had an agent assigned to the case. When asked the purpose of the additional agent, Timmons said the reasons for the extra manpower could jeopardize the case.

The teen, who was 17 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen in the area of 11th Avenue South and 20th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach. Drexel was in the Grand Strand against the will of her mother.

Contact was lost between Drexel and her family in New York on April 25, 2009, the same night authorities said she disappeared. The last signal ping from her cell phone came the next night near the South Santee River.

Since Drexel's disappearance, several search efforts for the teen have been executed from Horry County to Charleston County. Despite the efforts fronted by area police and the CUE Center for Missing Persons, each search effort has fallen short.

Both the Myrtle Beach Police Department and Georgetown County Sheriff's Office have full-time investigators working only on the Drexel case, according to authorities.

In April, authorities publicly pinpointed three or four persons of interest who have all been previously questioned by authorities in connection to the case. Johnson, however, could not confirm a time frame in which the suspects were questioned.

Two of the suspects, according to Johnson, were subjected to lie detector tests. Johnson, however, would not comment on the results of the tests.

"At this time, there is no reason to believe these people [the persons of interest] know Drexel directly," Johnson said.

Myrtle Beach Police Det. Vincent Dorio said the recent advancements in the case  in April developed from a tip, and detectives are confident the information is leading them in the right direction to finding who might be responsible for Drexel's disappearance.

CrimeStoppers of the Lowcountry continues to offer a reward for any information on Drexel's whereabouts. Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Drexel is urged to contact the agency at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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