Weekend search for Drexel and Soles comes up empty

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It has been more than 18 months since New York teen Brittanee Drexel vanished from a vacation on the Grand Strand.

Now, more than 40 searches later - and a heartbreaking ordeal for her family - the case remains unsolved. This weekend, search crews ramped up their effort, this time in Charleston County.

The agency that set up this weekend's searches says they have been planning at least one of them for weeks. But Myrtle Beach Police say there are no new details, evidence or a tip that was the catalyst for the search, just one more attempt to find closure for two families.

As the search for answers continues, two cold cases remain unsolved.

Crystal Soles, 28, last seen in 2005 and 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel - missing since April 2009.

This weekend, more than 50 volunteers fought through the brush, scouring the woods, searching for some sign of either woman in Charleston County.

Brittanee's Mom, Dawn, has missed only one out of the 48 searches for her daughter.

"I always come down here for Brittanee's searches. When I come down here, I feel closer to Brittanee," says Dawn Drexel.

Saturday's search was dedicated to Crystal Soles, who was last seen in Andrews. And Sunday, for Brittanee Drexel, the missing teenager who seemingly vanished into thin air on a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach.

While questions circulate that new evidence brought the search to this specific location in McClellanville, Myrtle Beach Police say that's not the case which is one reason why they didn't participate in Sunday's search.

"We informed them there was no new information, no new tips coming in and there was nothing we needed from them."

The CUE Center for Missing Persons say the search areas for Soles and Drexel overlap, and this time were less than 20 miles away from each other.

A spokesperson says anytime they're searching for either woman, they'll exhaust the efforts on both cases before packing up.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the anonymous tip line, Crime Stoppers. That number is 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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