‘I was a monster’: Man pleads guilty to the kidnapping, rape, murder of Brittanee Drexel
GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF/Gray News) - A South Carolina man pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to the murder, kidnapping and rape of 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel.
Appearing in court for the first time, 62-year-old Raymond Moody entered a guilty plea in connection to the case. He told a judge that he understood what he was pleading to and was satisfied with the representation.
During the hearing, Assistant Solicitor Scott Hixson broke down the facts of the case and what led them back to Moody after he was considered a person of interest in 2012.
Drexel was vacationing in Myrtle Beach in April 2009 when she disappeared. She was last seen outside the Blue Water Resort.
Hixson said that advancements in technology helped to track Drexel’s cellphone around Georgetown County, South Carolina.
In April 2022, Moody’s girlfriend Angel Vause spoke with the FBI. She agreed to wear a wire and talk to Moody.
Agents then went to Moody’s home where they executed a search warrant. While they didn’t find any evidence, WMBF reported they had a face-to-face conversation with Moody who agreed to come in and have a sit-down conversation with law enforcement.
On May 5, Moody confessed to law enforcement what happened on April 25, 2009.
Moody said that he and Vause had driven up to Myrtle Beach to party when they saw Drexel walking down the street. He asked if she wanted to party and smoke marijuana. According to Moody, Drexel voluntarily got into the vehicle and he didn’t attempt to hurt her.
Moody said the three ended up at a campsite that Moody had in Georgetown County. Moody told police that he hoped during the course of the night that there would be consensual sex with Drexel.
At some point in the night, Vause left the campsite to attend to a family member. Moody said that’s when he came onto Drexel but she resisted his sexual advances. Moody told law enforcement that’s when he kidnapped and sexually assaulted her.
Moody said he realized he was going to go back to prison for his actions, so he strangled her. He said he put her in a blanket and moved her to some bushes in the area.
Moody said Vause returned to the area and asked where Drexel was. He said he told Vause that friends came to pick the teen up.
At some point in the night, Moody said he took Drexel’s remains to another location and buried them.
Between May 11 and 12, authorities found remains in the Harmony Township area where Moody said they would be. Dental records and DNA analysis confirmed the remains found were Drexel’s.
After hearing the facts of the case, the judge said he accepted Moody’s guilty plea.
Members of Drexel’s family also provided victim impact statements to the judge before making his decision on the sentencing.
Drexel’s stepfather, Chad, tearfully addressed the court where he said that he had hoped that one day she would be found, but now he knows what was done to her 13 years ago.
“Thirteen years later, I find out the horrible and disgusting way she was murdered,” Chad Drexel said.
Brittanee Drexel’s brother, Camdyn, spoke in the courtroom. He was just 5 years old when his sister disappeared. He said she was like a second mom to him and that he is now living for her.
The last person to give a victim statement was the 17-year-old’s mother, Dawn Pleckan, who had tirelessly been the voice in the search for her daughter and called for Moody to spend the rest of his life in a prison cell.
“I hope you suffer in prison for the rest of your useless life,” Pleckan said.
Then finally once the state rested, Moody made a quick statement where he apologized for what he did to Drexel.
“I was a monster. I was a monster then and I was a monster when I took Brittanee Drexel’s life,” Moody said. “I don’t have the words to express how horrible I feel ... I’m very sorry.”
After all the statements were made, the judge sentenced Moody to life in prison for the murder, kidnapping and rape of Drexel.
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