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22 Solved in '22 - Brittanee Drexel aka Firefox Soap Box

Hello. I’m Rebekkah Rosewood and this is Thrice Cursed.

Today I’ll be kicking off a series I’m really proud of. I’m calling it 22 in ‘22. I will be discussing 22 cases solved in 2022. It’s been a passion project since I did the social media series 21 in ‘21 last year. So I’ve decided to end my hiatus with a bang. So join me in celebrating the triumphs, mourning the losses, and seeking the missing. Everyone deserves coverage. No murder victim is any less or more important than another. And while today’s case is more widely known, there will definitely be several that aren’t.

That being said, let’s get into it.

The City of Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation destination in the heart of South Carolina's Grand Strand Coast. Every year they see approximately 19 million visitors who seek out the vast array of activities and 215 days of sun.

From 60 miles of sandy beaches, world-class golf, and various family attractions, it's no surprise that Myrtle Beach is considered the jewel of South Carolina. Which makes it even less surprising that it's a popular destination for East Coast teens looking to celebrate their Spring Break.

In April 2009, a group of teenage friends from Rochester, New York, decided they would join in the fun. 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel was one of those teens. Her mother, however, had other ideas. There would be no parents accompanying the young travelers, and she wasn't very familiar with the kids she would be joining. It sounded like a parent's worst nightmare, and she put her foot down. Dawn Drexel, now Dawn Pleckan, her mother, recalled, "I told her I just felt something was going to happen to her. I just felt it."

17-year-old Brittanee Drexel

The strong-willed teen fought against her mother's decision, but Dawn held firm. Not a chance in hell would her daughter be going. Instead, Dawn allowed Brittanee to spend the night with a friend. They both needed to cool down from the argument, and at least Dawn would know where her daughter was and who she was with.

Dawn later called her daughter, apologizing for "the whole day." That was the night of April 22nd. Brittanee and her mother spoke again on the 25th. Things had cooled off between the two, and the conversation was pleasant. On this call, Brittanee told her mom she was at "The beach" with her friends. Now you may be hearing red flags, but Dawn didn't. "The beach" was what everyone in Rochester called the local lake. On a day that was 80 degrees, it made sense that Brittanee would head to the lake.

They told each other they loved one another and ended the call. This was the last time Dawn would ever speak to her daughter.

Unbeknownst to Brittanee's parents, she hadn't been staying at her friend's house. Instead, she'd met up with her friend group and left for Myrtle Beach. The same night Brittanee last spoke with her mom, she'd gotten together with a friend from her hometown at the Blue Water Resort on Ocean Boulevard in downtown Myrtle Beach.

Security footage of Brittanee Drexel entering the BlueWater Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Security footage later showed her leaving the BlueWater Resort at 8:45 pm. She was alone and didn't appear to be in any sort of distress. Brittanee sent a quick text to her boyfriend back in Rochester. She told him she was walking back to the Bar Harbor Motel, about a mile and a half away. Then, she stopped responding.

Concerned about her sudden silence, Brittanee's boyfriend began contacting the friends she was with. They hadn't heard from her either, saying they'd last spoken to her sometime around 8 pm. Neither her boyfriend nor her friends could get Brittanee on the phone, and he decided it was time to contact Brittanee's mom.

Dawn was caught completely off guard. She and Brittanee's father, Chad Drexel, began calling and texting her repeatedly. But after receiving no response, Dawn called the Rochester police.

By 5 am on April 26th, a family friend who lived nearby in North Carolina was at Myrtle Beach searching for the young girl. The family friend located the group of teens got their accounts of the evening and went to the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

By 6:30 am, Brittanee Drexel was officially entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person.

At first, the authorities weren’t sure what they were dealing with. They looked into the group Brittany had met up with at the Blue Water Resort. Two of the five guys had said Brittanee only stayed about 10 minutes before leaving. She said she had to return some clothing to one of her friends. The group had checked out of their rooms between 1 and 2 am and made the drive back to Rochester. This caused a lot of questions within the Rochester community, but the investigators weren’t sure it meant anything sinister. They felt it was more likely they just wanted to get a head start on the drive back home. It was 16 hours from Myrtle Beach to Rochester, and several had work or school the following day.

Police also considered that Brittanee had recently been prescribed antidepressants following her parent’s divorce. They thought it might be possible that she just needed some time away. She left her belongings behind and took off. But as the days dragged on, it became increasingly evident that this wasn’t the case.

On May 5th, the Myrtle Beach Police Department released security images of Brittanee Drexel provided by the Blue Water Resort. She was seen entering and leaving the hotel wearing black shorts, a printed tank top, and silver flip-flops. She had a purse over her shoulder.

With a flood of tips and reported sightings rushing into the department, Police Captain Knipes conveyed a sense of confidence that the joint efforts by his department, Brittanee’s family, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children would lead to the safe return of Brittanee to her family.

Brittanee’s boyfriend of the time disagreed. He was sure she met with foul play. Perhaps she’d accepted a ride from “the wrong person.” Despite remaining hopeful, Dawn too feared the worst. The same day the security images were released, Dawn said “I seriously think someone took my daughter or she may not be alive.”

The authorities would later reveal that Brittanee’s phone last pinged a tower near the Charleston and Georgetown County line. That information led to a massive search effort that May. Approximately 50 investigators, along with K9 units, searched the boat landing where her phone last placed her. The search, unfortunately, turned up nothing, and the trail went cold. Though no one stopped searching.

In August 2009, digital billboards plastered the Grand Strand, alerting anyone who saw it about the girl’s disappearance. The tips continued to pour in, but it would be two years before any announcements would be made about the case.

In August 2011, it seemed like an answer may have been on the horizon. A man named Raymond Moody was declared a person of interest in the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel. Moody, who was a convicted sex offender, had been pulled over in Surfside Beach for a traffic violation just one day after Brittanee’s disappearance. Surfside Beach is considered a part of the Grand Strand, with the city center only 6.9 miles from Bluewater Resort, where Brittanee was last seen. That’s about a 12-minute drive without traffic. At the time of the traffic stop, there had been no sign of Brittanee. Despite this, a search of Moody’s hotel room was conducted. It seemed nothing came of that search and the case, once again, went cold until 2016.

In June of 2016, the FBI held a press conference, announcing what they thought was their first major case development in years. According to this press conference, it was believed that Brittanee was dead. She’d been an unfortunate victim of sex trafficking after being held at a stash house in McClellanville prior to her murder. But they hadn’t found a body. How could that be?

The answer was simple. She’d been fed to alligators. It is South Carolina, after all. The FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the sex-trafficking murder. They wouldn’t release their source for this new lead until two months later.

In August, it was revealed that the tip about Brittanee’s death came from two inmates who insisted that a McClellanville father and son were involved with her abduction and murder. In an effort to make the father talk, the FBI pursued federal charges for a past crime the man had committed. The man maintained his innocence but failed a lie-detector test when questioned about the case. Of course, we’ve known since 2004 that lie detector tests aren’t exactly accurate. So that doesn’t mean too much. A little bit of a spoiler here, but the family would be proven innocent. But because they were publicly named as persons of interest, their lives would be forever changed. Since 2016, the family has received numerous death threats from those convinced of their involvement.

With no proof and nothing else to go on, there would be no movement in the case until March 2017, when the authorities searched a wooded area along a road in Georgetown called Foxfire Court. No information was released about why they searched this area, or what, if anything, they found there.

That brings us to 2022. On May 4th, Raymond Moody was arrested for obstruction of justice and booked into the Georgetown County Jail, and placed under a $100,000 bond.

Eight days later on May 12th, a shocking announcement was released by local authorities. During a search of a wooded area in Georgetown County near the Harmony Township Subdivision, unidentified human remains were discovered.

The announcement remained vague. No details about the search were given. It wasn’t publicly known what led authorities to be searching in that area, or if they were looking for anyone in particular. However, the arrest of Moody just days prior certainly caused a great deal of speculation.

Speculation would soon prove true. On May 16th, just four days after the announcement, the human remains were officially identified as those of Brittanee Drexel. Furthermore, Moody was charged with kidnapping, rape, and murder in connection to her death.

At first, it was unclear what led authorities back to Moody after all these years. But according to the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, Moody turned himself into his lawyer’s office. Though I will admit, I’m still a bit unclear on the matter.

According to WBTV, in April of 2022, Moody’s girlfriend spoke with the FBI following the receipt of information from an informant regarding statements she’d made about Brittanee’s case. Following that interview, a search warrant was executed, and Moody’s home was searched. No evidence was found, but authorities were able to speak with Moody face-to-face. It was during this conversation that he agreed to have a formal conversation with them. Then this source says that Moody confessed to law enforcement on May 5th.

If that’s the case, Moody wouldn’t have turned himself in to the lawyer’s office, and the arrest date of May 4th seems off. I have no clarification, but I wanted to be straightforward about where the research took me. Now we’ll move past my confusion to the confession.

According to Moody, he and his girlfriend –yes, the very same one that the FBI spoke to– had driven up to Myrtle Beach on April 25th, 2009. They were looking to party. Now I’m taking this next part with a grain of salt because I don’t believe this Bitch Fish for a second. But you be the judge.

Moody said that he and his girlfriend saw Brittanee walking down the street, and asked her if she wanted to party and smoke some pot with them. She then voluntarily got into their car. Could you hear the air quotes I put around voluntarily? Because yeah, sure. A teenager got into a car with a 49-year-old man no questions asked. –Granted, his girlfriend being there might have calmed her sense of danger. It’s possible and understandable. But I also think a convicted predator has every reason to lie. Even if they know they’re going to prison.

But I digress. So Moody, his girlfriend, and Brittanee ended up at Moody’s campsite in Georgetown County. At some point during the evening, his girlfriend left Moody alone with Drexel, and that’s when everything went wrong. As you’d expect, the teenager refused the older male’s advances. And the convicted predator wasn’t happy. He kidnapped and sexually assaulted Brittanee, then strangled her to avoid going back to prison.

Knowing his girlfriend would return soon, he wrapped her in a blanket and put her in some nearby bushes. When his girlfriend came back and asked where Brittanee went, he told her that Brittanee’s friends had come to pick her up. Moody later moved Brittanee’s body to the area she would eventually be found by local authorities.

Moody’s girlfriend had actually been interviewed by the authorities in 2011. In this interview, she told authorities that Moody was sexually aggressive with her, saying he’d tell her “better you than someone else.” She also alleged that Moody told her he had at least 12 victims in California. All of which were “of age,” of course. When asked by the investigators why she stayed, she replied that she was afraid Moody would kill her if she spoke to the authorities and that he threatened to “make her disappear like Brittanee did” if she left. That’s pretty damning, but it’s also all allegations that couldn’t be proven. And before we start blaming the girlfriend, we have to look at what this man has done and consider the possibility that everything she’s told the authorities could be true. The most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she tries to leave. That’s a fact.

Now, I’ve mentioned several times that Moody was a convicted sexual predator, and his girlfriend just mentioned victims in California. Let’s get into that. Moody is a tier III sex offender. According to Cornell, this means that he’s a sex offender whose offense was punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, and is comparable to or more severe than the following offenses, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense: aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact against a minor who has not attained the age of 13 years, involves the kidnapping of a minor (unless committed by a parent or guardian), or occurs after the offender becomes a tier II sex offender.

Raymond Moody earned his tier III title for the abduction and rape of seven young girls in California. He was caught in 1983. Not only that, but he was the main suspect in several similar California rape cases. One of his previous victims actually contacted South Carolina authorities when Moody was first announced as a suspect back in 2016. She told them her story, told them to gather her police files, and according to her, the similarity in cases was “uncanny.”

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Moody was sentenced to 40 years and four months for sodomy of a child under the age of 14 while inflicting great bodily injury, rape with force and/or threat of violence, lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, and assault with the intent to commit mayhem. Despite the severity and quantity of his crimes, Moody was paroled after only 21 years. Why he was only sentenced to 40 years, and why he was ever allowed out, let alone early, is beyond me. Personally, I think rape and murder should be equally punishable by law. Don’t agree? I don’t care. If they have to live with what you did to them, so should you. Your victim now has a life sentence to trauma. It’s only fair you get one to prison. But I’ll get off my soap box. Moody was also a person of interest in the 2005 disappearance of Crystal Soles from Georgetown County, though the authorities and Crystal’s mother do not believe he was responsible for her disappearance. Crystal Soles’ case remains unsolved.

As for Moody’s girlfriend, she says she’s going to continue supporting him. The two have been in a long-term relationship for almost 15 years. She said “I’m shocked, I’m stunned, but I don’t really know that side of him. I know the person he was with me. He was fantastic to me.”

At the age of 62, 13 years after the murder of Brittanee Drexel, Raymond Moody pleaded guilty to her rape, kidnapping, and murder. Judge Ferrell Cothran said “You gave up a lot of people’s long-term happiness for your immediate pleasure,” before announcing his sentences. He received life in prison for the murder charge, and 30 years each for the remaining charges of kidnapping and rape, to be served consecutively.

More important than that asswipe and his girlfriend though, is Brittanee.

Brittanee Drexel, Rochester native

Brittanee wanted to get married. She wanted to be a mom, a wife, and have a career. Friends describe her as a “bright, beautiful soul.” Her mother described her as feisty. She left behind two siblings who now have to struggle daily with the loss of their sibling. Her entire family will now be left to forever wonder who Brittanee could have become if only this monster had allowed her to live.

This has been the cursed tale of a pedophile, a fucked up prison system, and a beautiful girl who deserved way better than what she got.

For more cursed content, you can find me at You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at ThriceCursedPod. I no longer have a mailing address, as I recently moved across the country. Hopefully, I will get a PO Box soon, but until then, you can always email me at All of this information and more can be found on my website.

Instead of my usual sign-off, I’ll leave you with Dawn Pleckan’s haunting words from court. “The criminal justice system has failed my daughter, as it continues to fail so many other victims…”


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