Brittanee Drexel, a missing 17-year-old student from New York, may have been raped, shot to death, and thrown into an alligator pit by a father and son duo.
However, there is no evidence of what truly happened to the young girl; it is a very bizarre case of “he said, she said.” During spring break 2009, Drexel, of Rochester, vanished while visiting Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.
The teenager took the trip against her parents’ wishes because she wanted to vacation in Grand Strand. Since her disappearance seven years ago, her parents and local authorities never stopped searching for her. The police received random tips and what they call “tidbits” and “secondhand information” that all say the teen was abducted and murdered.
However, they never found her body or any evidence that proved her death. Moreover, no suspects had been named in the case. Earlier this year, for the first time, South Carolina authorities and the FBI announced that their investigation had determined that Drexel was indeed murdered.
A court document revealed FBI agent Gerrick Munoz‘s detailed account describing what happened to the teenager. Munoz told the court that an inmate by the name of Taquan Brown told investigators he went to a “stash house” in the McClellanville area around the same time Drexel went missing.
Brown told Munoz he saw then 16-year-old Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor sexually abusing Drexel along with several other men. Brown was recently sentenced to 25 years on a manslaughter charge. Asked what happened to the girl after she was gang-raped, the FBI agent said the inmate told him:
“He spotted others also in the room with the girl and Da’Shaun Taylor, and he kept walking through the house to the backyard to give some money to Da’Shaun Taylor’s father, Shaun Taylor. As the two talked, Drexel ran from the house. She was “pistol-whipped” and taken back inside. Two shots rang out and the inmate assumed Shaun Taylor shot the girl. Then the girl’s body was wrapped up and taken away.”
According to the “jailhouse confession,” Shaun Taylor put Drexel’s body in a gator pit so it would be eaten. Several other witnesses whose identities have not been revealed confirmed to investigators that Drexel’s body was dropped into a gator pit. Munoz said they have searched most of the 40 alligator ponds in the area, in vain. Munoz testified:
“That another inmate corroborated Brown’s account, and told investigators that Taylor had picked Drexel up in Myrtle Beach and took her to McClellanville where she ended up in a sex trafficking situation.”
The content of the FBI agent’s testimony was made public during a bond hearing for Da’Shaun Taylor. Taylor’s attorney, David Aylor, characterized the transcript as “clearly nothing but a squeeze-job designed to pressure him into confessing and helping the government.”
The judge ordered Taylor be released on a $10,000 bail, which his family posted later in the day. At the press conference in McClellanville, South Carolina, Brittanee’s mother, Dawn Drexel, said:
“Brittanee’s life was stolen from her in a brutal and senseless fashion.”
Her father, Chad Drexel, explained:
“We need everyone’s help to bring something from her home to us. We need your help.”
Dawn Drexel added:
“We need your help so we can find Brittanee’s remains and bring her home to lay her to rest and make sure that monsters like this can no longer victimize this community or kill anyone else’s child.”
Taylor’s mom, Joan Taylor, slammed the confession and the FBI agent, who obtained it. She claimed that the government is out to get her son whom she described as a good kid. She also defended her husband by saying he is a hardworking man, who would never commit such a horrendous crime. She said:
“The government is unjustly trying to pin something else on him based on a bogus jailhouse confession. I wanted to just scream and yell. The inmate’s story and the fact that the government is running with is craziness. The crimes my husband and my son have been implicated in are not in our nature.”
The community is outraged by the gruesome suspicions and revelations.