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Brittanee Drexel: 5 years missing but the search goes on

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April 25, 2014 marked the fifth anniversary of the day Brittanee Drexel, a then 17-year-old in Myrtle Beach on Spring Break, was last seen or heard from. And even though the case is an old one, authorities say that it still generates leads. One of those leads could be the one that allows investigators to find the missing teen or her remains -- or perhaps provide them with information about what happened that precipitated her disappearance five years ago.

A vigil was held Friday evening on the anniversary, WBTW reported April 25. The event occurred at Grand Park in Market Common near the tree that was planted in Brittanee Drexel's honor.

Brittanee's mother, Dawn, spoke at the vigil: "Every day is like, it doesn't get any better and you know it's still it's still fresh. We're still holding out hope."

Dawn Drexel moved to Myrtle Beach in February, taking on the role of state director for Cue Center for Missing Persons. She has become an advocate for missing persons, turning her personal tragedy into something proactive.

She told WFXB in an interview that she believes her daughter is being held against her will. She also thinks there are people who know something and hopes that they will come forward.

Myrtle Beach Police have kept the missing person case "open and active" due to a steady stream of tips that come in.

Back in February, according to Fox News, a week prior to Dawn Drexel's relocating to Myrtle Beach from her home in Rochester, N. Y., a sex offender was investigated as the prime "person of interest" in not only the Brittanee Drexel case but also that of another woman, a missing 28-year-old woman named Crystal Soles. She, like Brittanee, is presumed dead.

Brittanee Drexel was last seen on April 25, 2009, caught on a surveillance video as she exited the Bluewater Resort in Myrtle Beach. On Spring Break with friends, she had taken the trip unbeknownst to her parents.

A search for Brittanee was conducted in nearby Georgetown County in March. Authorities were reticent with details as to just why they were there but it was disclosed that recent technological innovations had provided new cell phone data that prompted the search.

Dawn Drexel, in her capacity as state director for Cue, helps in searches for missing persons as well as being there to support the families of the missing. Most recently, she has helped provide support for the family of Heather Elvis, who is now presumed dead by Horry County Police. Although her body is yet to be found, Tammy and Sidney Moorer, a couple officials believe killed the 20-year-old, have been indicted for her murder.

Drexel's duties also help her continue with her search for her missing girl, who would now be 22 years old.

“It’s the same as it was the day she left,” Dawn Drexel described for The Sun News the sorrow she feels daily. “I’ll never stop searching for my daughter.”

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