GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The remains of Brittanee Drexel were recovered in Georgetown County this month, 13 years after the teenager went missing.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver confirmed that recent law enforcement activity on a rural property in the county was related to the case and that Raymond Moody was, in fact, involved in Drexel’s disappearance.

Drexel was reported missing in 2009 after traveling from New York to Myrtle Beach with friends without her parents’ permission. The FBI later announced in 2016 that she had been kidnapped, taken to the McClellanville area of Charleston County, held for a few days against her will and killed.

Her remains were found on May 11, 2022, and identified using dental records.

Warrants show Drexel died of manual strangulation.

As of Monday’s announcement, Moody has been charged with murder, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct, first degree. He remains in a Georgetown County jail without bond.

The charges are in addition to an obstruction of justice charge, for which he previously received a $100,000 bond. He was arrested on May 4.

Documents later obtained by News 2 revealed the offense date listed for Moody’s obstructing justice charge was listed as the same date Brittanee Drexel disappeared.

Raymond Moody (Georgetown County Detention Center booking photo)

Moody is a registered sex offender in South Carolina, and in 2009, he was convicted of a sex offender registry violation, according to a background check. He was also convicted in 2008 of indecent exposure and public disorderly conduct.

He was convicted in 1983 of kidnapping, rape, and sexual misconduct with a minor in California, according to the background check.

Drexel’s parents, who spoke at Monday’s press conference, thanked the various law enforcement agencies for their efforts over the past several years. “This is truly a mother’s worst nightmare,” said Brittanee’s mother, Dawn Drexel.

They plan to hold a celebration of life for Brittanee in her home state of New York and in Myrtle Beach in the future.

Numerous law enforcement agencies that have been working on the case over the past 13 years were on hand for Monday’s press conference.

THE LATEST: The Brittanee Drexel Investigation

“We’ve confirmed that Brittanee lost her life in a tragic way at the hands of a horrible criminal walking out streets,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, Susan Ferensic.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock called the announcement “bitter-sweet” in regard to locating Drexel’s body and charging Moody with murder and kidnapping.

Previously, Timothy Taylor had been identified as a possible suspect in connection to Drexel’s disappearance. When asked how Moody’s arrest impacted Taylor’s connection to the case, the FBI provided the following statement “in regard to leads in the case in a general sense:”

“Throughout the investigation law enforcement followed multiple leads to wherever they led us based on the information we had at the time.  We have an obligation to follow leads to their conclusion. The person we believe is responsible for Brittanee’s murder has been charged.”

Authorities now say the focus will turn to seeking justice.