Brittanee Drexel went missing in 2009 while spring breaking in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina with friends. The then 17-year-old vanished without a trace, while her friends and family longed for answers. Earlier this month, an FBI agent told a judge that they believed Drexel was kidnapped, gang raped, shot to death, and then fed to alligators. The break in the case was allegedly a “jailhouse confession,” but the story is still developing.
Here’s what you need to know about the recent developments.
Inmate Taquan Brown said he saw Drexel being sexually assaulted before her death.
On Aug. 15, FBI agent Gerrick Munoz testified in court about a recent “jailhouse confession” from an inmate and other witness statements. Inmate Taquan Brown claims he was there when Drexel was shot, although he did not see it happen, he only heard the shots.
According to People, “Brown told investigators that in 2009, soon after Drexel’s disappearance, he saw Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor with other men allegedly ‘sexually abusing’ her at a ‘stash house’ in the area of McClellanville, South Carolina, Munoz testified.”
From the Daily Mail,
Munoz said that, according to the second inmate, who got the account secondhand, Da’Shaun allegedly managed to get the girl from where he met her in Myrtle Beach back to McClellanville and then ‘showed her off, introduced her to some other friends that were there … they ended up tricking her out with some of their friends, offering her to them and getting a human trafficking situation.’
Brown says that the 17-year-old tried to run from her captors, but was caught. In response, she was pistol-whipped, then two shots were fired. Brown assumed she had been killed by Taylor’s father.
“Then the girl’s body was wrapped up and taken away,” Munoz testified.
Drexel’s remains were allegedly given to nearby alligators.
After her death, Drexel’s captors allegedly wrapped her body up and brought her to one of the 40 alligator ponds in the area.
“Several witnesses have told us Miss Drexel’s body was placed in a pit, or gator pit, to have her body disposed of. Eaten by the gators,” Munoz testified.
Drexel’s remains have yet to be recovered. According to the Daily Mail, authorities have checked 14 out of the 40 ponds thus far, but found nothing.
Charges against Timothy Taylor have yet to be filed.
Munoz’s August testimony happened during a detention hearing for Timothy Taylor, to determine if Taylor should be free while he awaits trial for a 2011 federal robbery charge. However, David Aylor, Taylor defense attorney, stated the obvious: There is no hard evidence in the case and Taylor has not been charged in Drexel’s disappearance or death.
From the Daily Mail,
In part of an effort to get Da’Shaun to cooperate with the Drexel case, he is currently being held on additional charges relating to being the getaway driver for the robbery of a McDonald’s in 2011.
Da’Shaun posted $10,000 bail and was released.
Da’Shaun’s mother, Joan Taylor, told the Post and Courier that authorities are ‘trying to pin something’ on her son. She said the implication that her son and husband were responsible for Drexel’s rape and murder are untrue and ‘not in our nature.’
She said her son lost his arm in a childhood accident, works as a mechanic, and supports a son, daughter, and grandmother.
She said both her son and husband are fed up with the allegations and think they’re ‘crazy.’
However, Drexel’s father believes Taylor had something to do with his daughter’s disappearance.
“Based on evidence the FBI and the Myrtle Beach Police department has gathered, along with facts and specific information gathered from a team of private investigators that I hired to work with local law enforcement actively during the case (which will soon come to light) – we have no doubt Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor played a significant role in the abduction and murder of my daughter,” Chad Drexel wrote in a statement.
He added, “Please keep our family and our Brittanee in your prayers!”