For nearly four hours, authorities combed a room at the Sunset Lodge in Georgetown County for evidence regarding a New York teen who was last seen two years ago while on a spring break visit to Myrtle Beach.
A recent occupant of the motel room may be someone identified as a person of interest in the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel, who was 17 when she was last seen leaving a Myrtle Beach hotel on April 25, 2009, Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes said.
“We will not be providing any further information detailing the name of the subject, why we think they may be involved or where we go from here. The search was one of many that we have conducted and there are no arrests expected at this time,” Knipes said in a release.
Members of the Drexel Task Force, which includes Myrtle Beach police, Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division, executed a search warrant Monday morning on Sunset Lodge room No. 22, on U.S. 17 near the Georgetown County Airport.
Authorities at the scene declined to comment on their findings.
SLED crime scene officials carried out a large box of brown paper bags filled with evidence collected from inside the room around 2 p.m. Monday.
Carol Wagner, Drexel’s grandmother, said Monday that the family had not heard anything from police about the search.
“They’re not letting us know anything,” she said as the search was under way. “I’m hoping that my granddaughter’s alive. I’ve had that feeling.”
Wagner and her husband passed out fliers in the area of the motel in the past for her granddaughter, whose 20th birthday would be Oct. 5. Then 17, she came to Myrtle Beach with friends from her home in Rochester, N.Y., without the consent of her parents.
She was last seen leaving the Blue Water Hotel on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. Her case has been profiled on dozens of local and national television shows, billboards and websites.
Nicholas Hardee, who lives in a nearby room in the same building, said he was told last week that police would be there on Monday.
Sunset Lodge officials declined to comment.
Searchers have scoured Myrtle Beach and wooded areas in Georgetown and Charleston counties for clues in the teen’s disappearance.
CUE Center officials have organized dozens of searches with hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement to search for the teen.
The searches began in Georgetown and Charleston counties after officials learned Drexel’s cellphone gave off its last known signal on April 26, 2009, in Georgetown County.