Motel room searched in connection with Brittanee Drexel disappearance

Authorities search a motel room on Highway 17 in connection with the case of NY teen Brittanee Drexel, who disappeared in MB in 2009.

The search for missing New York state teenager Brittanee Drexel brought investigators to a motel just south of Georgetown Monday.

Drexel was last seen leaving the Blue Water Resort in Myrtle Beach on April 25, 2009.

State Law Enforcement Division agents, assisted by Myrtle Beach police and the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, secured apartment 22 at the Sunset Lodge motel.

Myrtle Beach police say they got a tip that a person of interest in the Drexel case may have stayed at the motel, around the time she disappeared.

Police aren't identifying that person of interest, but the motel's owner says Raymond Moody moved into that apartment the day before Drexel disappeared and moved out six months later.

SLED officials confirmed that Moody is a registered sex offender who previously lived at the motel, but they would not say whether he is connected to the Drexel case.

One longtime resident of the motel is baffled about what police may find in the apartment after all this time.

"A couple dozen people lived in there since he moved out, so is there something he left in there that they're looking for?" asked Herbert Knox, who says he's lived at the Sunset Lodge for 15 years.

For several hours Monday, SLED crime scene technicians pulled boxes and bags full of something from the room.

Knox and other residents were told last week that police would be here to search the apartment.

"The landlord comes, 'oh don't worry, they're gonna come in next door, they're gonna rip the place apart, they're looking for blood evidence, any kind of evidence for Brittanee.' I said, OK," said Kelly Brown, who lives in the apartment next door to the one searched by police.

Another woman who recently moved into an apartment at the motel says she has a teenage daughter too, and hopes for a resolution to the case, for the sake of Drexel's family.

"I feel bad for her family and I hope they find her and I hope they find who did it because I wouldn't want no one to take my child away from me, so I know how hard it is," said Janice, who asked NewsChannel 15 not to reveal her last name.

Drexel was 17 when she disappeared. The last known signal from her cell phone was tracked to a location south of Georgetown near McClellanville.

No one from Drexel's family was there for the search at the Sunset Lodge, but her mother said she has hope this search for evidence may turn up something new in the case.

"We're hoping that this is going to bring some resolution to finding Brittanee and bringing her home," said Dawn Drexel.

Family members and search crews have conducted more than 50 searches for Drexel in the two years since she went missing.