Spring Break Trip Turns Into Mom's Nightmare

Brittanee Drexel went missing in Myrtle Beach after taking a trip with friends.

ByABC News
May 1, 2009, 12:11 PM

May 1, 2009— -- A New York mom is desperately searching the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area for her teenage daughter who snuck away with friends for spring break, but has since disappeared.

Brittanee Drexel, 17, was last seen leaving a Myrtle Beach hotel April 25 after visiting with a group of young men from her hometown of Rochester. There has been no activity on her cell phone or her ATM account since. Her friends, all interviewed by police, have since returned home.

Her mother, Dawn Drexel, is now in Myrtle Beach along with Brittanee's father, stepmother and boyfriend handing out fliers bearing her daughter's pictures. Her mother fears the worst.

"I think something has happened to her," Dawn Drexel told ABCNews.com. "I just have a funny feeling. It's not like her to not call her family."

Brittanee Drexel was last seen leaving her hotel about 8:45 p.m. last Saturday. But in the six days since, there has been no activity on her credit cards or her cell phone, save for a signal that was traced to a nearby town around midnight Saturday.

Police say there's no clear answer on whether she's run away and doesn't want to be found or been abducted.

"We can't really get a handle on it," Myrtle Beach Police Capt. David Knipes told ABCNews.com. "It could go either way."

"We have no evidence of foul play," Knipes said. "Could there be? Sure."

Brittanee had asked to go on the trip during her spring break from school with a group of older teens and young adults, but Dawn Drexel said no, sparking a fight between the mother and daughter.

"I just told her 'No, I don't like the idea,'" Drexel said. "I didn't know the people she was going with."

And, Drexel said, she didn't like the idea of her teenage daughter driving down to Myrtle Beach without a parent in tow.

Brittanee, she said, stormed off to a friend's house, saying she needed to cool down. She apparently defied her mother and went with her friends anyway.

Drexel said she heard from her daughter Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but Brittanee never told her she was in South Carolina. On Saturday, Drexel said, Brittanee told her she was at the beach, but since it was 80 degrees that day in Rochester, Drexel figured Brittanee was referring to an area lake.