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Nancy Grace

America`s Missing: Brittanee Drexel

Aired January 31, 2011 - 21:00   ET



NANCY GRACE, CNN HOST: Vanished into thin air. Look for her. We just need to find her. So many cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re still looking.

GRACE: So few leads. Missing. Missing person. It`s our duty to find her. Missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The witness seen the suspect on "Nancy Grace."

GRACE: There is a God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Nancy Grace" show was out there for us.

GRACE: Found. Alive. 50 people, 50 days. 50 nights. Just don`t give up.

DAWN DREXEL, MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL: She said, oh, I`m just going to hang out with my friend, we`re going to watch a movie and I told her, I said, well, please give me a call later and she said, OK, mom, and then, you know, I told her, I said, I love you, Brittanee. She says, I love you, mom. And then we hung up the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just one year she was set to graduate high school, had a bright future ahead. Seventeen-year-old Brittanee Drexel headed down to world famous Myrtle Beach to enjoy spring break with her friends, but Brittanee never came back.

DREXEL: If you`re out there, please call us, contact us, we love you. We miss you. We want you to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the night of April 25th, friends say she left the Bar Harbor Hotel to meet friends at another nearby hotel, the Blue Water Resort. Surveillance footage shows Brittanee arriving at the resort and leaving about 10 minutes later. That was the last time anyone saw Brittanee.

DREXEL: Something`s very, very wrong. It`s not like my daughter to not call, even if it was a friend. We were not arguing. She would have called me. She would have called her boyfriend. She wouldn`t have left her clothes at the hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, suddenly a huge search effort unleashed in the area where authorities believe Brittanee`s cell phone gave off its last ping. The heavily wooded area being searched by multiple agencies using ATVs, dogs and horses.

DREXEL: The searches are very physically and emotionally draining. Enough is enough. Someone needs to come forward. Someone needs to tell them what they know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sissy, just please come home. I really want you to come home. I miss her saying sis to me all the time. I miss her being there after school.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I miss her being just around and I just want her back. She`s -- I just want my sister.

GRACE: Every day, 2,300 people go missing in America. They disappear, vanish. Their families left waiting, wondering, hoping but never forgetting. And neither have we, 50 people, 50 days, 50 nights we go live spotlighting America`s missing children, boys, girls, mothers, fathers, grandparents. Gone, but where?

Tonight a 17-year-old high school beauty, a model student, soccer player, vanishes into thin air, spring break, Myrtle Beach. Last seen, leaving one of the resort hotels just steps away from the world famous beach. Grainy surveillance video emerges picturing her leaving the hotel. But the trail goes cold almost immediately.

So what happened to Brittanee? Now, two years later, hundreds converge on a heavily wooded area to search on foot. Horses, ATVs, dogs. Why? This is the area where Brittanee`s cell phone gave its last known signal. Is there a break in the case? To Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session". Hi, Jean, why the search, the recent search?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, they`re not really saying, but Nancy, it was a massive search over the weekend by land, by air, by ATV, by dogs, and it was in Georgetown County where the last pinging of her phone 24 hours after she was reported missing was found, but as far as we know at this point nothing was found over the weekend.

GRACE: You know what, Jean, back me up. Take me all the way back to the very beginning when Drexel goes missing.

CASAREZ: Well, it was April 2009. She wanted to go to Myrtle Beach. And her mother said, no, you can`t go. She lived in Rochester, New York, so she told her mother she was going to go to a little girlfriend`s house. Well, she subsequently went with girlfriends to Myrtle Beach and they were there. She was there in a motel room with her girlfriends. She went out on the evening of April 25th to visit a guy friend that was at a motel down the way along with his four friends. They were just platonic friends. There is surveillance video of her going into that motel. She spent 10 minutes with them, she left. And then there was a text message an hour later at 9:15 saying that she was going to go visit some other friends. She was never heard from after that.

GRACE: To Rupa Mikkilineni on the story, also joining us out of New York. Rupa, what more can you tell me?

RUPA MIKKILINENI, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Right. We know that she left the hotel approximately 8:00 and at 8:00 she had spoken to her boyfriend who was still in Rochester. He did not come with her on this trip, Nancy. We also know that she walked about a half mile to this other hotel where she ended up meeting her friend, as Jean had just said earlier. It`s a platonic friend from Rochester. He`s a guy that`s little bit older than her, his name is Peter Brozowitz. And apparently they met earlier that afternoon at 3:00 p.m. on the beach. Then she left her hotel at about 8:00, walked the half mile to his hotel, met him in his hotel room where he claims that other boys also came into the hotel room. She was there for about 10 minutes. She apparently got into an argument with one of her roommate girlfriends about clothing, got upset and left. Now there is surveillance video showing her leaving that hotel at 8:45.

GRACE: Liz, do we have that surveillance video of her leaving the hotel room? OK, great. Let`s see that surveillance video. There you go. There`s Brittanee Marie Drexel. She`s just 17-years-old, leaving the hotel. There`s the video. Thank the lord they did not roll over the video or have a camera without film in it the way a lot of surveillance videos are. There she is. We know she`s alive at that time. We are taking your calls live. We`re about to be joined by her mother. To Debby in Oklahoma. Hi, Debby.

CALLER: Hello, Nancy, how are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

CALLER: My question is, when she left, is it possible that the manager or any employees there may have known anything about where she might have went or did she say anything to the manager?

GRACE: You know what, that`s a great question. Let`s go out to Brittanee`s mother, joining us is Dawn Drexel out of Rochester, New York. Ms. Drexel, thank you for being with us. I have to tell you that I and our whole staff have been following this case from day one and many a prayer has gone up on behalf of your daughter. What did you learn, Ms. Drexel, from employees there at the hotel?

DREXEL (on phone): Thank you, Nancy, for having us on. We didn`t really get much from the hotel staff. When we got into Myrtle Beach, we went to the police department and the police department asked us to go review the video at the hotel. So we didn`t really talk to anyone when we got there. When we got to the hotel, you know, they told us that we need to leave and we were sent there by the police department. So we --

GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait. Ms. Drexel, who told you needed to leave?

DREXEL: The hotel personnel.


DREXEL: I`m not sure. I don`t think they wanted the publicity there.

GRACE: Really? What hotel was this?

DREXEL: Because we had walked in with quite a few people in which we were told, you know, to go take a look at this video because they had sent someone down there to go ahead and get that video prepared for us to view it, to identify Brittanee.

GRACE: Was this the Blue Water Motel? Excuse me. Was this the Blue Water Motel?

DREXEL: It was the Blue Water Resort, yes.

GRACE: Blue Water Resort. So they didn`t want the scandal of a mother coming to look for their little girl? Well, they`re going to get a little PR tonight because if they sent you packing and told you to leave when you were there to see the surveillance video of your daughter, that`s not a good thing.

DREXEL: No, they told us they were going to call the police. I said, go ahead. The police are the ones that told us to come there.

GRACE: You know, I want to go out to you, Marc Klaas. I don`t know what you went through totally when your little girl, Polly, was taken, but can you imagine the mom, Brittanee`s mother, Dawn, going all the way from Rochester, trying to find her daughter, landing at this Blue Water Resort Motel at Myrtle Beach and then them saying, hey, you know what, you`re causing ruckus. You need to leave.

MARC KLAAS, KLASSKIDS FOUNDATION: Well, actually I know Dawn. I`ve met Dawn on several occasions.

GRACE: I know you do.

KLAAS: And she`s a wonderful advocate for her child. She has made multiple trips between Rochester and Myrtle Beach. She has her own suspicions about what has happened. I think that she feels that there`s not been enough of a law enforcement presence in this case and has come to rely very heavily upon the CUE Center which is a wonderful organization that searches for missing individuals, mostly on the East Coast.

GRACE: Out to the lines. To Tara in Oregon. Hi, Tara.


GRACE: Hi, dear, what`s your question?

CALLER: I was wondering, is there any other surveillance tape that they think could possibly be her, you know, from other businesses and stuff? I see that they have the one that, you know, is kind of grainy and they have the other one in the hotel also. And then I was also wondering if the people that she went to meet, the four gentlemen, have any of them taken polygraphs?

GRACE: Excellent question. Let`s go to Sheryl McCollum, crime analyst, director of the cold case squad, Pine Lake PD, also author of "Cold Case: Pathways to Justice." What do you know, Sheryl?

SHERRYL MCCOLLUM, CRIME ANALYST: I don`t know anything about a polygraph, Nancy, and I agree with her. I think everybody should take one in this case. No question about it. But I do know one of the primary suspects lawyered up pretty quickly so he may not --

GRACE: Which one are you referring to?

MCCOLLUM: The gentleman that was the last one to see her. The young man whose hotel she went to then she left.

GRACE: That`s right. Explain, Jean Casarez.

CASAREZ: Peter, that would be the platonic friend, he was the last one along with his three other buddies to see her. He did get a lawyer. He did cooperate, we understand. Georgetown County officials are saying that there are three to four persons of interest in this case, without naming them. So I guess we could use our common sense in who they`re talking about.

GRACE: Rupa Mikkilineni, I agree with Jane about using your common sense. It`s very clear who they`re talking about, plus when a friend lawyers up, when your friend goes missing you don`t rush out and get a defense attorney unless there`s a problem.

Now, I`m sure the defense attorneys Jason Oshins and Alex Sanchez are going to disagree, but I think a jury would agree. But Rupa, we`re showing a little bit more video surveillance. Let`s see that, again, of her walking down the street. Rupa, is there anymore video surveillance possibly from nearby hotels? They all have video cameras.

MIKKILINENI: Right Nancy, this is a great question. Police have not, in fact, released any other video surveillance. In fact, it could exist. They have gotten other possible sightings of her which they are trying to track down and decide whether or not these are credible sightings.


GRACE: Ms. Drexel, what is your understanding of the last time Brittanee was seen alive?

DREXEL: Well, my understanding was what had happened was she had went over to see a friend of hers in another hotel, and she had gotten a phone call from some girls that she had been staying with and what had happened - - I guess she was wearing a pair of one of the girl`s shorts.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not knowing where she is, who she`s with, how she got there, I mean, it`s heartbreaking. It`s heartbreaking and we want her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel took a trip with friends to Myrtle Beach, April 2009. On the night of April 25th, friends say she left the Bar Harbor Hotel to meet friends at another nearby hotel, the Blue Water Resort. Surveillance video shows Brittanee arriving at the resort and leaving about 10 minutes later. That was the last time anyone saw Brittanee.

GRACE: What did you think when police first showed you this surveillance video of Brittanee?

DREXEL: What they wanted me to do was take a look to see first of all if it was Brittanee. When I saw her profile then it was confirmed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Searches are focused on a wooded area near where Brittanee`s cell phone gave off its last known signal. Multiple agencies, crews on ATVs, horses, dogs, and searches by foot hoping to find the clue that could bring Brittanee home.

DREXEL: My goal is to find out what really happened and also to find her.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. And tonight we`re focusing on a beautiful young girl, like how many other kids in America tells their mom she`s going one place and goes on spring break to Myrtle Beach. She`s never seen again after a very short time on spring break. To Pat Brown, criminal profiler, author of "The Profiler." What do you think, Pat?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, Nancy, this is one of these really difficult cases where a young girl goes out into a public area, vanishes from there and it`s very difficult to determine if it`s because somebody she knows comes up to her or she goes to somebody she knows at some point or whether she was simply grabbed by some stranger in a window of opportunity. That area had issues with that.

As far as I`m looking back, we`re looking at possible serial rapist, serial killer in that area. They have to look at both of these avenues, but I`m curious to why they haven`t been able to narrow it down yet at any point.

GRACE: You know what, I am, too. I`m very curious especially in light of the friend lawyering up. I want to go back to Brittanee`s mother, Dawn Drexel. What do you know about these so-called friends?

DREXEL: Well, I know that these -- Peter -- Brittanee had known Peter probably about maybe four or five years. I think Alana (ph) was over at my house one time and Jen, I have never seen her. Some of the other kids Brittanee was friends with through her boyfriend and also there was quite a few kids down there from her school. But I didn`t know the kids all too well. I mean, they didn`t really come around that much.

GRACE: Out to Monica Caison, founder of the CUE Center for missing persons who organized a search for Brittanee Drexel. Joining us out of Wilmington, North Carolina. Thank you so much for being with us. Tell me about this search.

MONICA CAISON, FOUNDER, CUE CENTER: Thank you, Nancy. Basically we began our search on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. this past weekend. Our initial search efforts, of course, began right after Brittanee disappears and we have searched endlessly for her. But the most recent search was this weekend. We had over 200 people show up each day. We put a lot of variety of resources in this area. We completed 12 miles total and going about anywhere from 750 to 1,500 in-depth in the woods. We completed that task a little bit right at dark on Sunday.

GRACE: And Monica Caison, joining us via Skype from Wilmington, North Carolina. Everyone, this search just went down. Again, explain to us what led you do this particular area of land to search, and please describe the terrain.

CAISON: OK. Well, the area that Brittanee`s cell phone ping, you know, happened at, is a very vast area. It`s a historical area for plantations, so it`s just massive woods and swamped areas. It`s also surrounded by national wildlife parks and preserves. And then you have the Santee River as well which is just infested with gators and wildlife, so there are wild boar, snakes, gators and so forth. In the wintertime it`s not as bad that it was that we were battling in the summer and in the spring.



GRACE: What leads you to believe that Brittanee, your girlfriend, of many years is still alive?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If anybody can survive a situation like this, it would be Brittanee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brittanee was a 17-year-old beauty on a trip to Myrtle Beach with friends when she suddenly vanishes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seen entering the Blue Water Motel around 8:00. Just 45 minutes later she`s seen leaving, the final known image of Brittanee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Searchers including dogs and crews on ATVs have been searching an area near the last signal from Brittanee`s cell phone that night.

DREXEL: All I can think about is that she could be laying dead somewhere. It just, it`s tearing me up inside.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. We are talking about Brittanee Marie Drexel. Back to her mom, Dawn Drexel. Explain to me, she didn`t want you to know she went on spring break, is that what happened?

DREXEL: That is correct.

GRACE: Well, you know, that`s not the first or the last time that thousands of teens across the country do that every spring. They tell their parents they`re going somewhere else and they go on spring break. And what are you going to do? But what I don`t want is people somehow blaming her for what happened because kids do that every spring break since the inception of spring break. That`s not the end of the world. Otherwise she was extremely attentive to you. She called you all the time, was very well behaved, had never run away. Tell me about Brittanee, Ms. Drexel.

DREXEL: Brittanee was -- she was, you know, a very happy teenager. She was an avid soccer player. She`s played soccer since she was about 5 or 6 years old. She liked to hang out with her friends. She loved her family. She was always like a little mom to her sister and brother. I mean, she adored them. And I mean, she was having, you know, teenage issues, you know, just like, you know, normal teenagers do. And you know, around the time when Brittanee had ended up going missing, I was going through a divorce and then on top of that, she was having some issues with her boyfriend.

GRACE: Now, where was the boyfriend during this spring break?

DREXEL: He was in Rochester.

GRACE: So has he been ruled out, Ms. Drexel?

DREXEL: That I`m not sure of. I don`t know. I know that they really didn`t tell us much. I don`t know if he had been questioned or not. I know that they did have some questions for him, but I don`t believe they actually questioned questioned him. You know what I mean?

GRACE: Missing is 17-year-old Brittanee Marie Drexel. Tip line, 843- 918-1382.



GRACE: Vanished into thin air.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just need to find her.

GRACE: So many cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re still looking.

GRACE: So few leads.


GRACE: Missing person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s our duty to find her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The witness seen the suspect on Nancy Grace.

GRACE: There is a God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy Grace show was out there for us.

GRACE: Found. Alive. 50 people, 50 days, 50 nights. Let`s don`t give up.

DREXEL: She said, oh, I`m just going to hang out, and we`re going to watch a movie. And I told her, I said, well, please give me a call later and she said, OK, mom. And then, you know, I told her, I said, I love you, Brittanee. And she says, I love you, mom. And then, we hung up the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just one year, she was set to graduate high school, had a bright future ahead. Seventeen-year-old Brittanee Drexel headed down to world famous Myrtle Beach to enjoy spring break with her friends, but Brittanee never came back.

DREXEL: If you`re out there, please call us, contact us. We love you. We miss you. We want you to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the night of April 25th, friends say she left the Bar Harbor Hotel to meet some friends at another nearby hotel, the Blue Water Resort. Surveillance footage shows Brittanee arriving at the resort and leaving about ten minutes later. That was the last time anyone saw Brittanee.

DREXEL: Something`s very, very wrong. It`s not like my daughter to not call, even if it was a friend. We were not arguing. She would have called me. She would have called her boyfriend. She wouldn`t have left her clothes at the hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, suddenly, a huge search effort unleashed in the area where authorities believe Brittanee`s cell phone gave of its last ping. The heavily wooded area being searched by multiple agencies using ATVs, dogs and horses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The searches are very physically and emotionally draining. Enough is enough. Someone needs to come forward. Someone needs to tell them what they know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sissy, just please come home. I really want you home. I miss her saying sis to me all the time. I miss her being there after school.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I miss her being just around and I just want her back. She`s, -- I just want my sister.


GRACE: Where is Brittanee Drexel? She goes on spring break to Myrtle Beach, walks out of the hotel, the Blue Water Resort there in Myrtle Beach, and is never seen again. What about this scenario? Out to you, Pat Brown. We see her leaving the hotel. We know she`s had some sort of a dispute. That some of those friends, the male friends, pick her up? I don`t know what happens in that car, but she`s never seen along the roads after that.

We have no confirmed sightings that she was in any bar, movie, restaurant after that. We`ve had a couple of burps on that, but that right then, she`s picked up, and she`s never seen again. What do you think about that, Pat Brown?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I think that`s exactly accurate. I think we`re looking at the exact time she walked out, give it a few minutes, that is when she disappeared. She either got into a car with somebody she knew or somebody abducted her. So, it seems to me like they should be able to focus in on that group.

Who`d be in that car that she would get in with, and see what their stories are, what their alibis are, what their statements say, what their polygraphs say and find out whether they are responsible, one of them is responsible. When they can clear that out of the way, then, they might look at somebody else abducting her. But clearly, she got in some car willingly or not at that point and disappeared and that was the night it happened.

GRACE: To Jean Casarez, Jean, tell me again, about the friends getting defense lawyers.

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, these are the guys that were friends in the motel that she went to visit, and especially, Peter Brozowitz was her old-time friend. He lawyered up and the other guys, we don`t know officially, but Georgetown County officials are saying there are three to four persons of interest in this case, and there were three to four young men in that room.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Jason Oshins and Alex Sanchez, both attorneys in the New York/New Jersey area. Jason, why would a friend lawyer up when his friend girl goes missing?

JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Do you want the lawyer answer that says everyone has a right --

GRACE: No. I want the father answer.

OSHINS: Yes, the father answer says that troubles me, you know? And you know that once someone in that situation, you know, the instinct is to come and help and be part of the search and, you know, even if you`re trying to obfuscate the truth, you`re trying to blend in in some way as many, you know, ultimately perpetrators of crime do. But to lawyer up at some point, at least, we haven`t heard. Was that initially or was that after being questioned for a period of time? But yes, the father in me questions that a little bit.

GRACE: What about it, Sanchez?

ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, I would take this investigation one step further, Nancy. And that is the police, so far, have been keeping their information very close to the vest. Those four guys, I want to know their pictures. I want to see the car they were driving and their names should be released. Because someone out there, once they see their pictures and know their names, they may say something, you know, I remember an incident that occurred back then. I saw a car in the remote area and that car matches the car that belongs to one of these people. I think the police need to start releasing information and jar somebody`s memory.

GRACE: You know, that`s one thing I don`t understand. Rupa Mikkilineni, it`s been two years. Although, we just recently had a search that was organized by Monica Caison, why are police still holding the evidence in? Why not release it? They`re obviously not doing that well on their own.

RUPA MIKKILINENI, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, one thing that we have to realize is that this search that happened over the weekend was, in fact -- it was in conjunction with the police. So, this search group, in fact, was working very closely with police based on tips and leads from the police, being told exactly where to search. And this is a six-mile stretch of dirt road, road that is exactly in the area where her cell phone pinged last. The other thing I want to make a point to you about is that the Myrtle Beach Police Department is, they are the lead investigators in this case, and they have said to me that they do not have any persons of interest at this time.

While it is true that the Georgetown Sheriff`s Office indicated many, many months ago that there were three or four persons of interest, the Myrtle Beach Police are, in fact, being very quiet about that. They are not naming Peter Brozowitz as a person of interest or suspect at this time.

GRACE: Well, you know, that makes me feel more confident that they were part of this search that was instigated by Monica Caison with the CUE Center for Missing Persons. The fact that they`re still working on the case and they haven`t just shelved it, that makes me feel much better about the whole scenario. To Dawn Drexel, this is Brittanee`s mother, were you told there were persons of interest?

DREXEL: We were told there were persons of interest right before Brittanee`s one-year anniversary. But I know that there`s a new task force for Brittanee that is working on her case, actively working on her case and following up on the tips and all the tips and leads that have come in for Brittanee.

GRACE: To Dr. Janet Taylor, Dr. Taylor, do you believe that she would continue to conceal her whereabouts? I don`t.

DR. JANET TAYLOR, M.D., MPH, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, I really don`t think that she would continue to do that. I mean, it sounds like she was a nice young girl who, you know, made an ill advised trip, but she would want to be back in touch with her mother and certainly her siblings.

GRACE: Tonight, we are helping to find America`s missing, and right now, we are just receiving information about a missing 16-year-old out of Atlanta. Her name Bianca Barnes. Jean Casarez, what do we know about Bianca Barnes?

CASAREZ: Well, Nancy, this is the daughter of a Fulton County Sheriff`s Deputy, that`s right there in Atlanta where you are. And this is a young girl that took the bus to school every day. In fact, she took two buses, a public bus and then switched to the school bus. And it is believed she may have gotten on to the first bus, nobody remembers her getting on the school bus, but she is gone. And this is as of Thursday, January 27th. She is 16 years old, a black female, dark brown eyes. She`s about 5`9" and 250 pounds. And everyone in Atlanta is on the lookout for her.

GRACE: Take a look, Bianca "BB" Barnes. She`s an 11th grader at Benjamin Mays High School, 5`9", black braids with blond streaks. She`s wearing black jeans, a blue polo sweater, brown and blue polo, last seen 6:00 a.m. Her home, Continental Colony Apartments. Tip line, 404-546- 4260. Jean, does she have any history of being a runaway?

CASAREZ: No, not at all. She lives with her great grandmother to help take care of her great-grandmother, and there is no sign at all that she would do ever anything like this. She went to school every day in high school and just took the bus.

GRACE: So, the last she`s seen is on the bus?

CASAREZ: I believe there was a sighting of her on the first bus, which would be a public bus that would take her to the park and ride, but no evidence that she ever got from the park and ride on to the school bus.

GRACE: Please help us find Bianca "BB" Barnes, just 16 years old. Time is passing. It`s just been a few days since she goes missing.

And tonight, please help us find Karen Denise Wells, 23 years old, vanishes April 12th, 1994, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. White female, 5`6", 115 pounds, blond hair, bluish-green eyes. If you have information, please, call 866-898-8477.

If your loved one is missing and you need help, go to Send us your story. We want to help.



DREXEL: Something`s very, very wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wouldn`t just pack up and leave.

DREXEL: It`s not like my daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventeen-year-old --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brittanee Drexel spent the weekend in Myrtle Beach with friends.




DREXEL: She didn`t have my permission to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Teenager from Rochester, New York has not been seen --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And not (ph) be found.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since she left the Myrtle Beach Hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brittanee vanished.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leaving her belongings behind.

DREXEL: It`s tearing me up inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not calling anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s not going to just leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very, very shady.

DREXEL: Someone could have taken her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Surveillance video shows Brittanee fading away into the unknown.

DREXEL: She could be laying dead somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Final no image of Brittanee.

DREXEL: It`s not knowing --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pray for the best.

DREXEL: Not knowing where she is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pray for the worst.

DREXEL: Who she`s with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Evidence is running dry.

DREXEL: How she got there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone, somewhere, knows what happened.

DREXEL: She says, I love you mom, and then, we hung up the phone.


GRACE: We are taking your calls, but first, to Sheryl McCollum. Sheryl, what can we do now?

SHERYL MCCOLLUM, CRIME ANALYST: Re-interview. They`ve got to re- interview those young men in that room starting with peter if they can and if not move out to his social circle. There have been parties where people got drunk and ran their mouth. They`ve grown up a little bit. People are now in college. Maybe, they`re not as afraid as they were to speak. And also, there`ve been breakups. I mean, people aren`t as loyal as they were two years ago. They`ve got to talk to them again. Somebody knows something, Nancy.

GRACE: They do, Sheryl. Out to the lines. Lynn, Ohio. Hi, Lynn.

LYNN, OHIO: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?

LYNN: First of all, I just want to say how awesome you are and how I think your twins are gorgeous. OK. So, my question is, have they found -- since they did the search over the weekend, have they found any new leads?

GRACE: You know, to Jean Casarez, let`s talk about that search. The area. The pings.

CASAREZ: You know, Nancy, we learned something new tonight because Monica Caison from the CUE Center for Missing Children, she told us that that area that they searched this weekend, Georgetown County area, very marshy, historically plantation lands, very woodsy. Nancy, do you realize that Brittanee`s cell phone pinged hours after she went missing from that area and then the next day it pinged from that area? Who would voluntarily go out to a marshy area like that for a 24-hour period?

GRACE: Nobody, which means, either she was there or her cell phone was discarded there. So, they need to be also looking for a cell phone out there. To Monica Caison, did anyone come upon a cell phone?

MONICA CAISON, CUE CENTER FOR MISSING CHILDREN: Nancy, we have searched from the third day Brittanee disappeared, and we looked very, very hard for that phone. We have not found the phone, any contents that would be in her pocketbook, her shoes, any type of clothing or no human remains. Simply nothing at all that would be a direct link to Brittanee Drexel.

GRACE: Rupa Mikkilineni, what about sunglasses?

MIKKILINENI: That`s right, Nancy. We know that just a few months after Brittanee disappeared, there were pair of sunglasses that were found in that very area near the Santee River. Apparently, these sunglasses are knock off designer sunglasses that were, in fact, the exact, similar make model whatever sunglasses that Brittanee Drexel was wearing the day she disappeared. Now, the sunglasses have been turned into the forensic institute. They are with law enforcement. We have not heard whether they --

GRACE: And where were they found, Rupa?

MIKKILINENI: Along the river in the very area where her cell phone was pinging last on the 26th that Sunday. This area where they searched over the weekend.

GRACE: To Linda in California. Hi, Linda.

LINDA, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Nancy. We both survived blood clots.

GRACE: Praise the lord. It seems like so long ago, but you`re right, my lungs were full of blood clots after I delivered the twins. Congratulations. Thank you.

LINDA: Can I give a link to your people when we`re done of some research I did, please?

GRACE: Sure.

LINDA: OK. Awesome. Also, my thoughts. Is there any one specific reason other than, you know, the fear of spring break, God forbid, why the mother had a gut feeling not to let her go?

GRACE: That`s a good question.

LINDA: And the other question is, if the mother really hasn`t given up hope like she`s saying, then why all the references in the past tense? I`m just asking. I`m not trying to blame.

GRACE: To Dawn Drexel. Tell me about that gut feeling you had about her going to spring break.

DREXEL: Well, Brittanee was pretty adamant about going to Myrtle Beach, and when I told her she couldn`t go, she asked me why. And I had told her, I said, I don`t know the kids that you`re supposedly be going with. There`s no parental supervision. And I felt like something was going to happen to her.

GRACE: And several people have noticed, tonight, that you refer to her in the past tense. Why?

DREXEL: Well, I`m just coming back from Myrtle Beach, and I drove there, so it was a 14-hour drive. I mean, these searches are very, you know, mentally and physically exhausting. I mean, you know, we have hope that Brittanee is still out there. We have hope that she`s still out there.

GRACE: Speaking right now is Brittanee`s mom, Dawn Drexel. To Tiffany in New York. Hi, tiffany.


GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?

TIFFANY: I was just wondering if they had questioned the girls that went down to Myrtle Beach Lately?

GRACE: Good question. You know, things change when two years have passed. To Monica Caison, founder of CUE Center for Missing Persons, organized this weekend`s search for Brittanee. Do we know if those girls have been re-interviewed, Miss Caison?

CAISON: No, that`s actually one of the things advocating for Dawn Drexel and her family that we`ve been bringing to the attention of the investigators lately. She`s got a great team working on her case, but Dawn has expressed concern for probably the past six months that she wants these children, teenagers, adults, what have you that were there. She wants them interviewed, and we`re pushing for that. She wants -- she feels like --

GRACE: Right.

CAISON: If they were properly interviewed, some interviewed again.

GRACE: I want to go back to Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaaskids Foundation. What do you think, Marc?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT & FOUNDE, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think that the possibility of people that don`t know the area finding themselves in a very remote location that is basically inaccessible by most modes of transportation might point in the direction of somebody that was there to cause harm to somebody at spring break. You know, spring break is a rite of passage for America`s free-spirited youth. But it`s also a destination for those individuals who would want to exploit America`s free-spirited youth.

Therefore, it`s incumbent to do a couple things. Those locations such as Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach and Cancun need to have extra security during these times, and I think that those kids that are going there need to do things like keeping together, ensuring that they always have their cell phones with them, taking security measures to ensure that they don`t find themselves in a position like Brittanee.


GRACE: These are the faces of America`s missing. Every 30 seconds, another child, sister, brother, mother, father, disappears. Families left behind wondering, waiting, hoping. We have not forgotten.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kimberly Norwood was last seen by friends as they were walking home. Two decades later, her mother still keeps hope alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kim was 12 1/2 years old when she disappeared on May 20th of 1989. She and her horse, Redbird, were just doing great together. That`s what she was into then, riding horses. She came in first place in her age division. Kim was very smart. She was two weeks from finishing sixth grade when she disappeared. She was going to be in two advanced classes. Pretty, caring. We just need to find her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennifer Pandos disappeared in the Williamsburg, Virginia area in 1987. If you have any information, call 1-800-the-lost.

Kristen Modafferi was a good student for the North Carolina State School of Design. Kristen went to San Francisco in the summer of 1997. She took a job at a downtown coffee shop. On June 1st, she left work and vanished without a trace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just don`t know. We have no answers. There have been no clues. We just feel that it`s not a runaway situation at all. Kristen had very close ties to her family. We have no reason to suspect that she would have walked away or wanted to disappear. We believe she ran into foul play without a doubt. She was very inquisitive and always looking for new adventures and new experiences.

Kristen told us that she really wanted to make a difference in the world and she was really working hard towards that goal, and unfortunately, that was cut tragically short. We continue to do everything we possibly can to try to find answers.


GRACE: I`m Nancy Grace. See you tomorrow night, 9 o`clock sharp eastern. And until then, we will be looking. Keep the faith, friend.