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In 2009, Brittanee Drexel (17) went missing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during Spring Break. No remains were found and no one was ever arrested.
In 2011, Timothy Taylor drove a getaway vehicle during the robbery of a McDonald's in Mount Pleasant, roughly 1-2 hours driving from Myrtle Beach. He was convicted and sentenced to probation.
In June 2016, the FBI held a press conference in which they stated they believed Brittanee had been abducted from Myrtle Beach and murdered in a second location.
Timothy Taylor, by summer 2016, had finished his probation. He was arrested again for his role in the 2011 robbery. Prosecuers claimed it was not in violation of double jeopardy because the federal government can bring federal charges for the same crime if the state prosecution led to an unfair outcome (the unfair outcome in this case being that Taylor received a lighter sentence than the two other men involved). Since he already pled guilty to the crime, it wasn't a promising outlook.
At his bond hearing, the prosecuter tells the judge the new charges are due to Taylor being a suspect in the rape and murder of Brittanee Drexel. The prosecutor claims bail for the robbery charge should not be granted because Taylor was withholding information about Drexel.
The FBI release the story that Brittanee Drexel had been abducted, taken to a trap house, sexually assaulted, murdered, and her body thrown to the local gators. They release Taylor's name, and state they believe he (16 at the time of the murder) and his father were involved in the abduction, gang rape, and murder of Brittanee Drexel.
Where did they get this information? A prison informant named Taquan Brown. Brown claimed to have been eyewitness to Taylor and 8 to 12 other men raping Drexel. He additionally claimed to have seen Drexel attempt to escape, to have heard gunshots shortly thereafter, and then to have seen a body removed from the house wrapped in a rug.
There was an additional anonymous jailhouse informant. The second informant claimed Taylor "showed [Drexel] 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," as quoted by the FBI.
(Brown changes his story multiple times, and several more in an interview in 2019; some of the people he names as having seen participate were incarcerated during the alleged time of the murder. He has either tried or is trying to sue the FBI agents involved for releasing his name to the press, endangering his life.)
The FBI claim Taylor abducted Drexel for the purposes of human trafficking, then killed her either for trying to escape or because of the increased media attention on her disappearance. Taylor has maintained that he was in class at Lincoln High School during the time Brown claimed to have seen him assaulting her.
In 2017 Taylor is told that federal prosecutors will seek the maximum sentencing... unless he takes a polygraph test about Brittanee Drexel. If he passed, they would recommend a lighter sentence. In South Carolina, polygraph results are admissible in court if all attorneys agree.
The first test is declared inconclusive by the FBI, but federal prosecutors claim Taylor showed "deception" throughout. ABC15 news stated that the FBI claimed Taylor was being deceptive "even when answering his own name". Taylor took a second polygraph, and the FBI declared he had failed to respond truthfully about seeing or knowing Brittanee Drexel. This information was immediately released to the press. The DOJ recommend a sentence of 10 to 20 years due to his deception. In December of 2019 Taylor is sentenced to 3-5yrs probation.
This month, 62yo Raymond Moody was arrested for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Brittanee Drexel on April 25, 2009. He led LEOs to her remains, confirmed through DNA and dental records. Moody had been identified as a person of interest in the original 2009 investigation, but never arrested.
According to Taylor's attorney, the family was never notified that Taylor's name is cleared and the case considered closed; they found out when they were contacted to comment by a newspaper.