The remains of 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel were recovered in South Carolina about 13 years after the teenager was initially reported missing during a trip to Myrtle Beach, for her Spring Break, sheriff’s department reps announced Monday.

Drexel was a Rochester, New York native who reportedly went to the beach resort city against the wishes of her mother Dawn Drexel. Dawn reported her daughter missing on April 25, 2009, and the ensuing investigation floundered with different suspects and leads until her remains were dug up in a county just south of Myrtle Beach last Wednesday.

Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver said that a suspect, Raymond Douglas Moody, is in custody. It’s believed that the 62-year-old man kidnapped Drexel and strangled her to death before burying her body a day after her disappearance. Moody was a publicly announced person of interest in the case since 2011, and Drexel’s remains were reportedly discovered in an area 2.5 miles from where Moody had been living during the time of the teenager’s disappearance.

Moody was also imprisoned from 1983 to 2004 for crimes related to kidnapping and sexually assaulting young girls. He has been charged with murder, rape and kidnapping in relation to Brittanee’s death. He was initially arrested on May 4 on an obstruction of justice charge, but authorities did not comment on the particulars of his arrest at the time.

Dawn Drexel said at the news conference about the discovery that this situation is “truly a mother’s nightmare. I am mourning my beautiful daughter Brittanee as I have been for 13 years. But today it’s bittersweet. We are much closer to the closure and the peace that we have been desperately hoping for.”

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