Coming up on the fourth anniversary of Brittanee Drexel's disappearance, the CUE Center for Missing Persons has released an age-progressed portrait showing what she might look like now.
"This forensic tool has proven to be a successful in any type of case from a suspect, missing individual and the unidentified," said CUE founder, Monica Caison. "It can also provide families who have stared at the time stamped missing picture for so long an inner peace of something possible, that renewed hope families need."
Brittanee Drexel has not been seen since April 25, 2009. The 17-year-old from Rochester, N.Y., vanished while on spring break in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Drexel was last seen by friends when she left the Bar Harbor Hotel in Myrtle Beach to meet friends at the nearby BlueWater Resort. Surveillance footage shows Drexel arriving at the resort, then leaving roughly 10 minutes later. What happened to her after that remains a mystery.
Drexel's cell phone gave off its last signal the day after she went missing. Investigators narrowed the phone location to an area near the South Santee River in Georgetown County.
Caison and her North Carolina-based organization have conducted multiple searches for the missing teen.
The new age-progression drawing of Drexel was created by Canadian certified forensic artist Diana P. Trepkov. The portrait shows Drexel at age 21. The missing girl's mother, Dawn Drexel, said she hopes the drawing will help generate new leads in the case.
"I was so overwhelmed by what [Trepkov and Caison] gave us just before the holidays -- the beauty of what I know my daughter would really look like today ... it is a bittersweet gift," Dawn Drexel said.
Drexel said she had Trepkov incorporate her daughter's birth defect in the drawing. Brittanee suffered from Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous; an eye disease which casts shadows in eye sight, causing eye dilation issues and cataracts.
"I wanted the public to know about my daughter's eye ... if she is alive out there somewhere, she would have been in need of another surgery and this drawing helps to show what her eye would look like today without medical attention," Dawn Drexel said.
At the time of her disappearance, Brittanee Drexel was 5 feet tall and 103 pounds. She had blue eyes and blond highlights in her hair. Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Myrtle Beach Police at 843-918-1963. Confidential tips can also be submitted via helpfindbrittaneedrexel.com.
Founded in 1994, the CUE Center for Missing Persons aids families and law enforcement in cases of missing persons nationwide. The organization is staffed by volunteers and is funded entirely by donations. Since its inception, CUE has helped more than 9,000 families in what is often the most confusing and desperate times of their lives.