Sex offender gets life in prison after pleading guilty to murdering upstate New York teen Brittanee Drexel
A convicted sex offender who brutally raped and strangled an upstate New York teenager in 2009 pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to life in prison – and heard harsh words from the mother of the victim.
“I hope you suffer in jail for the rest of your useless life,” Brittanee Drexel’s mother Dawn Drexel told convicted killer Raymond Moody.
Moody, 62, was arrested in May after the body of Brittanee Drexel was finally found in South Carolina.
Moody had led investigators to Drexel’s body in the Georgetown County woods on the coast about 35 miles south of Myrtle Beach, prosecutors said. Moody confessed to the crime in May and again in court on Wednesday.
Previously, Moody was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old girl in California in 1983. He served 21 years in prison.
“I was a monster. I was a monster then, and I was a monster when I took Brittanee Drexel’s life,” Moody said Wednesday.
Drexel, a 17-year-old Rochester native, was on spring break in Myrtle Beach when she went missing on April 25, 2009. She was last seen in security footage that showed her leaving a hotel.
Moody claimed Drexel voluntarily got into a car with him and his girlfriend, Angel Vause, and the trio drove to Moody’s campsite in Georgetown County.
Police and Drexel’s family never believed the teenager left voluntarily.
But in his confession, Moody also told police that after Vause left the site, he raped Drexel and strangled her to death. Moody claimed that after the rape he realized he was considering another long prison term and decided to kill Drexel.
He hid Drexel’s body before Vause returned, then returned to the campsite the next day to bury him, police said. Thirteen years later, Moody’s brought the police back into the woods and human remains were found. Dental records confirmed they belonged to Drexel.
Authorities say that since Drexel’s body was not found for 13 years, they will never know if she was strangled or otherwise killed.
Moody pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and rape. A charge of obstruction of justice was dropped.
During the hearing, Dawn Drexel said she was proud that her daughter fought back. She wore her daughter’s ashes in a necklace, local TV station WCSC reported.
“That’s all I have left,” she said. “That’s all we have left after what you did to her.”
With dispatch services