MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (CBS/AP) Almost a year after 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel vanished while on spring break in Myrtle Beach, S.C., authorities say they have identified "persons of interest" in the case. But they fear it will have an unhappy ending for the Rochester, N.Y. teen, who was last seen leaving a hotel in the South Carolina resort town on April 25, 2009.
Investigators are not naming the "persons of interest" just yet. But officials told CBS affiliate WBTW they don't believe Drexel is alive. Lt. Neil Johnson with the Georgetown County Sherriff's Office said, "I can't elaborate on why but it's just a sad thing. I hope we're wrong that we will be able to find her alive, but based on the investigation right now, it doesn't look good."
On Friday, officers from Myrtle Beach, Georgetown and Charleston counties said these "persons of interest" know what happened to the girl. "Around December we got a tip that led us to a particular area in Georgetown County. Since that tip, we have got a bunch more tips in, people that had some good information which led us to three possibly four suspects," said Johnson.
A cell phone signal from Drexel's phone led investigators to the Santee area of Georgetown County, said WBTW.
Drexel is described as 5 feet tall and weighing 103 pounds. She has brown, shoulder-length, straight hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a multi-colored striped shirt, black shorts, and flip-flop sandals. Her family says she has a history of depression. Her father, Chad Drexel, told CBS News that his daughter "had emotional issues" due to her parents' divorce.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Myrtle Beach Police Department at 1-843-918-1300 or 1-800-843-5678.
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