Coming back to Myrtle Beach brings up painful memories for Dawn Drexel. Thursday she visited the tree she planted in The Market Common in remembrance of her daughter Brittanee.
"Doesn't get any easier," Drexel said. "I mean, I take it day by day, you know, some days are more difficult than others."
Thursday marked four years since Brittanee Drexel went missing while on Spring break in Myrtle Beach with some friends.
The then 17 year old was last seen April 25, 2009 on surveillance video leaving the Bluewater Resort, walking North on Ocean Boulevard.
No one has seen or heard from her since, but Dawn isn't ready to give up.
"I know for a fact that someone knows what happened to my daughter," she said.
The Drexels have made countless trips back and forth from their hometown of Rochester, New York back to Myrtle Beach to search for Brittanee.
They've worked with local and state law enforcement and FBI investigators to search for anything that could solve Brittanee's case. But the numerous investigations over the years haven't turned up many clues.
"One thing we're fortunate with, four years later, is that there are still leads and tips coming in, whether they're useful right now, or they could mean something later on, so we just remain hopeful that people continue to call in," Monica Caison with the CUE Center for Missing Persons said.
Thursday was also a day to simply honor Brittanee's memory.
Family and friends planted forget-me-not flowers at the site of Brittanee's tree.
"Because when we planted the tree, this was a tree of hope for Brittanee," Drexel said.
It's a hope that is not yet lost, and a reminder of a mother's promise to her daughter.
"When the world says give up hope, hope whispers try one more time," she said. I'm not going to stop looking for Brittanee, I will never stop looking for her."
If you know anything about Brittanee Drexel and what may have happened to her, call Wilmington-based CUE Center for Missing Persons 24 hour tip line at (910) 232-1687, or visit www.ncmissingpersons.org,.
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