One local family is coming up on a devastating anniversary. Brittanee Drexel has been missing for nearly three years.
Her mother, sister, and best friend talk about what life has been like since the Chili teen vanished.
"There's so many times I just wanted to pick up the phone and call her and be like britt, guess what," says Jessica Nice. She was one of Brittanee Drexel's best friends.
For those who knew Drexel best, the last three years have been the darkest days. "It's really hard to deal with a missing sister. So I just try to keep myself busy with friends," says Brittanee's sister Myrissa.
Brittanee was last seen during a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach. She went with a group of friends, without her parent's permission. She left the hotel where they were staying and no one has seen her since.
Numerous leads have come in over the years, but none of them have panned out. Brittanee's mother, Dawn has been on an emotional roller coaster ride.
"She's my daughter, I have to do what I have to do for her. I have to be her voice now so I am going to do whatever it takes to find my daughter," Dawn says.
She has become an advocate, not just for Brittanee, but for every parent who has lost a child. She is now the statewide coordinator for the Cue Center for Missing Persons.
"It feels good to help other families because I know what they are going through," says Drexel.
She is able to bring comfort to other families going through the same thing.
Later this month the Drexel family will visit Myrtle Beach to dedicate a tree and bench for Brittanee.
"That way people can go there and sit and pray for Brittanee....Pray for her safe return," says Dawn.
Because even though three years have gone by- those who knew brittanee best are holding out hope that she will come home.
"Every year when I go down there I keep my eyes open just to see if she is down there," says Myrissa.
Jessica Nice adds, "I never thought we'd see a month of her missing. Thought maybe she went with the wrong person. Met someone and went and did something with them and her phone died or she lost her phone. Thought maybe it would be a day. Three years it's unreal, unbelievable."
April 25th is the anniversary of brittanee drexel's disappearance. Police are still continuing to follow up on leads. Anyone with information can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST. Or the Cue Center at (910) 343-1131