ANDREWS, SC (WMBF) – Nearly five years after she went missing, there is a renewed effort to bring one Andrews woman back home.
Crystal Gail Soles has been missing since the morning of Jan. 24, 2005. Investigators say she was last spotted at the Shaw’s Corner Store near Jones Avenue and Main Street in Andrews.
A new tip has led police to search once again. The Community United Effort (CUE) Center for Missing Persons, along with several local law enforcement agencies were supposed to search this weekend, but because the ground is wet, and more rain is expected, they are postponing the search until the land can dry up in January.
Gail Soles, Crystal’s mom, says the past five years have been difficult with search after search leading nowhere.
“She’ll always be in my heart,” she said. “I’ll never, never let it go.”
Crystal’s aunt, Geraldine Ward, says not knowing what happened has been tough on the family.
“It’s hard but we have to go ahead and hope for the best and just keep looking,” Ward said.
Gail Soles still keeps pictures as reminders of her daughter around the house, but nothing reminds her of her daughter as much as the smile of Crystal’s son, 10-year-old Mitchell.
Soles has now adopted Mitchell, and she says he often asks about his mom.
“If he gets hurt or gets sick, he’ll say, ‘I really want my momma,’” she explained.
With a new tip and a new search planned, Soles says closure seems closer than ever.
Missing since: 01/24/05
Missing from: Andrews, SC
Classification: Endangered Missing Adult
Date of Birth: 11/10/76
Age at disappearance: 28
Height: 5’5 inches
Weight: 135 pounds
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Identifying Characteristics: Double pierced ears.
Jewelry: Numberous rings, watch worn on left wrist.
Circumstances of Disappearance
Unknown. Crystal was last seen in the morning hours at the Shaw’s Corner Store in the vicinity of Jones Ave. and Main St. in Andrews, SC.
Andrews Police Department
Phone: (843) 264-5223
ANDREWS, SOUTH CAROLINA 2009 RALLY STOP
Tonya Root – firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, Apr. 23, 2010
The missing women are featured in a deck of cards that are sold to prison inmates throughout the state through a program by crime stoppers. Drexel also was featured in a deck of cards released in Florida.
Brittanee Drexel was last seen on video surveillance leaving the Blue Water Hotel on Ocean Boulevard while on spring break in the area on April 25, 2009. Dozens of searchers have scoured Myrtle Beach and wooded areas in Georgetown and Charleston counties looking for clues in the teen’s disappearance.
Searches began about nine months ago after officials learned Drexel’s cell phone gave off its last known signal on April 26 around U.S. 17 Bypass and the South Santee River in the Georgetown County.
Also from the Georgetown County area, the case of Crystal Soles, who was 28 when she was last seen Jan. 24, 2005 at Shaw’s Corner Store in Andrews, is featured in the card campaign.
The cards were unveiled Friday and families of the women will gather along Ocean Boulevard today for a march and candle light vigil to mark the year anniversary since the Drexel was last seen in Myrtle Beach.
“It’s hard to come back down here, very emotional,” said Dawn Drexel, Brittanee’s mom. “I think it’s wonderful to get her name and face out there. We need information about her. We’re very thankful to them for putting her in that deck of cards.”
Brittanee’s dad, Chad Drexel, said he hopes the cards, which are sold in state prisons and in some county detention center, will generate some information that can be left anonymously with state crime stoppers.
“We’ll do anything to help to bring our daughter home,” Chad Drexel said. “Criminals know criminals. Someone knows something out there.”
More than 20 people came from the Rochester, N.Y., area where Brittanee lived to support her family. Those supporters included two of Brittanee’s friends.
“We came to show her that we care and for support,” said Jessica Nice, who has known Brittanee her entire life. “We want to show her we haven’t given up yet.”
Chad and Dawn Drexel said the year since their daughter was last seen has been “hell.”
“It’s been a roller coaster ride of endless nightmares,” Chad Drexel said. “I just want to wake up and it’s not there, not real.”
“The not knowing where she is or is she hurt, is she not alive has been the worse,” Dawn Drexel said. “We need someone to come forward with that key piece of information so we can get some resolution to Brittanee’s case.”
Soles’ mother, Gail Soles, said she understands how the Drexel family feels as the anniversary approaches.
“We know what it’s like. Lord, I wish I could find my child, just to have closure. It’s hard. It’s really hard not knowing,” Gail Soles said. “Somebody please come forward and give us some more information. Let us bring her home because we really need closure.”
Monica Caison, director of the Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons, said the cards do generate leads in cases.
“I know it solves cases and it brings forth tips,” Caison said. “This is reassurance that no one has forgotten them. This is just another outlet to get their information out there.”
Anyone with information about Brittanee Drexel’s disappearance can call Myrtle Beach police at 918-1300 or go to the Web site at www.helpfindbrittaneedrexel.com.
Anyone with information about Crystal Soles’ disappearance can call Andrews police at 264-5223 or go to the Web site at www.findcrystalsoles.com.
If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.
All information submitted to CUE Center For Missing Persons is confidential.