SC Missing: Families coping with no answers for loved ones - - Columbia, South Carolina

SC Missing: Families coping with no answers for loved ones

WIS has launched a series called SC Missing. We're looking at unsolved cold cases across South Carolina in hopes of getting answers. 

WILMINGTON, NC (WIS) - For 10 straight years, families gathered, grieved and talked about ways to figure out what happened to a family member. Some seemed to have vanished with no trace from them in years.

"It's exactly like Groundhog Day," said Dawn Drexel. "I mean, you wake up and you're still in that realm of things. But, I've learned enough and made myself to be strong and with the help of Monica and the CUE center, I've gotten through the past four years."

Drexel's daughter Brittanee disappeared from Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach in April 2009. She was on a trip with friends.

Surveillance video showing Drexel walking down the boulevard was the last image of her.

Four years later the case has turned cold.

"My life will never be the same," Drexel's mother said. "It changed forever the day Brittanee went missing."

"The hardest part is not knowing,"said Lonnie Jordan, whose teenage son hasn't been seen since August 2013. The last time anyone saw Zach Malinowski, he was playing basketball in Aynor.

Jordan said the family has to keep his story alive.

"That's the family member's job, is to keep it out in the public because if we stop talking, everyone stops talking and as hard as it is sometimes to keep talking about it. We have to keep talking," Jordan said.

The Cue Center for Missing Persons works hundreds of cases each year, trying to give families answers. Monica Caison heads the group and has kept the conference going for a decade.

 "I think the thing the conference brings is a healing for a lot of victims," said Caison. "They treat it sometimes as a family reunion. All year they're like, 'I can't wait for the conference.' I think it's a safe place for them and they know it is."

And a place those who have missing loved ones can join the club of those left with no answers.

"They start educating and supporting other families," Caison said. "So it's just a cycle that needs to happen because it's what the families say. It's a membership to a club that they don't want to be involved in."

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