Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver confirmed Drexel's body was located on May 11 and that Raymond Moody, 62, was charged with murder, kidnapping and sexual misconduct in relation to the case, all of which authorities believe took place on April 25, 2009.
"This is truly a mother's worst nightmare," said Dawn Drexel, Brittanee's mother, while addressing reporters via People.com. "I am mourning my beautiful daughter today, as I have for the last 13 years. We are much closer to the peace that I have been hoping for."
Investigators believe Drexel was killed prior to being buried on April 26, 2009.
Moody, a registered sex offender who previously spent 21 years in prison for a 1983 abduction and rape conviction of a 9-year-old girl, was initially identified as a person of interest in the case as early as 2012 and has been in custody on $100,000 bail since May 4 due to an obstruction charge.
Weaver confirmed Drexel's remains were identified through dental records, however, did not mention a specific cause of death or take questions from reporters during Monday's press conference.
Drexel was a high school student visiting Myrtle Beach from her hometown of Chili, New York with several friends at the time of her disappearance.
The then-17-year-old was last seen on surveillance video leaving a beachfront hotel before being reported missing.