Civil rights activist defends suspect in Drexel disappearance

Timothy Taylor is a person of interest in the disappearance and murder of Brittanee Drexel

MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. -- A civil rights activist says the man the FBI believes is connected to the disappearance and murder of Brittanee Drexel is innocent.

26-year-old Timothy Taylor was named a suspect in the case by the FBI in 2016. Taylor has denied any knowledge or involvement in Drexel's 2009 murder. Investigators believe while on a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina she was kidnapped, raped and her body was left in a swamp with alligators.

Wednesday, civil rights activist John Barnett said he met with Taylor and believes he's innocent. Barnett claimed that because Taylor only has one arm and he's never seen an alligator outside of a zoo, he couldn't have been involved.

The FBI believes Taylor wasn't alone and says he failed a lie detector test when asked about Drexel.

"Today I'm asking that the federal investigators stop this witch hunt. I call it a witch hunt; I boldly call it a witch hunt. This boy was 16-years-old during the death of Miss Drexel so I strongly believe he had nothing to do with it,” said Barnett.

Taylor did plead guilty in a separate robbery case and has been held pending sentencing. Barnett says that while he's sorry for Drexel's death, Taylor is being wrongly accused and he's already served his time on the separate charge.

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