WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

The eyes of the state are focusing on Horry County after the number of missing people in that area continues to grow and now remains have been found. Monday morning the Horry County coroner said he believes the remains are human.

The remains were found Sunday off Tidewater Drive near Waccamaw Boulevard in Horry County.

Officials have sent the remains to Texas instead of having them analyzed with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, as they told WBTW News it's believed experts in Texas can expedite the process.

The most recent report of a missing person came last week when 24-year-old Jamie Lynn Cross of Murrells Inlet was last seen December 23rd. She is described as having blue eyes and neon pink hair and a tattoo on her forearm with the name of her son. Cross was last seen leaving her Myrtle Beach home in her green Volkswagen.

Cross's disappearance comes less than a week after 20-year-old Heather Elvis was reported missing. Officials say there is no reason to believe the two are related.

Elvis was reported missing on December 19th after her car was discovered abandoned.

The Cue Center for Missing Persons intensified the search over the weekend, asking dozens of boaters to help search the Waccamaw River and "Intracoastal Waterway."

The founder of the Center said it is important to always keep searching, so the case can continue.

"It's vital in any missing person case to continue that journey as long as that person is missing, so they'll always be what we call, 'the next search,'" Monica Caison said.

Horry County Police Department says it looks like the remains found Sunday have been there between 4 and 5 years.

It was four and a half years ago that New York teenager, Brittanee Drexel, disappeared during a trip to Myrtle Beach.

Zachary Malinowski of Conway also disappeared in August of this year after a basketball game. The 19-year-old's car was found burned in the woods near Aynor.

Malinowski is one of 21 people who have reported missing in the state. Many of those are from the Charleston and Myrtle Beach areas, including Gayle McCaffery. As the years pass since someone disappeared, Caison said the search become more difficult.

"It just takes a lot more detail," she said. "A good, keen eye. Good dogs that you're working with, and people that are trained in responsible in the field to know that everything can matter."

Caison tells News 2 that many of the families of those missing have been at the location of the recent discovery. She also said they are waiting for the DNA test results from those discovered remains but are confident it will bring one of their families closure.

One of those families is that of Brittanee Drexel. Her mother, Dawn, released this statement Monday afternoon:

I would like to thank everyone for their concern and support for my daughter, Brittanee, in the recent discovery made in Horry County. There are many missing children and adults in the region who have families suffering in anticipation after this latest news and who, alongside our family, await for a resolution as well. I ask at this time to please wait for investigators to make a positive identification and be allowed to do their job.

Photo Credit: Carl Ballou Shutterstock