Behind the Headlines: Peter

Breaking His Silence

Peter and his attorney, John Parrinello, join the discussion via satellite. "Is there anything that you can shed light on in this situation that these parents may not know?" Dr. Phil asks Peter.

"I know just as much as the rest of the media. Like I said, the media twists everything that was going on. You weren't there. I was there with four other people, and I'm the one who's singled out," he replies.

"When was the last time you saw Brittanee, and what took place during that encounter?"

"The last time I saw her, she came up to our hotel room. We were watching the Yankees/Red Sox game, and she was on the phone arguing with her friend, Jen, about returning a pair of shorts," he recounts. "We all saw her walk out, and that's the last time I saw her."

[AD]"This was on Saturday. Is that correct?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Peter tried to talk her into staying, but she insisted on leaving," John interjects. "Whether she ever got to Jen to return the shorts, we don't know."

 

"Peter, were you and Brittanee friends?" Dr. Phil inquires

"Yes. I've known her for a couple of years," Peter answers.

"You spent some time with her in Myrtle Beach, but you didn't know she was going to be here, correct?"

"I had no idea," he answers.

"What kind of mood, Peter, was she in when she left?" Dr. Phil asks.

"She didn't seem too upset," the young man replies. "If I walked a mile down a strip by myself for that long, and had to go all the way back to drop off my friend's shorts that I borrowed, I would never do that."

"Did she say anything to you, in the time that y'all hung out down there, that suggested to you that she was planning to run away, or any plans that she had in any way whatsoever? Can you shed any light on this at all?"

"Not a single thing. She didn't mention anything about meeting anybody, going out anywhere. Nothing," Peter answers.

Dr. Phil is disturbed by Peter's demeanor. "When we started this conversation, you said, ‘You weren't there. The media are twisting everything.' Is there something you want to set straight, so far as the media?" Dr. Phil asks. "I really expected you to be very concerned about a missing friend, but you actually seem to be upset in another way." [AD]

"Of course, I'm concerned about Brittanee. That girl is a nice girl. But when I was in the room with four other kids, they're all with me the whole night, and then all of a sudden my name is mentioned as a person of interest, when there is absolutely no evidence," Peter explains. "My family is going through hell right now. People look at me differently walking down the street. You can just imagine how I feel."

"I can, and I'm certain you can imagine how the parents feel and why they would look for any help, any information, that they might get. I'm sure they would be very grateful for any info you might have," Dr. Phil says.

"Yesterday, Peter submitted a DNA sample at the request of Myrtle Beach," John explains. "There is no possible way that Peter Brozowitz had anything to do with Brittanee's disappearance."

"I'm certainly not suggesting that he did," Dr. Phil says. "I'm just giving him an opportunity to set the record straight."

He turns to Peter. "There's been a lot made out of the fact that you and your friends left town at 2:00 a.m. the morning that she went missing. Did you want to address that?" he asks.

"I'm from New York, Rochester. It's a 14-, 15-hour drive. We were there for a whole week. Our checkout time was in the morning on Sunday morning, so we decided to leave at 2:00," the young man replies. "Why would you want to leave Sunday in the middle of the day when it's a tourist town?" 

[AD]Dr. Phil asks Brittanee's parents, Dawn and Chad, if they'd like to address Peter. Dawn speaks up. "I had spoken with Peter that evening, as soon as I found out Brittanee was missing. What he was telling me just didn't add up. He was giving me three different scenarios, and things like that. That's why we thought he may know something," she tells Dr. Phil. She directs her question to Peter. "Any kind of friend " I don't care if you're a guy. I don't care if you're a girl " if you knew that Brittanee was walking that far from one hotel to the other, if you're a gentleman, why wouldn't you walk my daughter to her hotel or drive her there knowing it was dark out that night?"

"First of all, I did talk to Brittanee about why she was walking the strip by herself, and earlier that day she said, ‘Oh, for the last three nights, I walked by myself. It doesn't bother me. I'm fine,'" Peter recalls. "Second of all, when she left our hotel, the sun was still up. I offered her a ride, and she was like, ‘No, no, it's OK. It's OK.' She acted like there was no worry at all for her to walk all the way back again."

"The problem with this whole thing is all the innuendos concerning Peter that were raised by Brittanee's mother and other people, when nobody took the time to break down the chronology and realize that Peter could never have had anything to do with her disappearance," John chimes in.

"You have to understand, these parents are desperate, and you guys should be leaning forward to do anything and everything that you can possibly do," Dr. Phil says. "This isn't about trying to throw Peter under the bus, but we've got to help these parents try to find this innocent young girl."

Chad addresses Peter. "How old are you?" he asks.

"Twenty," the young man replies.

"You're 20. How old is my daughter?" Chad asks.

"Seventeen."

"So you knew you were hanging out with a minor out of state, correct?"

"Yeah."

[AD]"You said you knew the atmosphere down there was not safe, correct?" Chad inquires.

"Yeah."

"So why didn't you step up and say, ‘It doesn't matter, Brittanee. Let me take you so and so. I can hear that you had an argument with Jen'?"

"First of all, I'm on spring break. I'm not there to babysit anybody. I don't know Brittanee like that," Peter replies. "She was down there with " how many other friends? She was at two different hotels. I don't know what they did the whole week."

"Peter, you're throwing yourself under the bus," Chad interrupts.

"I believe what we're trying to say is, ‘Peter, we want to try to find Brittanee. Neither one of you kids have stepped up and said, ‘You know what? Let me help you try to find Brittanee.' It's like you guys didn't even care. You don't care about her," Dawn adds. "It just seemed like you knew something that you weren't telling me."

 

Dr. Phil addresses Peter and his attorney. "I think what they're saying here is that it would be helpful to them if Peter showed some compassion here rather than defensiveness. I know he's got his own agenda here with his own reputation and his own name, but they've lost their daughter," he says.

"We hope that Brittanee is not a victim, but we also do not want Peter to be a victim of innuendoes. He's a young man. He works, he lives in this community," John says. "Beyond fully cooperating, Peter is nervous about where Brittanee is."

The Dr. Phil show contacted the Myrtle Beach Police Department and was given the following statement:

"At this point in the investigation, we continue to devote our utmost attention to this case in hopes of a timely conclusion. While we have not named any persons of interest or suspects, we have not ruled anyone out. It would not be feasible on our part to do this, because we don't know what happened."

 

If you have seen Brittanee Marie Drexel, or have any information about her whereabouts, please call the Myrtle Beach Police Department at (843) 918-1300(843) 918-1300 or The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678). You can also visit the Web site www.helpfindbrittanee.com to learn more.