NELSON COUNTY, Va. – Authorities have found the remains of Alexis Murphy, a Nelson County teenager who was murdered in 2013.
Alexis was 17-years-old when she was last seen in August 2013 at a gas station in Lovingston, and investigators said her body had gone undiscovered until Dec. 3, 2020.
Since 2013, authorities said searches have continued for her body with the search area increasing over time.
Nelson County Sheriff David Hill briefly spoke with members of the media at 1 p.m. Wednesday:
Her remains were found on private property near Stagebridge Road along Route 29 in Lovingston, according to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office.
The remains were taken to the Central District Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for identification, and investigators said her remains were identified on Feb. 5.
Authorities said they worked with Alexis’ family on when to tell the public about the discovery of her body to allow them time to grieve and make the proper arrangements.
“All the searches have continued throughout the seven years. It’s been continuous,” said Hill. “There’s always information that comes in from time to time. Some of those leads have been fruitful, but it’s just branched out and continued to go further and further north.”
Hill didn’t go into detail about the latest developments or why it took so long to find Alexis and told 10 News that investigations like this involve many different factors and other components to analyze.
Randy Taylor, 55, is serving two life sentences for Murphy’s murder. Taylor has maintained his innocence and filed for an appeal in 2015, which was denied. While her body was not found at the time of his sentencing, investigators found enough evidence to charge him with abduction and murder.
Authorities said due to the discovery of Alexis’ body, successful prosecution and a thorough investigation, this case is no longer active.
Hill is glad to bring the Murphy family some closure.
“The promise was made to bring her home and it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Hill. “No one gave up. It’s been continuous. Family, friends, the agencies that have been involved, federal agencies, state agencies, the community just as a whole.”
Alexis’ family has released the following statement:
Our family is so grateful for the continuing love, support and prayers for Alexis and our family over the past 7 years. While we have been grieving the loss of Alexis since 2013, we remained hopeful that she would be found alive and well. Alexis was the fashionista, athlete and joker of our family; we were blessed to have loved her for 17 years and her memory will continue to live on through us all. Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to the citizens of Nelson County, the FBI, the Virginia State Police, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and all of the search and rescue teams for your commitment and unwavering support to find Alexis. You all kept the promise made in 2013, to bring Alexis home!
During this time, we ask that you continue to lift our family up in prayer and in the words of Alexis, ‘Keep Hope Alive’.”
Family of Alexis Murphy