The family of Alexis Tiara Murphy, 17, finally have some semblance of closure after 7 years of searching for her—though the circumstances were devastatingly tragic. Alexis left her home in Shipman, Virginia to visit the nearby city of Lynchburg. She was last seen on surveillance video at a Lovingston gas station. After seven long years and multiple searches, her remains were finally discovered on a Lovingston property on December 3, 2020.
It wasn’t until February 5, 2021 that the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond was able to positively identify the remains as belonging to Alexis Murphy. In the wake of this tragic development, her family released a statement about their devastating loss, “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.”
The original search conducted outside Lovingston in 2013 involved helicopters, canine units, and volunteers searching for any sign of the missing teenager. While they searched, police poured over the surveillance video from the Lovingston gas station. Police were able identify a person of interest on the surveillance video, Randy Taylor, 48. Taylor was arrested following the discovery of one of Alexis’s hairs in his camper. Despite Taylor’s insistence that he only knew Alexis for a brief time when she offered to help him buy marijuana, Taylor was convicted of her murder in 2014. In a statement, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office stated “With the comprehensive investigation, successful prosecution by the Nelson County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, and the recovery of Alexis, this case is now no longer active.”