Alexis Murphy was excitedly get yourself ready for her senior year at Nelson County Senior High School within the rural enclave of Shipman, Virginia within the summer time of 2013.
At 17, she was outgoing, loved dancing and volleyball and, like many women her age, was mounted on her mobile phone. She even had 12,000 Twitter supporters, based on investigative reporter Katie Love.
“She was this social networking star,” Love told “Final Moments,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Archiweekend.
Then, all of a sudden, on August 3, Alexis disappeared.
Warning flags increased when Alexis missed her 11 p.m. curfew and didn’t get telephone calls. Her family visited the sheriff’s office and filed military services weapons persons report. Police Lieutenant Billy Mays labored the situation and it was immediately worried about Alexis’ large social networking presence.
“It’s an atmosphere for predators,” he told producers.
Social networking experts in the FBI became a member of the situation, stated Mays. They tracked Alexis’ digital messages, and one of these, published early Saturday evening, revealed her plans to go to Lynchburg.
She was driving her father’s white-colored Nissan, and it was going there to obtain her hair done prior to senior portraits being taken the following week. She never showed up in the salon.
Hrs after Alexis was reported missing, an application known as Find My Phone brought police to some 4,800-acre estate in Arrington, Virginia known as Oak Ridge Estate. Sheriffs combed the region in cars and helicopters, however the search would be a stalemate.
The Condition Police and also the Department of Emergency Management became a member of looking. Officials considered the street, Route 29, Alexis might have come to Lynchburg. It absolutely was the scene of the rash of mysterious crimes. However, no solid leads emerged from that type of analysis.
Alexis’ mother, Laura Murphy, attracted the general public with the media in the future forward with any information.
“The whole community has mobilized at this time,” stated Love.
On May 5, investigators acquired Alexis’ mobile phone records. The final known ping originated from the freedom Service Station in Lovingston, Virginia. Security footage in the store confirmed that Alexis was there around 7 p.m.
“She did not seem to be distressed or troubled or in any sort of danger or scared and she or he was there alone,” stated Mays.
The final activity on her behalf mobile phone what food was in 7:17 p.m.
Government bodies canvassed the service station position for Alexis and her vehicle. On August 6, a tipster reported seeing her vehicle in Charlottesville, about 40 miles north of Shipman and 70 miles north of Lynchburg.
Investigators confirmed it had been the white-colored Nissan she was driving, but Alexis wasn’t within the vehicle. Surveillance footage in the region in which the vehicle was discovered also demonstrated an unidentifiable individual close to the vehicle.
Officials returned towards the service station security footage. This time around, they observed that the man held the doorway for Alexis when she left. It made an appearance they two might have exchanged a couple of words. The family and friends who labored in the service station identified the person within the video as 48-year-old Randy Taylor.
“The service station attendant understood Randy while he includes a vehicle that’s very distinctive,” stated Love, adding he drove a truck having a camouflage design onto it.
A burglar camera within the parking area demonstrated Alexis’ white-colored Nissan following a camo truck along Route 29 toward Charlottesville.
Investigators learned that Taylor resided inside a camper near of Route 29, and 4 days after Alexis disappeared, Mays visited the home. The abandoned house and camper there looked, he stated, “like something from a horror movie.”
Taylor denied knowing anything about Alexis. However when they faced him using the footage of him there simultaneously as Alexis he altered his story. He accepted she was there and remembered meeting her annually before in a vehicle wash.
“He was smoking some marijuana and she or he had designed a comment concerning the marijuana,” stated Mays. “According to him, she was speaking about how exactly it smelled like some great stuff.”
Taylor told investigators that Alexis was with another man, stated Mays. “And they are speaking in regards to a marijuana purchase.” By Taylor’s account, they found his camper and that he bought marijuana. They left.
To validate Taylor’s story Mays declared a warrant to look his trailer. Alexis’ social networking was scoured looking for the person matching Taylor’s description. The person, recognized as Dameon by “Final Moments,” choose to go to Nelson County Senior High School. He’d left town and attended Alabama at about the time Alexis disappeared. That can be a elevated a warning sign, he’d an alibi for his location at that time Alexis went missing.
“There was nothing, there have been no dots for connecting with Dameon,” stated Mays. “It only agreed to be another ploy for Randy to toss the analysis off.”
Investigators acquired a warrant to look Taylor’s home, where they found a torn finger nail, extensions, and gemstone stud. DNA later matched evidence to Alexis.
“Hearing this sort of evidence,” stated Love, “your stomach just turns.”
Police known as inside a K-9 unit educated to identify adhesive utilized in mobile phones to look near Taylor’s trailer. Alexis’ phone, “her lifeline,” stated Mays, was retrieved about 70 ft from it. It absolutely was smashed. Taylor was arrested.
“He appeared as if a ghost … a deer within the headlights,” stated Mays. “I don’t think Randy expected the rain of hell that came lower on him as quickly as it came lower.”
Mays were built with a difficult conversation with Alexis’ family. He said excitedly he didn’t believe she was alive and the man desired to charge Taylor together with her murder. The household agreed.
Prior to the trial police force offered Randy Taylor an offer — he’d spend twenty years in jail if he told the household where Alexis’ body was. His response was: “Give me 10,” stated Love.
The murder trial started in May 2014 in the Nelson County courthouse. Taylor was in prison for abduction and first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 2 existence terms imprisonment.
Mays believes Alexis might have planned to purchase marijuana from Taylor, which described why she adopted him. Her family isn’t convinced.
On Feb 5, 2021, the remains of the body discovered per month previously private property near Route 29 in Nelson County were recognized as Alexis Murphy.
To understand more about the situation yet others enjoy it, watch “Final Moments,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Archiweekend.