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FBI Holds News Conference on Murphy Case, Search Continues - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

FBI Holds News Conference on Murphy Case, Search Continues

Posted: Updated: 8/26/2013 12:23:01 PM
Authorities continue search for Alexis Murphy on Country Lane Authorities continue search for Alexis Murphy on Country Lane
Alexis Murphy Alexis Murphy
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Investigators continued their ground search for the missing Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy Monday. 

Alexis left her home in Shipman, reportedly headed for Lynchburg, on Saturday, August 3. She was last seen at a Liberty gas station in Lovingston around 7:15 p.m. the same day. Her car was found in the parking lot at Carmike 6 movie theaters in Albemarle County on Tuesday. 

NBC29 was first on the scene as FBI search teams set up in a neighborhood off Route 29 Monday morning. Around 8 a.m., police set up on Country Lane across from Cannery Loop where they were searching overnight. 

Neighbors say police have been set up on Country Lane since Saturday. Randy Taylor, the man arrested on Sunday in connection with the Alexis Murphy case, lives in that area. Neighbors say police are using shovels and rakes and four wheelers for their search. Neighbors say five families live on the street and all of them know each other well. Neighbors say behind the houses in a wooded area is where police are searching.

"It's a little creek behind our garden area and after that it's just nothing but mountains, nothing but mountains. There's no even building sites up there so it's just all wooded area," said Donna Fitzgerald, a neighbor.

One house on Country Lane was sectioned off with police tape and investigators were bringing what looked to be evidence bags from the area.  A flat-bed towed away Taylor's camo-wrapped GMC truck Monday afternoon and authorities also removed a blue and white camper from Taylor's home. 

On Monday at 11:30 a.m., the FBI held a press conference to address the search for Alexis thus far and Sunday's arrest of Randy Allen Taylor on abduction charges in relation to the case. Police say they're doing an extensive search of what they call a "challenging terrain."

Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin spoke first at the press conference. Martin said that Taylor was arrested without incident Sunday night and is currently being held at Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail without bond. Taylor will have an advisement hearing Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Nelson County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, for when and if there is a trial in the Alexis Murphy case.

"We continue to hope that Alexis will be found safe and returned to her family," said Martin. 

Special agent in charge of the case for the FBI, Jeffrey Mazanec, spoke next, alerting the public that they were releasing a press release (read below) and an updated photo of Taylor and his vehicle. The FBI also said they are not ready to speak on the Murphy case being related to any other missing person cases in the area. Taylor was linked to the disappearance of Samantha Clarke, a 19-year-old from Orange County, in 2010. 

"It is quite difficult to bring this type of case to resolution quickly and thoroughly - especially when time is of the essence and the area to search is so extensive," said Mazanec. 

Investigators say the critical timeframe is from Saturday until Tuesday - when Alexis' car was found at the parking lot in Albemarle.

Laura Murphy, Alexis' mother, spoke last at the conference in an emotional plea for anyone to come forward with any type of information about Alexis' whereabouts.

"I want to assure her family and the Nelson County community that we will keep looking as long as it takes to find her," said Martin. 

Authorities confirmed that the search is ongoing. If you have any information, authorities are asking you to call 434-263-7050.


 

FBI
Press Release 

Commonwealth Attorney (CA) of Nelson County, Anthony Martin; Sheriff David Brooks, Nelson County, Virginia  Sheriff's Office; Colonel Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police; and Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeffrey Mazanec,  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today that Randy Allen Taylor was arrested yesterday and charged with Abduction in the disappearance of Alexis Tiara Murphy.

Taylor, 48, of the 10000 block of Thomas Nelson Highway in Lovingston, Virginia was taken into custody yesterday  without incident and remains in custody without bond, says CA Martin.

SAC Mazanec, expressed the FBI's role in this investigation has been one of bringing as many resources and  expertise to this investigation as quickly as possible; followed by a request of the public to continue calling in with tips.

Specifically investigators are requesting information from anyone who may have encountered Mr. Taylor and/or seen his vehicle just prior to and since Alexis' disappearance August 3rd. 

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