Nelson Authorities to Resume Search for Alexis Murphy

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Nelson County investigators say they will search for Alexis Murphy next month. Sheriff David Brooks says the search will take place in Orange County in November.

Brooks says the search for Murphy was already planned before University of Virginia student Hannah Graham disappeared. Law enforcement will search in Orange County in November but will not disclose a specific date or location.

Investigators say they actually started the search in August but had to stop because the area they were searching was too overgrown. Brooks says they are looking in Orange because of the ties Randy Taylor, the man convicted of her abduction and murder, has to that area.

Sheriff Brooks says the search for Alexis Murphy has been ongoing, even if you didn't see it in the media. Detective Billy Mays of the Nelson County Sheriff's Office says they haven't given up hope and owe Murphy's family some closure.

Murphy was last seen on August 3, 2013 at a gas station in Lovingston. An extensive search was conducted but Murphy was not found. Randy Taylor was arrested on August 11, 2013 and charged in relation to the case. 

Alexis Murphy's great-aunt, Trina Murphy, says investigators never stopped looking for her niece, and she hopes for closure to the family's 15-month-long nightmare. But she's also concerned about the more recent disappearance of Hannah Graham.

"Hannah at this moment is the next girl, and not to take anything away from Alexis' case, but it was very important that we find Hannah so that her family doesn't have to go through a year and three months of waiting," Trina Murphy said.

Even though investigators have found no trace of Alexis Murphy, Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile and is currently serving two life terms. He did offer information about Murphy's whereabouts during his sentencing - never saying she was dead - but that was in exchange for a reduce sentence of 20 years. Trina Murphy stands by her family's decision to reject the deal.

"There was no guarantee that he was actually going to give us the right location or any location for that matter. I feel more comfortable with him behind bars, and when God is ready for us to find out where Alexis is, he'll reveal it," she said.

Brooks says the upcoming search for Murphy will be conducted only by law enforcement. Trina Murphy says she often thinks about the closure of finding Alexis, but says, "Even with that closure, with Randy in jail and finding her body and giving her a proper burial, this is a life sentence for us."

Click here for in depth coverage of the Alexis Murphy case.

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