Alexis Murphy Case Goes National, Community Support Grows
A Nelson County teen's disappearance a week ago leaves a family anxiously waiting for answers and investigators searching for clues across central Virginia.
The FBI has taken the search for 17-year-old Alexis Murphy nationwide as the Nelson County community is showing its support for a family determined to bring Alexis home. A spokesperson for the FBI says on top of two "seeking information" alerts posted on the bureau's website earlier this week and two press releases, national news outlets are now receiving all information about the Nelson County teen's disappearance by email.
It was a quieter scene in Lovingston around the police command center Saturday. There were no helicopters in sight and neighbors say they saw no signs of an active search. But there were new symbols of the community's effort to find Alexis.
"Obviously this week has been…for lack of any other word, it's been a living hell," Alexis' great aunt Trina Murphy said.
Trina Murphy has endured a heartbreaking week since her great-niece Alexis vanished last Saturday.
"The not knowing has just – that's the worst part. And what has kept us going is faith and family," she said.
Investigators conducted two active searches for the missing 17-year-old Friday - in the area of Cannery Loop and Eades Lane along Route 29 just north of Lovingston. They believe this is the last place where Murphy's cellphone location detected.
"People have been asking other people a whole lot of questions to try to bring her back, or try to find a lead to where she could be at," Virginia Harris, a neighbor, said.
The police investigation is only one part of the commitment to bring Alexis home. Nearby businesses are putting up posters with her picture on their doors, placing flyers on cars, and tying pink ribbons on street signs Saturday morning to support the search efforts.
"People have been asking other people a whole lot of questions to try to bring her back, or try to find a lead to where she could be at," Harris said.
Community members say it's the least they can do to help a family struggling through the unknown.
"They need the support and because this is a loving community. You know we love our neighbors," Ruby Wood, Sunny Mountain Store clerk, said.
That love is helping Alexis' family hold out hope for her safe return.
"Our family has gotten way bigger in the last week because this community is now our family. There has not been a single person that has not tried to reach out to us in some way," Trina Murphy said.
The FBI says it is continuing to cover leads, but refuses to confirm details that would compromise the investigation.