Alexis Murphy's Cellphone Found
Tuesday there was a big break in the search for Alexis Murphy. The 17-year-old disappeared exactly one month ago, and on Tuesday the FBI said one of the cellphones recovered during the investigation is hers.
Alexis left her home in Shipman Saturday, August 3 - reportedly heading toward Lynchburg. Surveillance video shows her at the Liberty gas station in Lovingston around 7:15 that night. That was the last time she was seen. Authorities arrested Randy Allen Taylor, 48, on Sunday, August 11, and charged him with felony abduction in relation to the case. For more, click here.
In the past month, investigators have collected several cellphones. They were all sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico for analysis. The FBI won't say where exactly Alexis' phone was recovered and a spokesperson would not go into detail about how the FBI laboratory determined the phone belonged to Alexis. The FBI did confirm that they are no longer looking for any cellphones.
The FBI says they have received several hundred tips at this point in the investigation. Some of them are from out-of-state and are being prioritized.
Alexis' family says any news is welcomed news.
"Hopefully it just brings us one step to bringing her home. But as far as any other information, they haven't told us much," said Angela Taylor, Alexis' aunt.
A Nelson County investigator also confirmed Tuesday the red sweater pulled from the Rockfish River during a search on Saturday, August 31 does not belong to Alexis.
Taylor's case will go before a grand jury on September 24.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Press Release
Alexis Tiara Murphy's disappearance on August 3, 2013; spawned a multi-agency law enforcement effort to investigate the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Through community support and the media's engagement law enforcement have received several hundred calls with potential leads; which investigators diligently continue to work through. As a result of the state-wide and national media coverage, some of these calls have been from outside the Commonwealth of Virginia; and are being prioritized and addressed as investigators deem appropriate.
The Commonwealth Attorney's Office of Nelson County and the Investigative Partners in the Murphy investigation are announcing that one of the phones located has since been positively identified as that of Alexis Murphy. Since this is an on-going sensitive investigation, where evidentiary items and search information is sealed; no further discussion will be entertained. This sole release of information is only being made to advise the public that we no longer need assistance looking for that one item.
In order to protect the integrity of the investigation and ensure that Mr. Randy Allen Taylor gets a fair trial in Nelson County, Virginia, absolutely no further information will be released about this investigation.
This case continues to be investigated by the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, the Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nelson County Commonwealth Attorney Anthony Martin is prosecuting the case.
Please continue to contact authorities at 434-263-7050 with any information that would assist in locating Alexis and /or creating a time-line for authorities of her activities and that of Taylor's.