Alexis Murphy’s cell phone has been found, FBI Lab confirms
The FBI announced this morning that the cell phone belonging to missing Nelson County teen Alexis Tiara Murphy has been found.
One of several phones found during the investigation into her disappearance was determined to be hers after analysis at the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, FBI spokeswoman Dee Rybiski said in a news release today.
Alexis, 17, has now been missing for a month. She disappeared on Aug. 3 and was reportedly headed on a shopping trip to Lynchburg. Surveillance video captured images of Alexis at the Liberty gas station in Lovingston that evening. She hasn’t been seen by her family since leaving her Shipman home.
Nelson County authorities have charged 48-year-old Randy Allen Taylor of Lovingston with her abduction. He is being held without bond in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
Her car was found in a Charlottesville parking lot on Aug. 6.
Taylor was arrested on Aug. 11. His court-appointed attorney, Michael Hallahan, has said authorities found a hair belonging to Alexis in Taylor’s trailer but denied he harmed her. He claimed she was there with a drug dealer and the two of them then left.
Taylor waived his right to a preliminary hearing so the charge against him will be taken up by a Nelson County grand jury on Sept. 24.
Anyone with information about Alexis Murphy’s whereabouts or the case is asked to call the Nelson County Sheri’ff’s Office, 434/263-7050. Authorities are working to create a timeline of her activities and Taylor’s, Rybiski said in the announcement.
Investigators have received “several hundred calls with potential leads” as a result of publicity about the case statewide and nationwide, Rybiski said. Some calls have come from outside of Virginia.
The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and the FBI are prioritizing leads as they continue the investigation.
Several phones were recovered during the investigation and sent to the FBI Lab for analysis.
Rybiski said the recovery of Alexis’ phone was being announced so people would not continue looking for it. However, ”absolutely no further information will be released about this investigation” to protect its integrity and ensure that Taylor gets a fair trial, she said.
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