Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form.
Case Type: Endangered
Date of Birth: Jan. 1, 1996
Missing Date: Aug. 3, 2013
Age Now: 17
Missing City: Shipman
Missing State: Virginia
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Alexis was last seen at a gas station in Lovingston. Her family said she was traveling to Lynchburg to go shopping and was driving a white 2003 Nissan Maxima with license plate WYN3706. The car was discovered in the parking lot of a movie theater in Charlottesville.
Circumstances of Disappearance: According to police, Alexis was last seen at the gas station on a video with Randy Taylor, 48, who has since been arrested for abduction. Taylor’s attorney, Michael Hallahan, admits that he spent time with the young girl but denies being the last person to see her alive.
Hallahan also says that his client was at the gas pump with Alexis when Taylor (pictured at right below) allegedly told her that he wanted some marijuana.
“She said, ‘I know a guy.’ She told him to meet at another location in Lovingston, and they rode up there in both cars,” the lawyer told television station WVIR.
According to the lawyer, Taylor brought $60 worth of marijuana at his camper from a man Alexis took him to meet. Taylor said the man, whom he described as “Black male, mid- to- late-20s, cornrows, and a 20-year-old burgundy Caprice with 22-inch wheels,” drank and smoked marijuana but Alexis did not participate.
All three drove separate vehicles to the camper.
Alexis and the as-yet-to-be identified Black man left before sundown, and that’s the last time Taylor saw them, Hallahan claims.
What leaves Taylor’s story open to suspicion is the fact that he was also the last person to speak with a different teen girl before she vanished three years ago.
Taylor was among the last people to speak to Samantha Clarke, 19, when she went missing on Sept. 13th or early Sept. 14, 2010, in Orange, Va., authorities say.
“As Randy Taylor is someone that Samantha spoke with immediately prior to her disappearance, he remains someone we are very interested in learning more about,” Diana H. Wheeler, Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney, said in a statement.
Taylor was never arrested or charged in Clarke’s disappearance.
The windows on the home of Clarke’s family are still marked with “Still Missing” in the hopes that she will be found one day.
However, authorities involved with Alexis’ and Clarke’s cases are now coordinating. Wheeler says Clarke’s case remains active. FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Mazanec told news outlets, “We are certainly looking in to all possibilities.”
Alexis’ family describe her as a young woman with a bright future. Alexis was scheduled to begin her senior year of high school. The volleyball player had just taken her senior pictures and had begun perusing colleges.
“She was just looking forward to everything, excited for everything, and for this to happen is just completely out of character for her,” said relative Angela Taylor.
Alexis’ mother is heartbroken.
“I want her to come home, because today would’ve been her first day of school,” Laura Murphy said last week on what would have been the start of her daughter’s senior year. “I carried my youngest son to school this morning, but I didn’t have my daughter to take.”
“Please, if the public knows anything, please, please let us know. Please,” she said.
Last Seen Wearing: Multi-colored pants, a pink blouse, and brown boots. She was carrying a dark and light gray purse.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Alexis Murphy should contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.
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