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Alexis Murphy

Case Type: Presumed dead

Date of Birth: Jan. 1, 1996

Missing Date: Aug. 3, 2013

Age Now: 17

Missing City: Shipman

Missing State: Virginia

Gender: Female

Race: Black

Complexion: Medium

Height: 5’7″

Weight: 156

Hair Color: Black

Hair Length: Shoulder Length

Eye Color: Brown

Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

Randy Allen Taylor, 48, of Lovingston (pictured below left), who was arrested last year for Alexis Murphy’s abduction, has now been charged with her murder.

CBS News reports:

A special grand jury returned a first-degree murder indictment against Taylor on Friday, WTVR reports. The grand jury also reportedly indicted Taylor on first-degree felony murder and abduction with intent to defile charges and a charge of grand larceny unrelated to the Murphy case. Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin reportedly made the announcement in a press conference Monday as Murphy’s parents stood by.  Murphy remains missing.

“The return of indictments only means that the Grand Jury found that probable cause exists for the charges I mentioned and that Randy Taylor should go on trial for those charges,” Martin said. “The defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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. According to police, Alexis was last seen at the gas station on surveillance 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 as part of a possible drug transaction but denies being the last person to see her alive, saying she drove off with a third man.

Police did not believe that explanation. He was arrested when they found a strand of Murphy’s hair in his camper several days after she went missing, according to his lawyer.

Murphy’s family is crushed.

“Of course my family’s devastated, I can’t stand here and say that we’re not,” Murphy’s aunt, Trina Murphy, told reporters earlier this week.

Murphy was a promising high school senior who was beginning to explore colleges, according to her family.

What makes the Murphy case even more frightening is that Taylor is also among the last people to speak to another missing girl. Samantha Clarke was 19 when she went missing on Sept. 13th or early Sept. 14, 2010, in Orange, Va., authorities say.

Taylor was never arrested or charged in connection with Clarke’s disappearance, although authorities have said they want to explore the case further. Investigators from the two cases had plans to link up and explore “all possibilities.”

“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 is being held in jail without bond. His trial is scheduled to start in May. NewsOne will keep you updated on developments in the case.