The Disappearance of Alexis Murphy

I came across Alexis' name when I was researching for my blog about Jesse Matthew Jr. the other day. Matthew is a man who was ultimately convicted for the murders of two young girls and the sexual assault of another woman, all linked by DNA.  Investigators have argued that there have been many other women who have disappeared within the time frame they believe that Matthew was at work and Alexis' name was among them, despite the fact another man in serving two life sentences in connection to her disappearance.  There apparently are still those in which believe that it is still possible that Matthew is the guilty person in this crime, and not Randy Taylor, the man convicted.  Investigators claim that while DNA was used to convict Taylor, it has also been tested against Matthew to prove that he was not responsible in this case.

Seventeen year old Alexis Murphy was last seen on August 3, 2013 at a gas station/convenient store in Lovingston Virginia.  Also on the surveillance camera was a man later identified as Randy Taylor.  The two were seen talking to each other by the cashier that was on duty.  Cameras revealed that when the two left the gas station Alexis was behind Randy Taylor's vehicle.  This latter point has been brought up by those who believe in Taylor's innocence. 

On August 6, 2013 Alexis' car was found, but Alexis was not.  To this day her body has never been found.  On August 11th Randy Taylor was arrested for her murder.  Prosecutors claim that the evidence showed that Alexis had been inside Taylor's camper.  I saw one reference that stated that this camper is sometime described as a trailer and I was never able to determine if this was a home in which he lived in and whether it was a traveling camper or one in a particular spot.  At any rate, prosecutors would claim that a "strand" of Alexis' hair was found inside the camper along with other DNA matches pertaining to a torn fingernail and a diamond earring.  

Taylor went on trial in May of 2014 and would plead not guilty.  He obviously had to admit that he had seen Alexis considering there was video evidence but he would claim that Alexis and a man by the name of Damien Brown came to him to buy marijuana and they had left together.  Taylor's defense would make claims that the investigators did not fully look into Brown, who they claim seemed to leave the state just after Alexis disappeared.  

On May 8, 2014 Taylor was convicted of 1st degree murder in the commission of an abduction and abduction with intent to defile.  When his sentencing date up in July it was said that he attempted to have a lower sentence by trying to strike a deal.  He would claim that a third person was involved and for a sentence of 20 years he would not only reveal who that person was, but reveal the location of the body.  Prosecutors and the judged denied this offer and he was sentenced to two life terms.  

If it is in fact true that Taylor offered to reveal the location of Alexis' body I find it interesting that in a later appeal there was an attempt made to link Jesse Matthew to the crime.  While all of Taylors appeals have been denied it does appear that prosecutors did have the test done to ensure that Jesse Matthew was not involved in any way.  However, just as investigators believe Jesse Matthew is responsible for more case than those for which he was convicted, they feel the same about Taylor at least about one case.  

On September 13, 2010, nineteen year old Samantha Clarke disappeared. Investigators claim that Taylor called Clarke at least 5 times in the hours leading up to her disappearance.  By 2012 Taylor was claiming police harassment dealing with this case.  He has gone as far as to claim that they planted evidence against him.  For his part he claims he barely knew her and apparently has nothing to say about the phone calls. They continue to say he is a suspect in her disappearance.  

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