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UPDATE: Suspect named in abduction case, Alexis Murphy still missing

LOVINGSTON, Va. (WTVR) – A Virginia mother whose daughter disappeared more than a week ago delivered an emotional plea for help.

“If anyone knows anything, please, please let us know,” Laura Anne Murphy said during a Monday morning briefing about her missing daughter Alexis. “Today would have been her first day of school. I carried my youngest son to school this morning, but I didn’t have my daughter to take.”

Randy Taylor (PHOTO: Albemarle/Charlottesville Regional Jail)

Randy Taylor (PHOTO: Albemarle/Charlottesville Regional Jail)

The Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin announced while the search for 17-year-old Alexis Murphy continued, an arrest had been made in the case.

Randy Allen Taylor, age 48, of Lovingston, Virginia is charged with abduction according to the FBI. Taylor was arrested at his home Sunday afternoon.

FBI agents and state police said they focused on the Cannery Loop neighborhood,  just right off Route 29, in Nelson County because that is where Murphy’s cell phone hit a cell phone tower.

“We continue to seek information from anyone who may have seen anything of interest on the day of Alexis’ disappearance,” Special Agent in Charge of the Richmond Division of the FBI Jeff Mazanec said. “We are also looking for any information the public may have regarding suspect Randy Taylor prior to the disappearance of Alexis on Aug. 3 and anything regarding his activities or involvement that might prove helpful to this investigation.”

Taylor drives a late model GMC Suburban

Taylor drives a late model GMC Suburban

Taylor has previously said police believed he was a suspect in the 2010 disappearance of Orange resident Samantha Clarke, according to the The Hook, a Charlottesville newspaper. Taylor was never charged in connection to her disappearance.

“I know there is some speculation that this case may be connected to other, similar disappearances or abductions in the region,” Mazanec said. “We are certainly looking at all possibilities and information in this regard.”

Mazanec went on to say the FBI was not prepared to discuss possible connections and remained focused on finding Alexis.

The FBI asked the public to call the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 434-263-7050.

FBI agents were searching an area off Rt. 29 in Nelson County once again Monday morning.  Neighbors around the Cannery Loop area of Livingston said agents told them Murphy’s cell phone was last tracked when her signal hit a tower near there.

Donna Fitzgerald owns property just off Rt. 29 on Country Lane.  Agents had been searching around her home since Saturday.  Fitzgerald said her property backs up to nothing but densely wooded mountains.  She is not sure who, if anyone owns the land.

Taylor is due in Nelson County District Court on Wednesday.

This is a developing story.


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