Alexis Tiara Murphy

Alexis, circa 2013; Randy Taylor

  • Missing Since 08/03/2013
  • Missing From Shipman, Virginia
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 06/05/1996 (24)
  • Age 17 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'7, 156 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A long-sleeved burgundy or pink shirt, leopard-print or floral-print spandex capri pants and brown boots. Carrying a dark gray and light gray purse.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Alexis's right nostril is pierced and the right side of her upper lip is pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Alexis was left her home in Shipman, Virginia at 7:00 p.m. on August 3, 2013, saying she was going to Lynchburg, Virginia to buy hair extensions for a hair appointment scheduled the following week.

Later that night her image was captured on surveillance video at a gas station in Liberty, Virginia, which was on the route to Lynchburg. She never returned home and has never been heard from again.

Her vehicle, a white 2003 Nissan Maxima with the Virginia license plate number WYN3706, was found three days later in a Carmike movie theater parking lot, less than a mile from the secondhand store where she worked.

On August 11, Randy Allen Taylor was charged with abduction by force or intimidation in Alexis's disappearance. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. He has a criminal record stretching back to the early 1990s, mostly for nonviolent offenses.

In January 2014, Taylor was additionally charged with Alexis's murder and with abduction with intent to defile. He was convicted in May and sentenced to two terms of life in prison.

A clerk at the gas station said she saw Alexis leaving the station the night of her disappearance, driving her Nissan and following Taylor's truck. Authorities later found some of her hair, one of her earrings, her hair and eyelash extensions and a human fingernail at Taylor's trailer in Lovingston, Virginia.

They also found one of Taylor's t-shirts, stained with Alexis's blood, under Taylor's couch, and her cellular phone in a brush pile less than 100 feet from Taylor's trailer. Investigators believe a "violent encounter" took place at the trailer that resulted in Alexis's death.

Taylor initially denied having seen Alexis that night, but later admitted he met her by chance at the Liberty gas station and she went with him to his trailer with another man, later identified as Dameon Bradley. The two men smoked marijuana and drank beer, but Alexis didn't join them. Taylor said she was alive and well the last time he saw her.

Investigators located and questioned Bradley in late September and ruled him out as a suspect in Alexis's disappearance.

Taylor is also a possible suspect in the 2010 disappearance of Samantha Clarke. He hasn't been charged in Clarke's case and it's unclear whether he was involved, but they knew each other and spoke on the phone at least five times the day she vanished.

Taylor maintains his innocence in Clarke's disappearance and Alexis's presumed murder, saying he was harassed by the police and they planted evidence against him.

Alexis was a rising senior at Nelson County High School in 2013, and planned to attend college after graduation. She played volleyball and enjoyed spending time with friends, but didn't have a boyfriend. It's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning and she had never said she wanted to run away.

Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 9, 2018; two pictures added.