Awareness for Alexis Murphy

A pink ribbon hangs on Second Street in Amherst to raise awareness of Murphy’s disappearance. Pink is Murphy’s favorite color, and people in the community have hung ribbons in Nelson and surrounding areas to honor her.

The family of Alexis Murphy teamed up with that of another young woman who went missing to help raise awareness for missing and endangered persons in Central Virginia.

On Saturday, Help Save The Next Girl, a national nonprofit organization aimed at helping sensitize young women and girls to predatory danger, held an awareness event for 17-year-old Shipman resident Alexis Murphy and Morgan Harrington at Chandler’s Bakery in Charlottesville.

Harrington was a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who went missing after a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena in October 2009.

Her body was found outside of Charlottesville in January 2010, but no arrests have been made in her case.

Laura Murphy, Alexis’ mother, said her family was invited to the awareness event by Gil Harrington, Morgan Harrington’s mother, and Help Save The Next Girl, which the Harringtons formed in honor of Morgan.

At the event, Morgan’s and Alexis’ families highlighted other missing person cases, such as that of 22-year-old Samantha Clark, of Orange County, who was last seen in September 2010, and 19-year-old Dashad “Sage” Smith, of Charlottesville, who went missing in November 2012.

They shared with community members some tips for things young people can watch out for and how to be aware of their surroundings to help minimize the risk of predatory danger.

It also was a time for Laura Murphy to meet up with Gil Harrington and discuss their shared experience.

Laura Murphy said, since both of them are the mothers of young women who went missing, they “had a very good connection.”

“It was wonderful,” she said. “Talking to her just really helped me a lot.”

During the course of the event, people also stopped by to tell Laura Murphy, Troy Brown, Alexis’ dad, and Trina Murphy, Alexis’ great aunt, that they were praying for the family and for Alexis’ safe return.

“It just makes me feel good, because I know that I have people that are really praying for my family and praying for Alexis to come home,” Laura Murphy said.

Alexis was last seen Aug. 3 on surveillance video at a Lovingston gas station, after leaving her home with plans to go to Lynchburg.

On Aug. 11, police arrested 48-year-old Lovingston resident Randy Allen Taylor.

He waived his right to a preliminary hearing, so his case is scheduled to go before the Nelson County Circuit Court grand jury on Sept. 24.

At that time, the jury will decide whether to indict Taylor for abduction.

​Contact Katherine Lacaze at (434) 385-5582 or klacaze@newsadvance.com.