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Murphy, Harrington families join to shed light on missing persons cases

Murphy, Harrington families join to shed light on missing persons cases

LOVINGSTON — Two months after 17-year-old Alexis Murphy disappeared, her family stood alongside the parents of Morgan Harrington on Friday to bring awareness to missing person cases.

“We are all part of the family of the missing,” said Gil Harrington, Morgan’s mother. “It’s a hideous situation.”

Outside of the Lovingston Café off U.S. 29, the two families were featured by the Cue Center for Missing Persons, based in North Carolina. In its 10th national road tour, the Cue Center is drawing attention to 102 missing person cases and six unsolved homicides across 12 states.

“This is just a small handful,” said Monica Caison, spokesperson for the Cue Center. “On a national level, it’s about 850,000.”

Alexis, of Shipman, last was seen on Aug. 3 at the Liberty gas station in Lovingston. Since then, her story has spread nationwide as the FBI, Virginia State Police and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office have searched for her. The Nelson County community also rallied around the Murphy family, posting signs and pink ribbons on countless street corners.

“I just appreciate everyone,” said Laura Murphy, Alexis’ mother. “I know they are really praying for us.”

The ribbons in Alexis’ favorite color were put out shortly after her disappearance with the hope they will guide her home.

Investigators continue to search for Alexis but have offered little new information, the Murphy family said Friday.

“They’re being as tight-lipped as they have been,” said Trina Murphy, Alexis’ great-aunt. “They still work as diligently and as hard as day one.”

Two months into the search, the family believes they will see their daughter again.

“She definitely wants to be home,” Laura Murphy said.

“We will never give up,” Trina Murphy added. “We will stand together.”

As the search continues, Gil Harrington and her organization, the Help Save the Next Girl foundation, have offered comfort and support to Alexis’ family.

Morgan Harrington disappeared from Charlottesville following a Metallica concert the night of Oct. 17, 2009. Three months later, her body was found in an Albemarle County field. After finding Morgan’s body, Harrington said she hoped to prevent other families from enduring such pain.

“You will move heaven and earth to help someone in their shoes,” she said.

The two families first encountered one another over a nationally televised interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell.

“The first time we met, we embraced as family,” Harrington said. “Our tears are the same.”

Friday marked the second stop in the road tour for the Cue Center. Caison offered a hug and advice to Alexis’ mother during Friday’s stop.

“There are a lot of families just like you,” she said. “Don’t give up.”

Dressed in pink shirts featuring Alexis’ picture, the Nelson County High School volleyball team also showed their support for their missing teammate’s family.

“To see her volleyball team here, it really means a lot,” Laura Murphy said Friday. “Alexis was really looking forward to volleyball this year.”

As a senior, Alexis would have served as the team’s captain. After high school, she hopes to receive a volleyball scholarship to Longwood University, Lynchburg College or Radford University.

Alexis’ team waited in single file to hug her mother.

The family said they will continue to search for their daughter and raise awareness for her case.

“No tip is too small at this point,” said Angela Taylor, Alexis’ aunt. “It’s a team effort to make sure this won’t happen to anyone else.”

Officials urge anyone with information on Alexis’s disappearance to call (434) 263-7050.

Contact Barrett Mohrman at (434) 385-5531 or bmohrmann@newsadvance.com.

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  • Updated

The Lovingston man accused of abduction in the disappearance of Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy will face a jury in early February, a judge decided Wednesday. Randy Allen Taylor, 48, plans to plead not guilty to felony abduction, his lawyer said.

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