September 3, 2013
Authorities have identified what could be a key piece of evidence in the search for Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy one month after she disappeared.
"It's been really difficult. I wouldn't wish this on anybody," said Angela Taylor, Alexis' aunt, as she reflected on the past month.
Nelson County authorities announced Tuesday they've identified the 17-year-old's cell phone. They won't say where they found it or what's on it because they don't want to compromise any potential trial for the abduction suspect in this case, 48-year-old Randy Taylor.
"I think any news is good news at this point," Taylor said. "It's just these small milestones that will bring us the big reward of bringing her home."
Her family continues holding onto hope with each passing day that Alexis remains missing. Taylor characterizes the past month as being the "worst feeling, just unimaginable pain."
The Nelson County community has shown support for Alexis and her family over the past weeks. Pink ribbons have spread throughout the county, becoming a symbol of the search.
"Passing all the cars with the pink bows, and the pink bows that are on people's mailboxes and signs," Taylor said. "This whole community is still feeling her presence being gone."
Also on Tuesday, Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks confirmed to Newsplex media partner Blue Ridge Life Magazine that a sweater found last weekend as part of a search for Alexis did not belong to the missing teen.
"This could've been anybody's daughter, anybody's sister, anybody's niece," Taylor said. "Nelson is such a close-knit community where everyone is hurting the same way that we are."
The family says every day is a struggle, but they're confident and hopeful about Alexis' safe return.
"I really hope and pray that if she is somewhere looking at this, she knows just how much her family loves her," Taylor said.