The remains of a teen who vanished from a Virginia gas station in 2013 were recovered in December, authorities announced this week.
Alexis Murphy’s remains were found on private property in Lovingston, Virginia more than seven years after the 17-year-old went missing, according to Nelson County Sheriff’s Office. Murphy was last seen alive at a local gas station on Aug. 3, 2013. Surveillance footage captured the last known images of her, according to CNN; that video evidence also recorded Randy Allen Taylor, who was convicted in her death.
Murphy's remains were found at an address on Stagebridge Road on Dec. 3., which is approximately 3.5 miles from the gas station where she vanished, the News & Advance reported.
"We were finally able to bring Alexis home," Nelson County Sheriff David Hill said Wednesday. "It just means the world to us."
No further details were given regarding the location where Murphy’s remains were found.
Taylor, 55, was convicted of Murphy’s murder and abduction in 2014. He was found guilty, despite the absence of a body, and is currently serving two life sentences. Taylor once attempted to appeal the ruling but was denied.
"It’s been continuous searches through the years that have continuously led in that direction,” Hill added, according to Charlottesville station WCAV. “And with all searches with missing persons, there are a lot of factors that come into play as to how those are looked into.”
A missing person sign for the teenager still sits near the service station where she vanished, the station reported.
County authorities confirmed that Murphy’s family has been notified of the discovery of her remains.
“Our family is so grateful for the continuing love, support and prayers for Alexis and our family over the past seven years,” they said in a statement provided to law enforcement. “While we have been grieving the loss of Alexis since 2013, we remained hopeful that she would be found alive and well.”
Murphy was described by relatives as a “fashionista” and “athlete,” who was the “joker” of the family.
“We were blessed to have loved her for 17 years, and her memory will continue to live on through us all,” the family added.
Investigators had conducted a number of searches in the years since Murphy’s disappearance. Some of those efforts did prove “fruitful,” county authorities added, according to the News & Advance.