FBI: Alexis Murphy's cell phone found
Authorities said Tuesday that a cell phone recovered during the search for missing Nelson County teen Alexis Murphy has been identified as belonging to her.
Murphy was last was seen at the Liberty gas station in Lovingston on Aug. 3, when family members thought she left her Shipman home to go shopping. Randy Allen Taylor, 48, was arrested Aug. 11 and charged with abduction in connection with her disappearance.
Authorities had asked for the public's help in finding Alexis' phone. During their investigation, officials recovered several phones, and laboratory analysis has now confirmed that one belonged to the teenager, the FBI said.
The FBI did not specify where or when the phone was found, only saying it was one of "several phones ... recovered during the course of this investigation."
Authorities have conducted multiple searches during their investigation, including at Taylor's home off U.S. 29 north of Lovingston, in the Charlottesville area and, on Saturday, in the Rockfish River.
During that river search, authorities took into evidence a red sweater. However, Nelson County Investigator Billy Mays said Tuesday that the sweater did not belong to Alexis. He declined to go into further detail.
Taylor has been held without bond since his arrest. His attorney, Michael Hallahan, maintains his client's innocence, saying Alexis left Taylor's home with another man the same night she disappeared. Alexis' family has disputed that claim.
In an FBI news release Tuesday morning, authorities said "absolutely no further information" will be released aside from the positive identification of Alexis' phone.
"This sole release of information is only being made to advise the public that we no longer need assistance looking for that one item," the FBI said.