Murphy case brings renewed interest in Orange missing girl

12:29 PM, Aug 13, 2013   |    comments
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ORANGE, Va. (WUSA9) -- There is renewed interest in another missing teen case after a man was arrested this week in the disappearance of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy.

Murphy was last seen August 3 near Lynchburg. Her car was found three days later in Charlottesville. Sunday, 48-year-old Randy Allen Taylor was arrested and charged with abduction by force, but Murphy remains missing.

We also know Taylor was also questioned in the disappearance of Orange County teenager Samantha Ann Clarke in 2010, but he was never convicted in that case. Clarke is still missing three years later.

Orange County Commonwealth Attorney Diana H. Wheeler said in a press release on Tuesday that police are still investigating the Clarke case. She added, "While we join with the citizens of the Commonwealth in praying for the safe return of Alexis Murphy, both the Office of the Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney and the Town of Orange Police Department welcome the renewed public attention to Ms. Clarke's disappearance."

Wheeler says that Clarke spoke to Taylor right before her disappearance and that authorities are still "very interested in learning more about" Taylor. County authorities are helping with the Murphy investigation, providing any information that may be helpful to authorities in Nelson County, says Wheeler.

Clarke is believed to have disappeared between the late hours of September 13, 2010 or early hours of September 14, 2010. Authorities say she told her brother "I'll be back," but never returned.

Samantha Clarke is described as is 5'4" and 145 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She has long hair that she usually wears up, and multiple tattoos, including a pink Playboy Bunny on her right arm, "Tigger" above her right ankle, "Lucky" above her left ankle and a design with two dolphins on her lower back. Samantha wears glasses. Her ears have multiple piercings including a "bar" on her right ear. Her right nostril, right eyebrow and tongue are pierced.

Authorities ask anyone with information to call the Town of Orange Police Department at (540) 672-1491 or Orange County CrimeSolvers at (540) 672-7200.

The last several days people have also speculated that Taylor resembles a 1996 composite sketch of the "29 Stalker," who murdered 25-year-old Alicia Showalter Reynolds after abducting in Culpeper County. Reynolds was driving on Route 29 to Charlottesville on March 2, 1996 when she disappeared. Her body was found in a logging community in Culpeper, Va. two months later.

A dark-colored pickup truck was spotted on the shoulder of Route 29 with Reynolds' vehicle, according to Virginia State Police. Later, several women reported that a man in a similar truck flashed its lights and the man tried to stop them on the road. One woman told police he attacked her with a screwdriver when she stopped for him but she was able to get away -- with a broken leg.

Taylor currently drives a GMC Surburban (. A Nelson County judge appointed a public defender to him for the Murphy case. His next court appearance is set for January 9, 2014. He is being held without bond at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

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