Alexis Murphy Murdered? If So, Where Might Her Body be Found?

Alexis Murphy - FBI ImageThis is August 20, 2013—the 17th day Alexis Murphy has been missing from her Shipman, Virginia home here in Nelson County. A suspect in her abduction is in custody in prison—Randy Taylor of Lovingston, also of Nelson County. To date, he has not been charged with murder, though the location of his home is taped off as a crime scene.

Now if he is in fact the abductor, was 17 year-old Alexis Murphy murdered? If so, what are some sites where her body might be buried? Follow my train of reasoning, and—by all means—submit your thoughts in the comments section, below.

In the County—Outside the County?

Clearly, if Alexis Murphy was murdered, the body must either be inside or outside Nelson County. Try to imagine the situation, as if you were the one seeking a location that would likely not be discovered, and that would make fingering you for the crime most difficult.


Assume for argument’s sake, that you are familiar with at least one other Virginia county than Nelson. Let’s pick Albemarle County. So the question is, should the body be deposited in Nelson, Albemarle, or some other—somewhat unknown—county. What would be the pros and cons for each?

Nelson County is likely close to the scene of the crime. It could have been outside the county, of course, but since one hair of Alexis Murphy was found in Mr. Taylor’s camper, it is at least quite possible Nelson is the site of the crime.

Alexis’ car was found in Albemarle, so it is possible this location was at least part of the crime scene. Or, it may be the car was left there to mislead authorities. Albemarle has, perhaps, less rugged, more reachable terrains.

Another, perhaps more distant county, could be—if not the site of the crime—the site of disposal. There is a greater chance of discovery if a body is transported, however. Add to that, the perpetrator might not be as acquainted with a good location to accomplish the task of burying the body. There may also be a greater chance of being caught in the process. Such a choice seems less likely.

Type of Location

I have a hunch the body—if there is one—is here in Nelson County. What kind of location would be good for disposing of a body? A place not often traveled might be good. It might be the first inclination that some backwoods area would be a good choice. Yet burying the body would require the ground be disturbed, which might draw attention if the area is visited.

In Nelson, there is a quarry that might be a suitable site. But that would seem to be too obvious and easy to check. So what other area might be suitable? What about a large stretch of land that is already disturbed, and which people would be unlikely to visit?

What about a large, remote tract of clear-cut logged land? A good deal of that exists in the Schuyler region. Another nearby location is Buckingham, perhaps 20 miles down 56 from Lovingston. Place the body in the disturbed soil, cover it, and perhaps strew a thin tree or brush over the location. Or, there might be other regions affording similar possibilities. In fact, rumor suggests another remote location in Nelson County; because of my desire not to released information in the hands of authorities, I do not here repeat the rumor.

Schuyler Area - Logged - Google Images (cropped)

Schuyler Area – Logged – Google Images (cropped)

That, then, would be one area in Nelson County that I would be inclined to inspect. Admittedly, the odds of discovery are not favorable.

Preceding articles concerning Alexis Murphy, in Chronological Order:


About Vincent Summers

I have my Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Drexel University and have taken many graduate credits in both quantum and organic chemistries from the University of Virginia. I also have twenty-three years experience operating the chemistry laboratory at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), in which part of the time I participated in the second phase of NASA's Voyager II project.
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2 Responses to Alexis Murphy Murdered? If So, Where Might Her Body be Found?

  1. I just read today that Alicia Showalter Reynolds was found in such a locale – an open field with strewn logs. Her body was discovered after 9 weeks because buzzards were seen circling above her burial site. Read about that here.

  2. That’s really interesting and sad.

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