NELSON COUNTY, Va. — The remains of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy were discovered in Lovingston, Virginia, according to the Nelson County Sheriff's Office.
The remains, found about five miles from where the teenager was last seen alive in 2013, were discovered in December 2020 and positively identified as the missing girl earlier this month.
"Our family is so grateful for the continuing love, support, and prayers for Alexis and our family over the past seven years," her family released in a statement. "While we have been grieving the loss of Alexis since 2013, we remained hopeful that she would be found alive and well."
Officials delayed the release of information about the remains in order to give the family time to grieve and make proper arrangements.
DNA evidence recovered in the Murphy case ultimately led to the murder conviction of Randy Allen Taylor.
Taylor is serving two life sentences for Murphy's murder.
Information about what led police to the remains has not yet been made public.
"Alexis was the fashionista, athlete, and joker of our family; we were blessed to have loved her for 17 years and her memory will continue to live on through us all," her family's statement continued. "Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to the citizens of Nelson County, the FBI, the Virginia State Police, the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, and all of the search and rescue teams for your commitment and unwavering support to find Alexis. You all kept the promise made in 2013, to bring Alexis home! During this time, we ask that you continue to lift our family up in prayer and in the words of Alexis, ‘Keep Hope Alive.’”
This story was first published by WTVR.