Nelson Co., VA - If you search the name "Alexis Murphy" online, you'll find dozens of pictures of the missing Nelson County teen. Most of them have been used to spread the word about her disappearance. But now, some people are using her photos for another reason.
Earlier this month, a viewer brought to our attention that someone on Facebook was using Alexis Murphy's pictures as their own.
After some digging, we've concluded this person isn't at all connected to the Murphy family or Alexis' case.
As surprising as it may be, Alexis' aunt Trina Murphy says this isn't the first time she's seen it happen.
"There seems to be random people out there who are just using Alexis' pictures,' said Trina Murphy.
A Facebook user by the name of Shonna Jones had been using Alexis' pictures as her own. Her profile says she lives in Buffalo, New York, and she's engaged. While that may be true, the pictures on her profile are certainly not hers.
Trina Murphy says the pictures of Alexis are from her real Facebook profile, and this isn't the first time she's seen them used in a misleading way.
"There was also an instance where there was a young man who was using Alexis' pictures and pretending that she was his girlfriend."
A Facebook representative says fake accounts are not allowed on Facebook, but it's all user-patrolled. That means users have to report a problem before Facebook can look into it.
Shonna Jones' profile has been taken down, but Murphy is asking for your help to keep this from happening again.
"It's just really disrespectful to the family and we can't stop this, but it's certainly something that people need to be aware of. If they see these sites, we'd really like for you to contact Facebook, contact the family or contact the media so that we can try to keep some sort of handle on it," said Murphy.
The pictures on Alexis Murphy's profile are public, so it's only illegal if a fake account is impersonating someone or trying to cause them harm.
Still, Trina Murphy says those profiles are violating her family's privacy and causing them emotional harm.
"Those pictures are very special to us right now. So we don't care if people share them so that the word gets out that she's missing, but to share them in a non-truthful way is very disheartening," she said.
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