Lovingston, VA - Tuesday night on what her family calls "sacred ground," there were prayers and continued hope that Alexis Murphy will return home in time for Christmas.
It was an emotional night that included a tree lighting ceremony in Alexis' honor at the Liberty Gas Station in Lovingston, where she was last seen.
This, her parents say, is Alexis' favorite time of year. Each day only gets harder for them, and there's only one thing they each want this Christmas.
"Knowing that she loved Christmas, it's like why should I even put up a tree" said Laura Murphy, Alexis' mother.
The flame has flickered out for Laura Murphy's Christmas spirit, "Why should I even put up lights? But I know I've got to do it for her little brother, because she told me, all I want is Cam to have the same Christmas that I had" she said.
She clings now to old memories; Christmases past, when her daughter Alexis was home. She's missing that flame, the one that gave her so much spirit.
"I still don't have my daughter, and that's all I want for Christmas is my daughter back" she said.
But she has a new light now; the one that shines from the pink Christmas tree, put up by her friends and neighbors, to honor her daughter. It stands at the gas station where her daughter was last seen.
A Christmas wish for this community, mourning now for four long months, "We pray that you feel God's love and our love, wherever you may be" said Trina Murphy, Alexis' Aunt.
Surrounded by friends, family, and strangers, Trina Murphy prayed for her missing niece.
"We love you, and we miss you, our hearts ache not to have you here with us. Please know, and believe, we will never give up on you" she said.
Each pin a pink ribbon to the tree in her honor.
"Every day I just keep reliving day one" said Troy Brown, Alexis' father.
For Brown, these are his hardest days, "This is pretty much her season, she'd be real excited during Christmas time. So this is going to be a really hard pill to swallow this year" he said.
"I'm not giving up hope at all. I'm keeping my hope and faith, I mean, she hasn't been found, so you don't know" said Laura Murphy.
The pink tree at the Liberty Gas Station will be lit all season, as a sign that Alexis' family, and all in Nelson County haven't given up hope.
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