Lovingston, VA - With Alexis Murphy's killer behind bars, the Nelson County Community is beginning to heal; when Alexis went missing now nine months ago, that community was hit hard.Her family's loss was theirs and the fight to find her, they say, is never ending.
"We really have got to get her home, our family is just struggling with this” said Alexis’ Aunt, Angela Taylor during a press conference in August 2013.
Fast forward nine months, "Just felt like justice has been served and wherever Alexis is, she can be at peace now” said Trina Murphy following the sentencing of her niece’s killer.
For Nelson County, Thursday marked a day when justice was served and when a community could slowly return to normalcy.
Lovingston, Virginia was consumed by the case and by the missing 17 year old girl that people here so badly still, want to find.
"Alexis' Great Grandmother put me on the school bus, the Grandmother would babysit us” said Angela Terry.
Terry grew up next door to Murphy's family.Their struggle she says was hers.And when a sentence was reached for Randy Taylor, "I'm glad justice is being served. Very, very satisfying. In my opinion, death will suit me just fine and I'm pretty sure with the family too” she said.
Everyone Thursday had a strong reaction to the verdict and two life sentences handed down to Alexis' killer.
"I think he deserves worse than that actually” said Audrey Adams.
Adams put herself in the shoes of Murphy's Mother, "I feel so sorry for that family and that mother, I pray for her every day. I hope that she can find peace” she said.
Drive around the small town, and the signs of suffering are everywhere.The missing signs, the pink bows, and the fight to find Alexis are all still there.
"They're not going to stop till they do” said Bill Harris.
Harris summed up the sentiment of a county now, with some closure, "She was just beginning to live and the court has proven that he's guilty, bottom line” he said.