RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - A special Virginia grand jury has indicted a used car lot worker for first-degree murder in the disappearance of a teenage girl missing since August, a prosecutor said on Monday.
The suspect, Randy Taylor, 48, had been charged with abduction in the disappearance of Alexis Murphy, 17, a case which has drawn national headlines.
Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin announced the indictment in a statement read during a news conference.
Murphy vanished August 3 and was last seen at a central Virginia gas station, apparently on her way to go shopping before high school started. Her car was found abandoned outside a Charlottesville movie theater.
Murphy has never been found, despite searches by federal and state authorities, along with volunteers and Murphy’s friends from high school.
Martin was accompanied by members of Murphy’s family at the news conference and had no other comments. A judge has filed a gag order in the case.
Taylor was arrested a little more than a week after Murphy disappeared. He has been held without bail and is to be tried on abduction charges starting on February 3.
Taylor was a person of interest in the 2010 disappearance of another teenage girl in a nearby locality. She also has never been found.
Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman