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EXCLUSIVE: Lead investigator in Alexis Murphy abduction case sets the record straight

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:18:49 AM EST
Updated On: Sep 04 2013 08:31:16 AM EDT

Investigator Billy Mays sat down with WDBJ 7's Nadine Maeser in an exclusive interview regarding the disappearance of Alexis Murphy

NELSON COUNTY, Va. -

The lead investigator in the Alexis Murphy abduction case is speaking to WDBJ 7 for the first time since the search began for the missing 17 year old.

Tuesday marks one month since her disappearance and there's still no sign of her.

Nelson County investigator Billy Mays told WDBJ 7’s Nadine Maeser that the case gets stronger every day.

"This case has pretty much consumed every minute of my days for over the past month," said Mays. "This case went leaps and bounds since day one."

Investigators recovered a number of cell phones during their search. On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed one of those cell phones belonged to Murphy.

Mays still remembers filing the initial missing persons report back on August 3, 2013.

"The logistics behind it I don't want to say it was a nightmare, but it was challenging to get that all in place and as quick as we did."

A massive search began for Murphy within hours of her disappearance.

Day by day investigators began interviewing eye witnesses and collecting evidence. Mays said tips were coming in by the minute. Click here to see the entire interview with Mays.

"It's again a double-edged sword,” he said. “Some of it's been very positive, some of its been helpful and some of it has been a complete waste of time."

Within the first eight days of the case they had a break and Randy Taylor was charged with abduction and put in jail.

The community was hopeful a judge would keep him there.

"As far as Nelson County goes, Route 29 is no more dangerous now than it was before this happened,” he said. “This is just an unfortunate incident that happened in Nelson County."

The search for the high school senior and volleyball standout has been non-stop since the investigation started in August.

The clock continues to tick as everyone looks for answers and most importantly, Alexis.

When Maeser asked Mays when they will call off the search he said, “I don't know that we ever will. Obviously as leads continue to come in and information is still fresh we will follow up on that. As that tapers off, obviously once we search as much as we can in areas that are of most interest it will slow down some after that but tips are continuously coming in it really hasn't slowed and we'll follow up on that as long as those tips are coming in."

Mays could not go into specifics on the case because of the sensitivity of the case.

He’s hopeful tips will continue to come in everyday. Mays said the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for screening any and all tips. They are then forwarded to the FBI

Mays said Taylor’s truck and campers, along with Murphy’s car, are currently being held by investigators.

Taylor is still in jail under no bond.