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Investigators ask for help from hunting community in Alexis Murphy case

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:35:47 AM EST
Updated On: Oct 16 2013 06:46:33 PM EDT

The Nelson County 17-year-old disappeared in August. Tonight investigators think a certain group of people could play a crucial role in finding her.

LOVINGSTON, Va. -

A new season is bringing new members on board in the search for Alexis Murphy.

The Nelson County 17-year-old disappeared in August and now investigators think a certain group of people could play a crucial role in finding her.

Nelson County and much of Virginia is full of wooded areas, open land and tough terrain. Investigators say no one knows the terrain better than the people who hunt in Virginia every season.

The landscape of the area has been one of the biggest challenges in the Alexis Murphy case.

"They're going to be scouring all over the woods and the local areas here in Nelson County and the state for that matter," said lead investigator Billy Mays.

Mays said with the heart of hunting season right around the corner, a big break could come any day.

"The local hunters in this area know the layout of the area a lot better than we do and a lot of the search teams that we've had out," he said. "They're going to be out in mass quantities and going to be covering a lot of ground."

Murphy's mother, Laura, couldn't agree more.

"These guys here in this community really know the mountains good, especially with hunting," she said.

Murphy is asking any and all hunters to go the extra mile when they are out hunting.

Laura says investigators have been working hard since day one but more feet on the ground means a better chance of finding her daughter.

"Just be mindful of shacks," she said. "Look in anything. Just look for my child, please."

November will be the three month mark in the abduction case.

Mays said tips have slowed, but he feels like it could pick back up again with the community's help.

As for Laura, she's taking each day at a time while hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

"I know in reality we do have to think my daughter may no longer be with me," she said. "But God's telling me she's still alive."

If you see anything, call the Nelson County Sheriff's Office right away.