Suspect in Teen’s Abduction Connected to Previous Missing Person Case
(NEW YORK) -- A man charged with the abduction of a Virginia teenager who is still missing, was one of the last people to speak with another teen before she disappeared in 2010, according to authorities.
Samantha Clarke was 19 when she went missing on the night of Sept. 13 or early Sept. 14, 2010, in Orange, Va. Authorities said one of the last people Clarke talked to before she disappeared was Randy Taylor, now 48, who was arraigned Tuesday in the abduction of Alexis Murphy, 17, who was last seen on Aug. 3.
During a brief appearance in Nelson County Juvenile and Domestic Court in Virginia, Taylor was assigned a public defender but did not enter a plea on an abduction charge in the case of Murphy, who still hasn't been found.
"As Randy Taylor is someone that Samantha spoke with immediately prior to her disappearance, he remains someone we are very interested in learning more about," Diana H. Wheeler, Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney, said in a statement.
Wheeler said authorities in Orange, where Clarke was last seen, are coordinating with their counterparts in Nelson County, Va., to "share whatever information they have to which may be helpful."
Authorities declined to elaborate on what led them to arrest Taylor on Sunday night, however they asked anyone who may have seen Taylor before or just after Murphy's disappearance to come forward.
Murphy was last seen on Aug. 3 at a Lovingston, Va., gas station. Her white Nissan Maxima was located three days later in the parking lot of Carmike Cinemas in Charlottesville, Va.
On Monday, what would have been Murphy's first day of her senior year of high school, her mother, Laura Murphy, made a sobbing plea for her return.
"I want her to come home because today would've been her first day of school," she said at a news conference. "I carried my youngest son to school this morning but I didn't have my daughter to take.
"Please, if the public knows anything, please, please let us know. Please," she said.
Taylor was never arrested or charged in Clarke's disappearance, which police said remains an active investigation.
However, in an interview last year with The Hook, a Charlottesville newspaper, Taylor said police treated him like a suspect and harassed him to the extent that he lost his job, home and custody of his son.
"The case needs to be solved," he told the newspaper, "but the way they're going about it is ridiculous."
Taylor told the newspaper that Clarke had expressed romantic interest in one of his younger acquaintances but had soon shifted her sights to another friend, who happened to have a girlfriend.
"I heard [the girlfriend] saying she wanted to 'beat her ass,'" Taylor said, adding that he heard the second man claim he'd help his girlfriend.
Taylor told the newspaper he called Clarke, who he said he didn't know very well, to warn her to "stay away" from the second man.
Clarke's last words were to her 13-year-old brother late Sept. 13 or early Sept. 14, 2010, before she left their apartment.
"I'll be back," she said, according to Wheeler. Clarke never returned.
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