LOVINGSTON, Va. -- A memorial service was held for Alexis Murphy, the Nelson County girl missing for nearly eight years, on what would have been her 25th birthday Saturday.
Murphy's remains were discovered in December 2020 about five miles from where the teenager was last seen alive in August 2013.
"Today is emotional, but yet happy because we finally get a sense of closure," Angela Taylor, Alexis' aunt, said.
The Celebration of Life at the Nelson County High School football stadium was filled with the memory of the 17 year-old.
"I have her close here to my heart," Taylor said. "This was a Mother's Day present my sister gave me. It's a necklace with some of Alexis's ashes in it so she is with me always."
The volleyball player, daughter, sister and friend was remembered as "happy, hilarious" and "wise beyond her years."
"Although the outcome is not how we all wanted, I am glad you are finally at peace," one speaker said.
Felicia Murphy, Alexis’ cousin, said that after years of uncertainty, the family finally has closure.
Murphy said the event brought the family together to remember Alexis in a positive light and hopefully gave "her a bunch of joy, especially on her birthday."
“You hold out hope when you have a family member that's missing, that they will still be here with us," Murphy said. "But we know where she is now and now we were able to put her to peace. And now she's able to rest.”
The family also thanked you to FBI and local law enforcement who worked on the case for years.
"If I could give each of you a million dollars, I would," Taylor said. "You all kept your promise from the very first day. You brought Alexis home."
DNA evidence recovered in the Murphy case ultimately led to the murder conviction of Randy Allen Taylor.
Taylor is serving two life sentences for Murphy's murder.