Partnering With the Next Family
"Alexis was the next girl." - Laura Murphy
On August 3rd, 2013, 17-year-old Alexis Murphy, a high school senior from Lovingston, Virginia, went missing.
For days, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, the Murphy family worked and searched for their daughter. Alexis’ school friends, where she had been the captain of her volleyball team, the Nelson Lady Govs, gathered to aid in creating media attention. Within 48 hours, Alexis Murphy’s disappearance had gained a national audience.
Alexis was 17 years old. She loved her family, social media, sports, fashion, and the color pink. She was a beautiful high school teenager who lived in celebration.
Help Save The Next Girl founder, Gil Harrington, contacted Alexis’ mother, Laura Murphy, to partner in the search for Alexis and to offer emotional support during the missing phase. The speed at which the Murphy case accelerated into mainstream media was unprecedented. Help Save The Next Girl assisted Alexis’ family in harnessing every opportunity for exposure in the search for their daughter. Gil Harrington and Laura Murphy appeared on local and national television together, speaking about their bond of grief and outrage.
“To me there was an immediate bonding. There are very few people on the planet who know what this feels like. And she does. And I want to help her carry it if I can.” - Gil Harrington
The relationship between the two aggrieved mothers, Laura and Gil, lasted beyond the missing phase. For each of the six days of the trial, Gil Harrington, wearing a bright pink shawl, drove two and a half hours from her home to sit in solidarity with the Murphy family during proceedings in the Nelson County Courthouse.
Within days of Alexis’ disappearance, a suspect had been brought into custody. The subsequent juried trial yielded a historic conviction. The perpetrator was found guilty and convicted unanimously of first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile. This verdict was the third successful prosecution of murder without a body in Virginia state history.
This was the path that led the Murphy family to become advocates of Help Save The Next Girl. Their strong, committed efforts now join other families’ to give voice to the abducted, the missing, and the murdered. Alexis was the next girl.