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Virginia man charged with abduction in teen's disappearance

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - A Virginia grand jury indicted a used car lot worker on Tuesday on charges of abducting a high school girl, in a case that has generated headlines nationwide.

Randy Taylor was indicted for the abduction in rural Nelson County of Alexis Murphy, 17, said Nelson County prosecutor Anthony Martin in a statement.

Murphy vanished on August 3 after leaving home, apparently to go shopping. She was last seen at a gas station.

Her disappearance has sparked extensive searches by the police, FBI, Nelson County authorities and hundreds of volunteers, including her high school classmates.

Taylor also had been a person of interest in the 2010 disappearance of Samantha Ann Clarke, 19, in Orange County, Virginia, county prosecutors said. Clarke is still missing.

In that case, police arrested Taylor and charged him with possession of a firearm. But the felony charge was thrown out, because police had no warrant when they placed a tracking device on his car.

In addition to abduction, the Nelson County grand jury indicted Taylor on an unrelated charge of possessing a stolen vehicle.

Taylor, 48, is to appear in court on October 23, when a trial date will be set. He had been held without bail in a regional jail, pending the grand jury's indictment.

(Reporting by Gary Robertson, Editing by Ian Simpson and Gunna Dickson)

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