Police investigating Virginia teen Samantha Clarke’s 2010 disappearance as a homicide

Local News

ORANGE, Va. (WRIC) — Police gave an update Friday to a missing person’s case out of Virginia that has received national attention.

More than 10 years after Samantha Clarke went missing from her home in Orange County, investigators are reclassifying the case as an abduction and murder investigation.

On Sept. 13, 2010, then 19-year-old Samantha Ann Clarke left her Orange home late at night, according to Police Chief James Fenwick.

Then 19-year-old Samantha Clarke went missing from her Orange home on Sept. 13, 2010.

Samantha told her brother she was leaving. The only thing she took with her was her house key.

“She was never seen or heard from again,” said Fenwick.

Since then, investigators have been collaborating with other agencies and following up on every tip they receive.

“It’s been really worked on tirelessly by this very small police department and the resources have not been skimped,” said Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana O’Connell.

Although Chief Fenwick would not go into detail, he said the switch comes with the knowledge of new information and advances in forensic technology.

Orange Police Chief James Fenwick and Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana O’Connell give update to Samantha Clarke case on Friday.

Police are calling on the public to help bring justice to Samantha and her family.

“We know there’s likely information that has not been shared,” Fenwick said. “Even if you have already been interviewed or believe the information you may have has already been provided, we ask you to contact us.”

Since the start of the case, detectives have had their eye on then 45-year-old Randy Taylor.

“It’s no secret that Randy Taylor was one of the last people to have contact with Samantha Clarke,” Fenwick said on Friday. Beyond that, we’re not going to comment any further.”

Samantha Clarke Abduction and Homicide Investigation flyer.

Three years after Samantha disappeared, 17-year-old Alexis Murphy went missing in nearby Nelson County. Taylor was later charged in the Murphy case and is serving two life sentences for abduction and first-degree murder.

When 8News asked if there are any current suspects in the case. Fenwick would not comment on that matter.

Police said some people may have remained tight-lipped because of close relationships with those who might be involved in Samantha’s disappearance, but Chief Fenwick wants to remind the public that it is not too late to come forward.

Anyone with information should contact the Orange Police Department by calling 540-672-1491, emailing police@townoforangeva.org or by Instagram direct messaging @orangepoliceva_.

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