After 20 years, Va. police haven’t given up on homicide investigation

WASHINGTON — Wednesday is the 20th anniversary of an unsolved homicide in Culpeper County, but the Virginia State Police say they’re not giving up.

Alicia Showalter Reynolds, a graduate student, was driving on U.S., heading from Baltimore to Charlottesville when she disappeared, the police say. Her car was found two days later in Culpeper County; her body was found two months later in a field in Lignum that had recently been cleared of trees.

Witnesses at the time said they saw Reynolds’ car, a white Mercury Tracer, on the southbound shoulder of U.S. Route 29 on March 2, 1996, and a man and a pickup truck stopped on the shoulder with her. He’s been described as white, between 5-foot-10 and 6 feet tall, with a medium build and light to medium-brown hair; witnesses also say he was driving a dark pickup truck.

Alicia Showalter Reynolds (Courtesy of Virginia State Police)
Alicia Showalter Reynolds disappeared March 2, 1996. (Courtesy of Virginia State Police)


The police say that as word spread that Reynolds had gone missing, several other women said a white man had either stopped them, or tried to, on the same stretch of road.

“Even after 20 years and more than 10,100 leads pursued by investigators, tips and information continue to come into the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Culpeper Field Office,” the state police say in a statement, adding that they “remain hopeful that this case will come to a successful resolution and continue to encourage the public to come forward with any information related to the investigation.”

If you know anything about the case, the police ask you to call them at 1-800-572-2260 or the Bureau of Criminal Investigation toll-free at 1-888-300-0156. You can email

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