Despite the passage of two decades and the help of 10,189 leads, the disappearance and murder of a 25-year-old graduate student whose body was found in Culpeper County is still be actively investigated by Virginia State Police.

Alicia Showalter Reynolds, 25, was last seen alive driving along U.S. 29 from Baltimore to Charlottesville when she disappeared March 2, 1996. Her body was found two months later, buried in a remote area of Lignum that had been recently cleared of trees.

Reynolds’ white Mercury Tracer was found abandoned alongside southbound U.S. 29, about five miles south of the town of Culpeper on the day of her disappearance. She had been on her way from Baltimore to Charlottesville to meet her mother for a shopping trip.

Some suspect that the Johns Hopkins University graduate student was a victim of the “Route 29 Stalker,” a man who used a car-trouble ruse to lure women into his vehicle, described as a dark-colored pickup. Several women came forward, advising police that a white male had either stopped them or attempted to stop them while they were traveling along U.S. 29 in Culpeper County.

According to witnesses who observed Reynolds’ white Mercury parked on the southbound shoulder of U.S. 29 on March 2, 1996, a white male, about 35-45 years old with a medium build and light to medium brown hair was stopped with her vehicle. The man, described as between 5’10’ to 6’0 tall, was driving a dark-colored pickup truck, possibly a green Nissan.

Reynolds’ credit card was found in the town of Culpeper, and a parka she wore was found in Madison County.

In a news release, the state police said Thursday that investigators “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.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (800) 572-2260 or the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at (888) 300-0156 or via email at

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