The New Hampshire Union Leader

July 2, 2004

Missing woman had books, liquor in car

HAVERHILL (AP) -- One of the items found in the car of a missing Massachusetts student is a book on White Mountain tragedies, "Not Without Peril."

A family friend said the book, written by Nicholas Howe, is Maura Murray's favorite, State Police Lt. John Scarinza said. "What does that mean? I don't know."

Murray, 22, a University of Massachusetts nursing student, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car crash on Route 112 in Haverhill the night of Feb. 9.

Murray escaped serious injury and asked a resident who came by not to call police. He did anyway, but by the time they arrived, she had vanished, leaving her car and belongings behind.

Scarinza said the items in Murray's black 1996 Saturn were inventoried by Haverhill police officers during the first week of the investigation back in February.

In addition to "Not Without Peril" and other books, diamond jewelry, clothing and some alcohol were found in the car.

Some items were missing. "She had a (black) backpack when she left Massachusetts," Scarinza said. "We have not been able to locate the backpack in the car or her (dorm) room. That was the pack she used at school."

Scarinza also said when Murray left Massachusetts, she had with her a box of wine and bottles of vodka, Kahlua and Bailey's Irish Cream.

The box of wine, most of which had spilled, was found in the car. Some of the other bottles were not found.

Murray had said his daughter might have been distraught because she had another accident two days earlier. She also apparently planned to get away because she lied to professors about a death in the family and said she would be gone from class for the week, then packed her belongings as if she was moving out.

However, Murray believes she might have been the victim of foul play, although police said there is no evidence pointing in that direction.