February 19, 2004

Police Suspend Search for Missing Woman

Haverhill, New Hampshire - Police used a helicopter and scent dogs to search two square miles of the wooded area where 21-year-old Maura Murray was last seen. But still, no sign of the missing college student.

"We were not able to come up with any conclusive clues for us to continue,"said Lt. Todd Bogardus of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Police say Murray told her employer she'd be gone for a week to deal with some family issues. She drove to New Hampshire and crashed her car on this sharp curve on Route 112 in Haverhill. She told witnesses she did not want help and took off before police arrived, leaving her car behind.

"This is unprecedented. She's not irresponsible. For her not to call, means to me she is not able to call, and that frightens me," says Fred Murray, Maura's father.

Maura's family and friends have plastered her picture on 1,500 posters all over New Hampshire and Vermont, hoping someone has seen her.

"The way we're getting through is the same way we want Maura to get through, just not giving up. We're not giving up and we don't want her to give up," says Bill Rausch, Maura's boyfriend.

The search party has taken over a Wells River motel, looking for leads, waiting and hoping. They say they're frustrated Maura was last seen on February 9th, but police didn't start looking for her until February 11th, 36 hours later.

"This is a rural area, not many people, not much crime, so when something big comes up, it's a strain on the capabilities of the local police," says Fred Murray.

Police stress that even though their formal search has ended, this case is still very much open. They want to hear from anyone who may have seen Maura Murray.