Northcountry News

Around July 28, 2006

Maura Murray, 2 1/2 Years After Her Disappearance

A Letter From Her Family

A Northcountry News Exsclusive

Our thanks to the Northcountry News and its Publisher Bryan Flagg for allowing the family of Maura Murray to 'speak' to its readers. As many of you know, Maura disappeared on February 9, 2004. She was last seen on Route 112 after a single car crash. Much has been said about Maura in the media and local coffee shops over the last two and a half years. Many of you have formed opinions of what happened and of Maura and her family based on what has been presented in the media and sometimes based on inaccurate rumors.

Maura is so much more than what has been presented in most of the papers. She is more than a missing person. Maura is a Missed Person, she is a daughter, a sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend. My favorite quote about Maura is by one of her friends: "If you wanted to make a person, you would make her just like her." said Katie Jones a close friend of Maura's since grade school."

She is an accomplished athlete, a very intelligent young woman who was attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a scholarship while working two part-time jobs to help pay her expenses. She had scored 1420 on her SAT (740 in Math) and had been majoring in Chemical Engineering at West Point when she transferred to UMass in late January 2002. Maura continued her pursuit of Chemical Engineering Degree through her first two semesters at UMass until she decided she would rather be in the medical field.

Maura had been recruited by many schools to run track and cross country. She competed in Track and Cross Country for both West Point and UMass Amherst until the fall of 2003. As a high school freshman, she played point guard on the girls' varsity basketball team and was a good softball pitcher.

Maura also loved to camp and hike, and her favorite camping and vacation spot is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Her father had been taking the family there since she was a small child. Fred, Maura and Billy had spent a vacation together in the White Mountains in July of 2003. We know that Maura loved your area.

Was Maura perfect--no. Did she have alcohol in the car--it appears so. Was she drinking--quite possibly. Does it matter??? Maura has been missing for almost two and a half years. Our family will continue to look for her as long as we have the ability to do so. There are those who speculate that Maura took off to start a new life. Our family does not discount anything, but believes this to be the least likely scenario for many reasons. We have no idea why Maura left Amherst, or how she came to be in your area. We know that she had hand written directions to Burlington in her car, and we know she made a call to a person who rents a condo in Bartlett that afternoon. We also know that she placed a call to a Stowe, VT information line. The car she was driving had had some mechanical problems. We're not sure whether she had not yet decided which area to head to or whether she had car trouble. Because of the way her car was found with the front end facing west, but in the east bound lane, we don't even know for sure whether at the time of the accident she was headed east or west.

Though there was apparently something bothering Maura, we believe that based on the fact that she only took a couple of outfits and things like tooth whitener and text books she was going away for a couple of days to think things through. Despite some of what was in the newspapers, she was not having difficulty in her relationship with her boyfriend, Billy Rausch. In fact had sent him an email that day telling him I love you more--". Although Billy had not yet given Maura her diamond, they were openly making plans to be married after she graduated in 2005. Maura had made arrangements in January 2004 to be employed for the summer of 2004 at a hospital near Billy in Lawton OK.

We have been so focused on finding out what happened to Maura, we don't always take the time to voice our appreciation for those who have helped us in our search, those who have had the courage to tell us about rumors, those who have given so freely of their time and energy. Because we have made friends in the area, we are aware of a particularly ugly rumor being spread very effectively. I won't discuss it except to say that it is false and may hamper our ability to find out what happened--and I for one have to ask why someone would spread such malicious rumors? Why does someone feel it is necessary to add to a family's pain? Why would anyone want to put down a family searching for a missing loved one?? To me it appears that someone sees some benefit from refocusing the attention away from the essential fact--Maura Murray hasn't been seen or heard from since February 9, 2004. Her credit cards have not been used, her cell phone was never used again, and it is our understanding that there has been no activity on her social security number.

Maura wasn't perfect and yet her disappearance has touched more people than we could have imagined. Originally, our family put up a website in the hopes of providing her friends a place to talk about her. What we found is that most of her family and friends found it too painful. Instead, we have drawn many wonderful people from Haverhill and the surrounding areas. We have people posting from all over the country and Canada. We have attracted others who have lost loved ones or had painful experiences such as being abducted. Sometimes what is said on the website is controversial and sometimes there is a post that makes us realize that there is more than the controversy--such as this post by the daughter of Audrey Groat who has been missing for 13 years: thank you all for your support, this has been a good place for me to let out some of the feelings I have been carrying for so long. It means a lot to me that so many people care, and are supportive. I really appreciate it as an adult and really wish something like this could have helped us years ago, as kids."

As with Maura, Audrey Groat is more than a missing person--she was a mother whose six young daughters were left without a mom. Though there is much more information on Maura's site, I hope you will read the info presented by the Vermont State Police at http://www.dps.state...ssing/groat.htm . As with Maura--somebody knows something, not only about Audrey Groat, but others who are missing or whose murderers have not been apprehended--Tina and Bethany Sinclair, Brianna Maitland, Laura MacKenzie and so many more. It is time to come forward, even if it has to be anonymously, our families need answers.

We would like to thank the Molly Bish Foundation for their efforts on behalf of Maura and our family and those private detectives, who through the Molly Bish foundation have volunteered their time and expertise to help find out what happened to Maura; those who have spent so much time and effort trying to figure out what happened to Maura; those who have taken the time to speak with Fred or others helping us. As Maura's dad, Fred, has said, So many people have selflessly and enthusiastically given of themselves and their time, that if force of will were enough by itself, then Maura would have been back with us many months ago. When people ask me if there is anything that they can do, I tell them that I know they would already have done it if there were.

Your universally overwhelming support is a striking demonstration, yet again, of the inherent goodness of people. You can sense my gratitude, but I want your thank you" to come to you when you look in the mirror and see reflected a person who, by choice, interrupted his or her life to try to help another human being in trouble. If there is any worthier motivation than that, we'd all be hard pressed to name what it is.

In Deep Appreciation,

Fred Murray"

If you know anything or saw anything no matter how insignificant you might believe it to be, it might be the one piece of the puzzle that we are looking for. Please contact us. We can be reached at two email addresses or We can also be reached at, P.O. Box 466, Humarock, MA 02047. If you have a significant piece of information, you can also contact Lt. Mark Mudgett of the New Hampshire State Police, Major Crimes Unit at (603) 271-2663 and NH State Police Headquarters (603) 271-3636.

(A note from the publisher - I would like to thank the family of Maura Murray for contacting the Northcountry News and allowing us the opportunity to help in their continued efforts of finding out just what happened to Maura. The loss of a friend, a loved one, a family member is never easy for any of us, but to lose one under such bizarre circumstances is surely difficult -and the continued void of the unknown for friends and family is something that most of us will hopefully never have to come to know. It is our hope that someday soon, the family and friends of Maura Murray can at the very least have a closure to this very long and undaunted chapter in their lives.)