February 16, 2004

Search Continues For Missing Woman

Family, Friends Find No Sign Of Woman Missing For Week

Bath, N.H. -- Family and friends continued to search Monday for a Massachusetts woman missing for one week after a car accident.

Maura Murray, 21, was last seen following a car accident in Woodsville, N.H. Police said there is no evidence of foul play, but they are treating it as a missing-person investigation and said they have no new information.

Murray was last seen on Route 112, and as her father searched the roadway Monday, he said that he needs to stay focused on finding her.

"I don't want to go back without her," Fred Murray said. "I can't face the ride going back in an empty car."

Maura Murray's boyfriend, Bill Rausch, was also searching again Monday. Her family and friends said they don't know what else to do. They've covered a 50-mile radius from Woodsville with posters, but police said there is still no sign of her. Her father believes she's no longer in the area.

"I think she accepted a ride at the scene of the accident, which would enable her to get closer to public transportation, and she got out by bus," Fred Murray said.

Family members can't say why Murray would have wandered away. She left her University of Massachusetts dorm last Monday, e-mailing her professors that she'd be gone for a week. She didn't tell her parents or boyfriend what she planned.

"If she could've, she would've contacted me, so I think she's being held against her will," Fred Murray said. "I'm afraid to think of what could've happened."

Murray's relatives said they are not giving up hope and plan to stay in the area as long as it takes to find her. Police urged anyone who might have seen her to call them at (603) 846-3333.

The Providence Journal

April 22, 2004

State police to resume ground search for missing girl

HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) - Another ground search is planned soon for a Massachusetts college student missing since Feb. 9 after she crashed her car.

State police Lt. John Scarinza said searchers will be out in the accident area in a few weeks before the leaves come out on trees, which makes sightings more difficult.

State police searched the area in a helicopter Monday for any sign of Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass., a University of Massachusetts student, who had packed up all her belongings at school before she disappeared.

Murray, who didn't tell her family or anyone at school where she was going, was driving east along Route 112 when she failed to make a sharp left hand curve. She was unhurt, but disappeared before police arrived and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Scarinza said the area leads into rugged, mountainous terrain that covers many miles.

Scarinza said state police have talked to Vermont State Police about a girl missing in Vermont to see if there might be a connection, but "based on what we know, there does not seem to be any correlation whatever."

Murray's family has spent considerable time searching the area and asking people in New Hampshire and bordering Vermont if they had seen her.

The woman's father, Fred Murray, still searches every weekend. "I'm happy the police are doing what they can," he said. He said the pledged reward money for information leading to her safe return has reached $40,000. He said he thinks she might have been abducted by someone who lives in the area. Scarinza said it is a possibility.

"Until we know the answer, I would never say that that's not possible, but ... there's no evidence to suggest that," he said.