Miles to Nowhere : Maura Murray
September 27, 2012
Missing since February 9, 2004
It's Sunday evening, 7 PM on February 8, 2004. The 21-year-old nursing student, Maura Murray, is dropped off by her father at her dorm at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Little does he know just 24 hours later, his daughter will disappear.
Earlier that weekend, everything seemed normal. Saturday starts off as a father-daughter weekend where they spend the day used car shopping and eating out at their favorite local brew house. But late Saturday night, after borrowing his car, Maura gets into a wreck. She's apologetic and he is understanding. They agree to talk Monday night to go over insurance forms.
It's Monday evening on February 9, 2004. After driving 144 miles North to a destination unknown, Maura gets into a second one-car accident. A nearby resident offers Maura help, but she declines asking him not to call 911. Police arrive less than 10 minutes later, but Maura is gone. The car doors are locked and her cell phone and credit cards are missing, but the rest of her belongings are left in the car.
The 24-hour time line before Maura's disappearance is filled with contradictions. One minute she's emailing her long distance boyfriend, while also picking up the insurance forms to go over with her father. But the next minute she's emailing teachers stating there is a death in the family and she is going away for a while. There was no death in the family.
Immediately after the crash, theories surrounding her disappearance abound. Initially, police speculate that Maura is a runaway or suicidal. But her family is resolute -- something criminal happened to their daughter that mysterious night.
There have been several possible sightings of Maura. Moments after and nearby the crash site, a local resident says he sees a young person run onto a side dirt road. Another supposed sighting involves a voice mail left on Murray's boyfriend's cell phone 36 hours after the disappearance. The boyfriend is convinced it's Maura sobbing and shivering on the other end. Yet another was at a store in Hillsboro, New Hampshire where a young woman fitting her description is seen with an older man silently mouthing the words, "Help me."
NOTE: Maura Murray is currently classified as an Endangered Missing Adult, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin states, "We don't know if Maura is a victim, but state is treating it as a potential homicide ... it may be a missing person's case, but it's being handled as a criminal investigation."