Boston Herald

January 4, 2006

Page 4

PIs working for free to find UMass Student

By Jessica Fargen

A team of a dozen private investigators is taking a fresh look at the case of missing college student Maura Murray after her family charged that New Hampshire authorities didn't do enough to find the woman they last saw two years ago.

"We still don't know where Maura is or what happened to Maura," said Helena Murray of Weymouth, whose husband is Murray's second cousin.

The family has exhausted searches of the wooded area where Murray disappeared. They hired a psychic profiler and are suing the state of New Hampshire for access to evidence such as videotapes and accident reports.

"We'll have more eyes, more hands, more ears and we quite frankly don't know a lot about what the police did," Helena Murray said.

Once known for promoting child ID kits and parental awareness, the Molly Bish Foundation has reached out in the past year to the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts.

Together, they persuaded private detectives to work for free on three other cold cases involving murdered or kidnapped young women dating back to 1984.

Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, disappeared the night of Feb. 9, 2004, after she crashed her car into a tree in Haverhill, N.H.

"It's a real mystery," said Thomas Shamshak, who is part of the investigative team.

"Maura vanished. Could Maura be alive? Yeah, I think the family would hope that she went someplace else and may be living. But there's also the possibility she's not alive."

Helena Murray is hoping for some good news.

"We hope they can just look at things differently than we have," she said. "They can take all the information we do have - we don't have a whole lot - and see if they can come up with any answers."