The Patriot Ledger

February 16, 2004

Hanson woman, 21, still missing after crash

By Elizabeth Smallcomb

HANSON - Family members and friends are anxiously awaiting news about the whereabouts of Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, who disappeared after her car crashed in northern New Hampshire.

I haven't heard a word,'' her mother, Laurie Murray, said yesterday after talking to police in New Hampshire.

Maura Murray, a junior nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was in a single-vehicle accident last Monday on Route 112 in Woodsville, N.H. She refused help and walked away from the accident scene.

Friends and family describe Murray as intelligent and responsible, and they say it is uncharacteristic for her to have no contact with family.

Elizabeth Drewniak of Hanson, a close friend, said that after talking with Murray's family and boyfriend, all indications are that something made Murray decide she needed to get away.

Murray's father, Frederick; her brothers, Frederick and Kurtis; her sister, Kathleen; and her boyfriend, Army Lt. William Rausch of Oklahoma, are distributing fliers in New Hampshire near the Vermont border.

Police in New Hampshire called off their search after three days without any leads. They are investigating cell phone and debit card records, hoping they lead to Murray.

Haverhill, N.H., Police Chief Jeff Williams said last week that no evidence of foul play was found.

Maura Murray was an honors student and one of the top cross-country and track-and-field runners in the state during her years at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, from which she graduated in 2000. She continued running at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she studied for three semesters before transferring to UMass to study nursing.