R, N.H. -- The unsolved disappearance of college student Maura Murray iswell-known in New Hampshire, and now, the story is hitting the national airwaves.

Friday night, "20/20" will attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery. Murray vanished in 2004 after her car broke down, and anchor Elizabeth Vargas will take viewers through the events right before her disappearance.

Maura Murray Evidence -- Articles

The Patriot Ledger

May 6, 2004

New tip on missing Hanson woman

By Joe McGee

A new lead in the search for missing Hanson woman Maura Murray has New Hampshire authorities searching woods a few miles from where she disappeared.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said a motorist may have seen Murray jogging along Route 112 on the night she disappeared. The sighting was only a few miles from where her wrecked car was found.

Police have searched the area by helicopter and are planning more ground searches this weekend.

‘‘We're placing a lot of weight on the fact that he may have seen her,'' said Scarinza.

The witness had just gotten off work when he saw a person jogging east on Route 112 toward Woodstock. It was shortly after 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, around the time Murray was involved in a single-car accident on the same stretch of road in Haverhill. Murray was gone when police arrived about 10 minutes later and she has not been seen since.

Scarinza said the new tip seems credible. It was only a few miles from Haverhill and someone could easily jog there in a short amount of time. The road is infrequently traveled at night by pedestrians or motorists, police said.

‘‘The times he gave us are consistent and so we think that it could've been Maura that he saw,'' said Scarinza.

The clue offers at least some hope for Murray's family and friends. What happened after the car accident is only part of the mystery. Questions about why she was in New Hampshire are also unanswered. The last time friends saw her was the afternoon of Feb. 9, when Murray packed her belongings at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and left. She E-mailed professors saying there was a death in the family.

Another woman who disappeared in Montgomery, Vt., shortly after Murray is Brianna Maitland. Her family plans to meet with the Murrays this weekend. So far, police in both states see no connection in the cases.

Murray's father, Fred, recently underwent a lengthy reading with psychic profiler Carla Baron of Los Angeles. Baron believes Murray was the victim of an opportunistic killer. Although clairvoyants are considered a last resort in police work, Scarinza said detectives spoke with Baron at the father's request.

‘‘We took the information she had to offer but at this point I can't say she offered us anything substantial,'' said Scarinza.

Baron said she has a clear vision of who the killer is and why he did it.

‘‘It isn't the first time they've done this,'' said Baron. ‘‘His job involves traveling around. It's something where he is in different areas for different reasons. I think that's his motive. It's opportunity. He doesn't harvest women like a serial killer. He's a regular-looking guy, trustworthy, looks intelligent and you would never think he'd be capable. That's why Maura trusted him.''

Baron said her track record of working alongside detectives is ‘‘sterling.''

Baron was featured on the Court TV special ‘‘Psychic Detectives'' and on a recent episode of ABC's ‘‘Primetime Live.''

Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch of Oklahoma, said the family doubts the veracity of Baron's visions, but when a loved one has been missing for as long as Maura, you're willing to try anything.

‘‘It's difficult because it's human nature to want to know what happened,'' said Rausch.

Reach Joe McGee at jmcgee@ledger.com.