The Patriot Ledger

July 15, 2004

Mom: I was kept in dark about search; Not told that police were looking for missing Hanson student this week

By Don Conkey

HANSON - Laurie Murray is pleased that New Hampshire State Police searched again this week for clues about her daughter's disappearance.

She just wishes someone had told her about it.

‘‘The way they are treating me is cruel, for me to find out this information secondhand through the media,'' Murray said.

New Hampshire State Police conducted the all-day search Tuesday in Haverhill, N.H., in the area where 22-year-old nursing student Maura Murray of Hanson was last seen in February.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said yesterday the search failed to turn up anything new about Murray's disappearance.

While that news disappointed Laurie Murray, far more upsetting, she said, was the lack of communication.

Laurie Murray, who lives in Hanson, said she didn't know that a search was under way until she was called by The Patriot Ledger on Tuesday morning.

No one from New Hampshire State Police talked to her about it, she said.

‘‘I called State Police late in the morning Tuesday and they couldn't even tell me where in New Hampshire they were searching,'' Murray said.

‘‘I identified myself as Maura's mother, and the only information they said they could give me was that a search was going on,'' she said.

‘‘I left my number, but nobody has called,'' she said.

Scarinza acknowledged that State Police did not contact Murray, but said they did speak with her ex-husband, Frederick Murray of Weymouth, on Monday.

Scarinza said State Police tried to call Frederick Murray after the search, but as of late yesterday morning they had not been able to reach him. Meanwhile, Scarinza said, Frederick Murray had been on television in New Hampshire saying he had never been contacted by police about the search. Frederick Murray could not be reached for comment.

Laurie Murray said she deserved a call. ‘‘I am the mother.''

Scarinza said State Police thought the Murrays were exchanging information. ‘‘If the communication is not happening between Mr. and Mrs. Murray, we can correct that,'' he said.

Laurie Murray has had a testy relationship with the investigators pursuing leads in the case. Less than two weeks ago, she criticized police for suggesting that Maura may have killed herself or run away. Murray believes her daughter was abducted.

Scarinza said nearly 100 people searched Tuesday in the area where Maura Murray was involved in a minor car accident on the night of Feb. 9.

During their first search of the site more than five months ago, police found diamond jewelry, clothing and alcohol in Murray's abandoned car, along with a book about tragedies in the White Mountains.

Murray, then 21, apparently refused help from a passing motorist after the accident. Police arrived 10 minutes later, but she was gone.

She has not been heard from since.

Scarinza said that 60 troopers, as well as state fish and game officers and volunteers, were involved in the search Tuesday. Searchers fanned out in a one-mile radius from the accident scene and searched from 9 a.m. until dark.

Scarinza said the investigation into Murray's disappearance will continue.

‘‘At this point, several thousand hours of investigation have gone into this. We continue to try and find out what happened,'' he said.

Don Conkey may be reached at