The New Hampshire Sunday News

February 7, 2010

Murray case 'very much active'

By Nancy West

Tests are being performed on possible new evidence in the mysterious disappearance six years ago of University of Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray in Haverhill, according to Lt. James White, head of the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit.

Tuesday will mark the sixth anniversary of the day Murray vanished in the North Country after crashing her car on remote and winding Route 112 during a snowstorm shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2004.

Some time in the last two weeks, police received new information in the case, White said, though he declined to say exactly what it is.

"This case is very much active," he said.

As a result of the new leads, White said, police collected items that are now in the process of being tested.

Murray's family in the meantime continues to be critical of the investigation and would like the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take over the case, according to Murray's sister, Kathleen Carpenter of Hanover, Mass.

She said she didn't know anything about the new evidence.

"Anything like that, we should have the right to know. Honestly they should be telling us," Carpenter said.

The hardest part for her family now is wondering what could have happened to Murray, Carpenter said.

Murray, 21 at the time of her disappearance, was upset at having crashed her father's new Toyota a day earlier, causing $10,000 in damage, while he was visiting her in Amherst, Mass.

The day she disappeared, the Hanson, Mass., resident took $280 from her bank account, according to police, and told professors she would be away for a week because of a death in the family, although there had been no death. She then headed north to an area she knew from vacationing with her family.

Carpenter said she and her husband, Tim, will make their annual pilgrimage to Haverhill, near the Vermont border, on Tuesday and place a blue ribbon on the tree Murray hit that dark night.

Carpenter is pleased that "Disappeared," a television program featuring missing-person cases on the Investigation Discovery channel, will feature Murray's case tomorrow at 10 p.m.

Carpenter was also surprised, she said, by some similarities between her sister's case and the disappearance eight weeks ago of Sarah Rogers, 29, of Barrington. Rogers' blue Scion xB was found idling in the median on Interstate 95 north in Clinton, Maine, on Dec. 13, 2009, also during a snowstorm. Police and a private investigator who has investigated both the Murray and Rogers cases, however, have found nothing to link the two disappearances.

Carpenter believes her sister met with foul play.

"(She) was abducted, definitely. She's not the type that would run away," Carpenter said.

The family wants to keep the case in the public eye in case anyone hears or remembers anything that could help police.

"This time of year, it gets stressful," Carpenter said. "We'll go up (to Haverhill) and say a prayer."