New Hampshire Union Leader

October 29, 2007

Could she have decided to disappear? - Could Maura Murray have simply decided to run away and begin a new life?

It is probably the least likely scenario police are considering, but something similar has happened recently in New Hampshire, although for a much briefer time.

Laura Mackenzie of Goffstown was an 18-year-old high school honor student when she sparked a nationwide search after disappearing March 8, 2006.

Mackenzie never spoke a word about her disappearance to friends of family members. In five months' time, she did not use her ATM card, her e-mail account or a cell phone.

Investigators followed leads that suggested Mackenzie might have traveled all the way to California.

She had run away to Florida to avoid facing a shoplifting charge.

She worked as a waitress until being discovered in St. Augustine Beach in August 2006. Mackenzie later reached a plea bargain and agreed to pay for her extradition to New Hampshire.

"I am very sorry for the pain, time and expense associated with the search to find me during the time I was gone," she said after pleading guilty to a shoplifting charge in Hillsborough County Superior Court.