The Patriot Ledger
Friday, November 19, 2004
Missing Hanson woman's last call yet to be investigated: N.H. condo owners say police made no effort to contact them since February. By Joe McGee
HANSON - The family of a missing 22-year-old is demanding to know why police apparently failed to investigate one of the last telephone calls she made on the day she disappeared.
At 1 p.m. on Feb. 9, Maura Murray called a Wakefield couple who own a condominium at the Seasons at Attitash resort in Bartlett, N.H., that was for rent. Murray's family has stayed at the resort.
But the couple, Dominic and Linda Salamone, say they have never heard from investigators.
"It's so upsetting," Linda Salamone said last night. ''I was the last person she talked to, so wouldn't I be the first person they would call to at least find out her state of mind?''
Murray made her last call at 2 p.m. on the same day to a toll-free number that offers information about lodging in Stowe, Vt.
Salamone said she did not know about Murray's mysterious disappearance until last month, when the mother of the young woman's boyfriend telephoned to ask about the February call.
"I couldn't even tell her what she said because it was so long ago but I'm assuming she wanted to rent the place," Linda Salamone said.
Sharon Rausch, the mother of Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch, said she discovered the call to the Salamones last month when she looked over Murray's cell phone bill for February.
"It blew our minds that it's now eight months later and we're finding out that (police) never even called these people," Rausch said.
New Hampshire State Police said the investigator who was given the phone records, Lt. John Scarinza, would not be available for comment until Monday.
This is not the first time the Murray family has criticized the way the investigation has been handled.
In July, Laurie Murray found out from a Patriot Ledger reporter that police had conducted a day-long search for her daughter. Police said they had told her ex-husband, Fred Murray of Weymouth, and assumed he would tell her, but Murray denied in a television interview that he had been notified.
In June, Laurie Murray criticized police for suggesting that her daughter had killed herself or run away. Murray believes her daughter was abducted.
Murray was last seen Feb. 9 in Haverhill, N.H., a small town near the Vermont border, where she crashed her car on Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway. Earlier in the day she left her dormitory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst without telling anyone why.
Police said Murray was dealing with personal issues, but family members said none of it was serious enough that she would run away.
Bartlett, where the Salamones have their condominium, is about 60 miles east of Haverhill on Route 112.
While the Murrays may have lost faith in the police investigation, they are continuing their effort to find their daughter.
A new website launched last week, www.mauramurray.com, offers information about the case and a forum for people to chat.
"We've already had interest from people," said Kerri Doble Gingras of Marshfield, a relative of Murray who developed the web site with her husband.
"We're hopeful from having a response that at least she's still on people's minds," she said.
Murray's story will be featured on the Montel Williams talk show on a date to be announced.
Over the last month, volunteers have also attached photos of Murray to their mail with information about how to contact police.
But the family is also dealing with another crisis.
Laurie Murray was diagnosed with throat cancer last month and is undergoing 30 days of chemotherapy and radiation.
"Everything comes in numbers. We already had Maura and now this," Murray said. "But I'm a fighter and I'll beat this."
She said she is determined to see her daughter again.
"I want her home for the holidays," she said.
Joe McGee may be reached at jmc...@ledger.com.