Nashua Telegraph / Boston Globe

May 8/9, 2004

Families of missing women gather

Crime <>

Parents, siblings seek support, connection between three cases.

By Mike Recht

The Associated Press

HAVERHILL - The families of two missing women came together in Haverhill on Saturday to plead for help from the public and federal authorities.

Fred Murray of Weymouth, Mass., whose daughter, Maura, 21, disappeared on Feb. 9 in Haverhill after a minor car accident, set up the meeting before starting another weekend of searching.

He was joined by Bruce and Kellie Maitland of East Franklin, Vt., whose daughter, Brianna, 17, was last seen on March 19 after she left work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt.

Also lending their support were the parents of 20-year-old Amie Riley of New Hampshire, who was last seen leaving a bar in August. Her body was found last month in a marsh.

Although they had never met before, the parents hugged tearfully, knowing each other’s pain. Murray said the three cases “easily could be” connected, although state police said there is no evidence pointing in that direction.

Murray said the three investigations should be centrally coordinated by an agency such as the FBI, since they cross state lines.

“There is substantial reason for the FBI to be involved,” he said. “People should be yelling for the FBI to come in.”

“What if the cases are not related and a local person is involved?" he said. “Then people here should be uneasy. It takes a local to catch a local.”

Bruce Maitland said any missing person older than 12 is treated as a runaway. Murray and the Maitlands pleaded for anyone to come forward if they think they have any information about the whereabouts of their daughters.

“It can come to you; it can be your family; it can be your daughter,” Kellie Maitland said. Asked what message she wanted to send to the public, she shouted tearfully, “not one more girl; not one more beautiful girl.”

Charlotte and Michael Riley have been lobbying lawmakers to change the rules for reporting a missing adult. According to Mrs. Riley, it took police three months to enter her daughter’s name into the National Crime Information Center system.

About 15 Fish and Game officers, joined by the New England Canine and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response team with six dogs, searched the woods for Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, about five miles east of the accident site on Route 112. A limited ground and helicopter search was conducted in March, and another helicopter search was done last week, Fish and Game officer Todd Bogardus said.

The search was prompted by a new witness account of a woman fitting Murray’s description walking along the road that night.

Searchers would not be out again unless some evidence is found, he said.

"There is substantial reason for the FBI to be involved. People should be screaming for the FBI to come in." - Fred Murray, Father of missing 21-year-old.