Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle / Portsmouth Herald / Boston Globe / The New Hampshire Union Leader
April 4, 2004
Note: The Portsmouth Herald has additional paragraphs and some alternative wording in italics and the New Hampshire Union Leader has some additional words in italics as well.
More searches set for Mass. woman
Family still hoping to find missing woman
HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — Family and friends continued their search this weekend for a Massachusetts woman who disappeared after a car accident in northern New Hampshire in February.
"I'll never give up hope,” the missing woman’s mother, Laurie Murray, said through tears yesterday.
Although state officials ended their search weeks ago, K-9 dog teams from the Adirondack Rescue Dog Association resumed searching the Haverhill area for any sign of Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson. Mass.
Police have said there is no evidence of foul play and are treating the disappearance as a missing person investigation.* Numerous searches, using dogs and helicopter, turned up no sign that Murray wandered into the snow-covered woods and led police to sat Murray may have wanted to get away on her own for a while.*
Searchers found no signs of struggle at the scene, and it appears Murray was planning a getaway. She lied to professors about a death in the family, and said she would be gone from class for the week. Then she packed her belongings as if she was moving out. Police said Murray may have wanted to get away for a while.
Her mother said she doesn’t buy it.
From her home in Hanson, Mrs. Murray said she doesn't buy it.
“Two months, and there have been no clues, nothing. Isn't that odd." she said. Laurie Murray, whose daughter attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said she planned to travel to the Haverhill area today to deliver a message to police.
The distraught mother/Mrs. Murray said she planned to travel to the Haverhill area on Sunday to deliver a message to police.
Mrs. Murray said she also wants to help distribute new fliers announcing that the reward for information leading to Maura Murray has risen to $40,000 Sharon Rausch, whose son, Billy, is Murray's boyfriend, said she her son and Murray’s family have not given up hope she will be found and safely returned.
“She's not a runaway,” she said. “ She was abducted. She would never not call her family."
Fred Murray, the missing woman’s father, said he was impressed by the teams when they searched the area last weekend. He was returning to the scene this weekend to search areas not being searched by the K 9 teams.
Meanwhile, Rausch is enlisting the help of University of Massachusetts at Amherst officials. Murray was a junior nursing student there Rausch is asking them to send an e mail message to students this month reading: “Please help us find Maura. Please forward this to all the contacts in your address book." The email will contain a description of Murray and information about the accident on the night of Feb. 9. "It will literally (reach) hundreds of thousands of people," Rausch said.