About April 2006

A Circle of Hope

Family, friends and loved ones of Maura Murray met on May 2nd throughout parts of the country in ‘Circle of Hope’ ceremonies. Maura is the missing UMass nursing student who vanished from her one car accident on the evening of February 9, 2004 on Route 112 near Woodsville NH. Maura has not been seen since that evening.

Fred Murray, Maura’s father held a ‘Circle of Hope’ on Route 112 at the accident site in New Hampshire. A ‘Circle of Hope’ met in Maura’s hometown of Hanson, MA and was attended by Maura’s mother Laurie Murray, sister Kathleen, brothers Freddie and Kurtis, Grandmother Ruth Mehrman, aunts, cousins, numerous dear friends and neighbors. A ‘Circle of Hope’ was held by Fred Murray’s family and friends in Weymouth, MA. Laurie Murray’s brother, Ricky Mehrman, family and friends met in their ‘Circle of Hope’ in Yankton, SD. Maura’s sister Julie and Maura’s boyfriend Bill Rausch, both lieutenants in the army, joined in their ‘Circle of Hope’ at their respective army posts of Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Sill, OK. In Marengo, OH, Bill’s parents Bill and Sharon Rausch invited their family along with friends of Maura for a ‘Circle of Hope’ at their home. The UMass Track Team also met in a ‘Circle of Hope’ while participating in The Atlantic 10 Track Meet in Richmond, VA.

The ‘Circle of Hope’ ceremonies are expressions of Maura’s loved ones devotion and determination to bring her home. The date selected is to commemorate Maura’s 22nd birthday on May 4th. A large laminated photo of Maura adorned by a blue bow was displayed at each site as family, friends and loved ones joined hands to create a ‘Circle of Hope’. They also wore blue label ribbons and photo badges of Maura. Many shared their ‘hopes’ in bringing Maura home, recited poetry or special quotes. A prayer was offered to bring her home safely. At the conclusion of the ‘Circle of Hope’, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” by Iz Kamakawiwo’ole was played as 22 blue helium balloons were launched. The blue, soaring balloons are symbolic of Maura’s 22nd birthday and her loved ones hopes to bring her home. The color blue was chosen because it is Maura’s favorite color. Child Seek Network located in Mount Angel, OR donated many of the blue, label ribbons and photo badges.

The UMass Police in the National Center has listed Maura for Missing Adults as an endangered missing person. Maura has not used her cell phone, her ATM or other bank cards since the afternoon of her disappearance. The New Hampshire State Police are in charge of the investigation, although they refuse to investigate her disappearance as a criminal matter because they say there is no evidence of foul play. If you have seen Maura or have any information regarding her disappearance, please call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636 or notify your local law enforcement. You can visit Maura’s website at www.spbowers.com/mauramissing.html. In addition, you can also click on the following link to print a poster with Maura's photo and description.