Nashua Telegraph / Portsmouth Herald / Boston Globe
December 29, 2005
Note: Variations in the Portsmouth Herald are in Italics
Father sues state, police over probe
Man wants data released in daughter's disappearance
Father sues for records
Maura Murray disappeared in ’04 from Granite State
Father of Missing Woman Sues N.H. for Records of Case
HAVERHILL (AP) - From the moment his daughter disappeared Feb. 9, 2004, Fred Murray believed she was a victim of foul play.
Maura Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, vanished that night after a minor car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill. Police searched the area repeatedly, but said they have no evidence of foul play.
Murray has been highly critical of police and met with Gov. John Lynch earlier this year to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation. Fred Murray, however, has been highly critical of police, and he met with Governor John Lynch earlier this year to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation.
He’s now sued Lynch, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, state police and other law-enforcement agencies seeking the release of information tied to the investigation, such as accident reports; an inventory of items taken from her car; a copy of his daughter’s computer hard drive; and a surveillance tape from a liquor store where she made a purchase.
A hearing on Murray’s request has been scheduled on Jan. 18 at Grafton County Superior Court.
Ayotte said Wednesday she had not seen the lawsuit, which was filed last week, but that “we have shared whatever information we feel we can share without jeopardizing the investigation.”
A hearing on Murray's request has been scheduled for Jan. 18 at Grafton County Superior Court.
She said that Maura Murray's case is still that of a missing person, but that "it was a suspicious disappearance."
"We've treated the case very seriously," Ayotte said.
But Fred Murray contends he hasn't been made aware of "any specific efforts the governmental authorities have taken in pursuing this matter within the past several months." Murray also questions whether the investigation into his daughter’s disappearance is ongoing, saying he hasn’t been made aware of
"The most compelling reason favoring disclosure in this case centers on the fact that Maura could very well still be in danger, and disclosure of the information compiled by authorities could help locate her," the lawsuit says. according to the suit.
She said that Maura Murray is still being treated as a missing person, but “it was a suspicious disappearance. We’ve treated the case very seriously,” she said.
According to the lawsuit, Fred Murray was denied the records “on the grounds that production called for confidential records created . . . or would constitute an invasion of privacy.”
“Although (investigators) have continued to dispute the notion, Fred Murray’s familiarity with his daughter leads him to believe that it is likely that Maura Murray was the victim of foul play and may even still be in danger, rather than she went missing of her own accord.”
Ayotte said between state police, the Fish and Game Department, other law-enforcement agencies and her own office, thousands of hours have been spent on the investigation.
“The case continues to be pursued vigorously,” she said. “Mr. Murray’s had frequent contact with both my office and members of the state police. In fact, I personally met with him along with lead investigators of the state police last spring and he was assigned a victim’s witness advocate from my office,” who has been in contact with him regularly, she said. Police also have said that they talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear.
Maura Murray’s case will be featured on the ABC news magazine “20/20” next month. The case will be featured on the ABC newsmagazine "20/20" next month.
Police have said that they talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear.
A $40,000 reward is being offered for "any information leading to Maura's safe return," according to a Web site being maintained for her at http://www.mauramurray.com. A $40,000 reward is offered for information leading to the woman's safe return, according to www.mauramurray.com.