The New Hampshire Union Leader / Portsmouth Herald / Sun Journal

November 15, 2006

Notes: The Sun Journal article is less complete

By Katharine Webster

Associated Press

CONCORD - The father of a missing Massachusetts college student was at the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking police records and evidence in her disappearance.

Maura Murray, 21. was last seen shortly after crashing her car in a snowbank off Route 112 in Haverhill on Feb. 9, 2004.

That was nearly three years ago, and her father. Fred Murray, of Weymouth, Mass., said he is frustrated at the apparent lack of progress in the police investigation — and the state’s refusal to share any information with him or private investigators.

“I’m a little angry that it has to come to this, that you have a missing persons case that can remain under investigation for 50 years," he said before the hearing. "It’s absolute stonewalling."

Murray’s lawyer, Timothy Ervin, argued that while exemptions to the state Right to-Know Law and the federal Freedom of Information Act allow police to withhold evidence in open investigations, they cannot withhold all 2,500 records indefinitely. He asked that a judge review the records to determine whether some should be released.

"The court has to make a specific showing that disclosure would interfere with the ongoing investigation," he said.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith argued the records, including witness interviews, phone records and police reports, could become critical evidence in a criminal prosecution.