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[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The New Hampshire Union Leader
July 2, 2004

Missing woman had books, liquor in car

HAVERHILL (AP) -- One of the items found in the car of a missing Massachusetts student is a book on White Mountain tragedies, "Not Without Peril."

A family friend said the book, written by Nicholas Howe, is Maura Murray's favorite, State Police Lt. John Scarinza said. "What does that mean? I don't know."

Murray, 22, a University of Massachusetts nursing student, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car crash on Route 112 in Haverhill the night of Feb. 9.

Murray escaped serious injury and asked a resident who came by not to call police. He did anyway, but by the time they arrived, she had vanished, leaving her car and belongings behind.

Scarinza said the items in Murray's black 1996 Saturn were inventoried by Haverhill police officers during the first week of the investigation back in February.

In addition to "Not Without Peril" and other books, diamond jewelry, clothing and some alcohol were found in the car.

Some items were missing. "She had a (black) backpack when she left Massachusetts," Scarinza said. "We have not been able to locate the backpack in the car or her (dorm) room. That was the pack she used at school."

Scarinza also said when Murray left Massachusetts, she had with her a box of wine and bottles of vodka, Kahlua and Bailey's Irish Cream.

The box of wine, most of which had spilled, was found in the car. Some of the other bottles were not found.

Murray had said his daughter might have been distraught because she had another accident two days earlier. She also apparently planned to get away because she lied to professors about a death in the family and said she would be gone from class for the week, then packed her belongings as if she was moving out.

However, Murray believes she might have been the victim of foul play, although police said there is no evidence pointing in that direction.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The New Hampshire Union Leader
January 9, 2005

Father wants police files on missing daughter opened

Stumped in his search for Maura Murray, missing since a cold night 11 months ago when her car went off a North Country road, her father said on Friday that he plans to consult with a lawyer and write a letter to New Hampshire's new governor, John H. Lynch.

Frederick J. Murray of Weymouth, Mass., wrote to Gov. Craig Benson last May, conveying his disappointment that police had been unable to determine what happened to his daughter, who apparently walked away at about 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2004, leaving her car alongside Route 112 in North Haverhill, its airbag deployed and the windshield cracked as if her head had struck the glass in the impact with banked-up frozen snow.

Murray said he never got a reply from Benson, although he has heard back from law enforcement authorities who have denied him access to their investigative records.

He has written to New Hampshire Safety Commissioner Richard M. Flynn; New Hampshire state police, the lead investigative agency; Grafton County Sheriff Charles E. Barry, and the police chief at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., where his daughter was a student. He requested copies of the radio dispatch logs, witness interview reports and "any records with any affiliated law enforcement agency and any information that pertains to Maura Murray and this case."

All the law enforcement authorities denied him access to their files, explaining that the investigative documents he sought were confidential and exempted from the public-records provisions of right-to-know laws.

The most recent response Murray got was a letter dated Jan. 3, from Thomas Andross of the Grafton County Sheriff's Department.

Andross wrote:

"The information requested is part of files that are investigative in nature and release would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy under (the right-to-know law). The release and disclosure at this time could interfere with an ongoing investigation."

Said Murray:

"I want to look in those dispatch logs to find out if there is anything that might indicate a direction that they might have overlooked that I might develop. . . . This is not a criminal investigation. This is a missing person investigation. So, why all this secrecy? What is it they don't want me to know?"

At state police headquarters on Friday, requests for comment on the status of the Maura Murray case were referred to Sgt. Thomas J. Yorke. Messages were left at the Troop F station in Twin Mountain for Yorke and Lt. John K. Scarinza. Both have been involved in the investigation, but neither was expected to pick up their messages until tomorrow.

Murray, who has traipsed the woods near the crash site on numerous weekends, followed tips to dead ends and listened to the theories of psychics, worked with relatives and friends to maintain a Web site and gather pledges backing a $40,000 reward offer, said he is now "on the verge of enlisting legal aid in my attempt to get information."

State law provides for a denial of records under the right-to-know law to be appealed to a Superior Court.

Mystery phone call

One piece of the puzzle that Murray believes is in the police records he seeks is the identity of the person who held a certain telephone number on the University of Massachusetts campus on the day his daughter disappeared. Murray said telephone records show she made a call from her cellular telephone to that number the afternoon of Feb. 9, 2004, but the current subscriber did not have that number last year.

"I want to ask the people who had that number what my daughter may have said when she called. I'm trying to figure out her frame of mind," said the frustrated father, remembering better days, when he and his daughter, whose 22nd birthday was on May 4, 2004, would get together on a weekend to hike a trail in the White Mountains.

The call to the phone on the UMass campus was not the only one Maura Murray made the day she disappeared: She talked with Linda Salamone who owns a condominium at the Seasons at Attitash in Bartlett.

(Haverhill, where Murray's car was found, is on the western edge of the state; Bartlett, on the eastern side. One way to get between the two towns is Route 112, which crosses through the White Mountains as the Kancamagus Highway.)

Condo rental call

Salamone, of Wakefield, Mass., did not know she had talked with Maura Murray until Sharon Rausch, working from the cell phone billing records, dialed her number in October. Rausch, of Marengo, Ohio, is the mother of Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. William Rausch.

"Only then did it all clicked," Salamone said on Friday of how her conversation with Mrs. Rausch last October made her realize she was one of the last people to talk with Murray before she disappeared.

Salamone does not remember details of her conversation with Maura Murray, but presumes it had to do with renting her condo in Bartlett. Salamone said she likely told Murray that the condo was taken because people rent it months in advance of the ski season.

A New Hampshire state police investigator did not contact Salamone until after the Patriot Ledger newspaper in Quincy, Mass., ran a story in November that reported she was among the last people to talk with the missing woman.

Salamone said the state police officer told her he was following up on an earlier call. "He said they had tried to contact me before, but had not left a message then and that their investigation had since taken a different turn." She said she explained to the investigator that the condo is booked months ahead and she could not remember what was said in the 90 seconds or so that she and Maura Murray spoke nine months before.

Family vacation spot

For Fred Murray, it's logical that his daughter would seek to stay at the condominium complex at Attitash, where the family had vacationed in the past, and disturbing that investigators did not follow through on the call until prompted by a newspaper story.

"There is nobody Maura knows up there. She was looking for a place to stay," Murray said, adding that his daughter had taken extra clothing with her and some school books.

"This indicated that my daughter had a purpose (in leaving school abruptly on a Monday to travel to New Hampshire.) The police never followed up on a phone call she made on the afternoon she left. If they were not going to do something as elemental as that, what makes you think they will follow through with a proper investigation?"

In past conversations he has had with investigators, Murray said, "They keep shifting from hypothermia, to, 'this is a case of a runaway,' to, 'it's a suicide.' . . . Anything to avoid Number 4, which is the 'bad guy' alternative. If it's a bad guy who came along when she was there alone that night, the onus is upon them to do something and they can't."

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Hampshire Union Leader
February 10, 2005

Missing Girl Remembered by Family on Anniversary
By Lorna Coloquhoun

HAVERHILL -- A year after her perplexing disappearance following a car accident, the family and friends of Maura Murray gathered at the corner where she was last seen to remember her and to pray that they would one day know what happened to her.

"Right now, I'm taking care of business -- stuff I have to do," said her father, Fred, yesterday. "I'll think about it later."

It was a year ago last night that Maura Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, crashed her car on the corner of Route 112 in Swiftwater. In between the time neighbors called police and their subsequent arrival some 10 minutes later, the young woman vanished and has not been seen or heard from in the past year.

About a dozen family and friends gathered at that corner for a brief ceremony to remember her and to tend to the tree that has become a small shrine to her, tied with a blue ribbon and pictures of her.

Fred Murray cut away a faded blue ribbon and tattered photos of his daughter, replacing them with an enormous blue bow, its ribbons trailing to the ground, and new photos.

The Rev. Lyn O. McIntosh of Lisbon conducted a prayer circle.

"I am convinced there will be an answer," she said. "We are driven by hope and strengthened by everyone around us. I offer a prayer for Maura and for all of us."

Fred Murray, who has been critical of the investigation into his daughter's disappearance, recounted the accident and pondered how Maura could have started walking down the road. He mused about how police did not travel down the road to look for her that cold, dark night.

A search was mounted for her in the days that followed, and again last July. At that time, there was two feet of snow on the ground and searchers found no evidence that she went into the woods.

The investigation found that Murray had packed up her dorm room and headed north to the White Mountains, where she and her father had hiked over the years. She had also received a phone call at work in the days preceding her disappearance that was troubling enough to her that she had to be escorted back to her room. She e-mailed her professors to say that she would be leaving campus for about a week.

Prior to yesterday's ceremony, Fred Murray met with Gov. John Lynch for several minutes at the State House, urging him to use his influence to release records from the investigation.

"I asked, failing that, to have it declared a criminal investigation rather than a missing person investigation, and, if he didn't want to do that, I asked him to accept the offer of the FBI to come in," Murray said after the meeting with Lynch.

Lynch made no commitments on the specific requests.

"I told Mr. Murray that I will look into the situation, and I promised to get back to him as soon as I possibly can and that's how we left it," Lynch said.

State Police Lt. John Scarinza said yesterday that the investigation, which has already logged thousands of hours, continues.

"We are actively working on the case everyday," he said. "There is not a day that goes by when it's not on the forefront of our thoughts."

Murray is not impressed. He said he's heard nothing from the investigators in six months. "I am the investigation. That's why I want the information," he said.

Scarinza said his troopers talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear. Murray's claim he hadn't heard from them in six months is "absolutely inaccurate," he said.

Scarinza did add that investigators have not "been able to develop leads that would explain what happened."

A song written by a friend of Maura's was played during yesterday's remembrance. After the notes faded, Fred Murray leaned his head against the tree bearing his daughter's photo.

"I wish you were here," he said. "I didn't want to have to do this -- I sure hope this is the last time we do this."

As the ceremony was breaking up, the family of Lorne Boulet of Bristol pulled off the road. Boulet, 23, was last seen July 29, 2001, at his home in Chichester and has not been seen since.

"We wanted to share our emotion with the Murrays," said Louise Holmburg of Bristol. "Lorne's been gone for three and a half years."

On the Net: http://www.mauramurray.com/

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Hampshire Union Leader
January 27, 2006

Dad denied access to records on daughter
By Lorna Coloquhoun

Haverhill -- A superior court judge has denied a request by the father of a missing Massachusetts woman seeking the disclosure of records pertaining to the investigation into her disappearance.

Grafton County Judge Timothy Vaughn issued a five-page decision yesterday, a little more than a week after Frederick Murray sought an injunction for the release of papers relating to the disappearance nearly two years ago of his daughter, Maura.

Murray's attorney, Timothy Ervin of Chelmsford, Mass., said yesterday he would not comment on the decision until he conferred with his client.

Maura Murray, 21, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, disappeared after a minor car accident Feb. 9, 2004, on rural Route 112 in Swiftwater. By the time police arrived at the scene, the woman was gone and has not been seen or heard from since that night.

In the nearly two years since his daughter went missing, Frederick Murray has sought, and been denied, various logs, accident reports and other information from a number of state agencies, including State Police and the Attorney General's Office.

Last month, he filed for an expedited hearing on his request for an injunction that would order the agencies to disclose the information and that hearing was held Jan. 18. Ervin argued that the information is not exempt from New Hampshire's right-to-know law. The state argued that releasing the information would impede the ongoing investigation.

Vaughn sided with the state.

"(The state) maintain(s) that release of the records could result in the destruction of evidence, chilling and intimidation of witnesses and the revelation of the scope and nature of the investigation," Vaughn wrote.

Murray has been critical of how the investigation into his daughter's disappearance has been conducted. He contends that the information gathered over the past two years could help his own efforts in finding his daughter. A group of private investigators is looking into the case.

"Considering that it sometimes takes several years -- even decades -- for the state to prosecute major crimes, a lapse of two years is not a long period of time," Vaughn wrote. "Release of the records could jeopardize the investigation and lead to, among other things, destruction of evidence, intimidation of witnesses and loss of communications with entities providing confidential information."

Preserving the integrity of the continuing investigation, Vaughn concluded, outweighs Murray's interest in obtaining records.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Hampshire Union Leader
January 19, 2006

Dad fights for documents in disappearance of daughter
By Lorna Coloquhoun

HAVERHILL -- The pile of documents relating to the disappearance of a Massachusetts woman nearly two years ago contains 2,500 pages, and her father wants to take a look at them.

Fred Murray, whose daughter, Maura, vanished from a rural road in Swiftwater in February 2004, was in Grafton County Superior Court yesterday morning, asking a judge to release those documents, a move he believes will help him in his own search.

"We want to take a fresh look and start over," Murray said after a brief court hearing on his request for release of information pertaining to the case. "This gives me my best hope and my only hope. There might be something in there that means something to me that might be the key."

Murray, through his attorney Timothy Ervin, filed last month for an expedited hearing on a motion for injunctive relief regarding information investigators have gathered in the time since Maura Murray vanished without a trace after a car accident on Route 112.

Judge Timothy Vaughn did not issue a decision yesterday.

Citing Supreme Court cases, Ervin said the fact that the case has always been categorized as a missing person, rather than a criminal matter, is significant.

"The state has never characterized this as an ongoing criminal case," Ervin said, and investigators have never given any reason as to why documents cannot be released. "The overriding concern is that she has been missing for two years and there is still no information about what happened."

Assistant Attorney General Daniel Mullen, who was accompanied by Jeff Strelzin, the head of the state's homicide bureau, said the investigation is ongoing and that it "could have criminal overtones."

Disclosure of information, he said, could "interfere with the ongoing investigation" and release of investigative material would make it "impossible to proceed."

Strelzin said after the hearing that divulging information from an investigative file could alert potential suspects about what is going on, which could cause them to flee or hide evidence.

A team of private investigators is taking up the case of the disappearance, and Fred Murray said there is basic information he needs, such as dispatch logs, that would help create a timeline of what happened between the time his daughter was involved in a minor car accident and the time the first police officer arrived at the scene.

"I'm standing here trying to move every stone I can budge," Murray said before leaving the courthouse yesterday. "Maybe I can get a break. I could sure use it."

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The New Hampshire Union Leader
October 29, 2007

Family: No way it was suicide
Second of three parts
By Nancy West

Whether Maura Murray came to northern New Hampshire Feb. 9, 2004, to end her life is an emotional question for her family.

Her loved ones say it is far more likely she was abducted and killed that night after crashing her 1996 black Saturn into trees about 7:30 p.m., that they were simply all too close for Maura to have been secretly despondent to the point of considering taking her own life.

Authorities are calling Maura's disappearance a potential homicide, keeping most of the records closed in a criminal investigation file.

"A lot of things about the case are unique and troubling," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin.

But, he cautioned, the puzzle simply hasn't been solved yet, so there is no way of knowing the truth about the fate of the 21-year-old nursing student from Hanson, Mass.

Maura's case has seemingly headed in several directions -- from police leaning toward the theory that yet another drunk tourist abandoned a crashed car to avoid drunken driving charges that night to potential homicide.

Nothing has been ruled out for certain, including the theory that Maura has gone away to start a new life, although that seems the least likely.

Almost four years later, it is still a mystery, but the suicide theory has been hard for the people who love her to even think about.

Early on, her father, Fred Murray, briefly considered Maura may have committed suicide.

When police assembled the Murray and Rausch families to brief them on the investigation, Maura's father "moaned and rubbed his head and said, 'Oh, no,' " according to Sharon Rausch, the mother of Billy Rausch, Maura's then-boyfriend.

"I remember Fred said, 'I always have told the kids when I got old and worthless I was going to climb my favorite mountain with a bottle of Jack Daniels and drink myself to death.' That was emotional. He thought what if there was something he didn't know about," Rausch said.

She said authorities thought the alcohol and Tylenol PM Maura brought may have been indications she was going to kill herself. "That's what people do, they drink, take a bunch of pills and die peacefully," she said.

But Rausch doesn't believe that was Maura's plan. The Kahlua, vodka and Bailey's Irish Creme Maura reportedly brought with her would likely have been about a week's worth of the drinks Maura liked, Mudslides, Rausch said.

When visiting the Rausch family in Marengo, Ohio, Maura would add Bailey's to her coffee in the morning and drink Mike's Hard Lemonade with lunch, she said. Maura and Billy always had their stash of alcohol because Rausch doesn't drink, but she said Maura didn't drink excessively.

Private get-away

She believes Maura left the University of Massachusetts without telling anyone why or where she was going to have a private getaway to think things over.

Rausch believes Maura had all her school books in the car to keep up with her school work while she decided whether to leave school and go to work to pay for the damage she had done to her father's car after crashing his new Toyota the previous weekend.

She said Billy was upset after arriving from Fort Sill, Okla., where he was stationed.

"Fred arrived in Haverhill early Wednesday. We arrived Wednesday around 7 p.m. They interviewed Billy. He was a prime suspect. He was totally distraught. I'll never forget the look on his face. He said 'I feel as dirty as Scott Peterson. They think I've got something to do with it.'" Rausch said.

Fred Murray recalls that meeting with police, but remembers talking about a movie he had seen in which an old Indian woman walks off to die when she felt she was too old to go on.

"I hadn't talked about suicide," Murray said. "No, I gave them the analogy of the old Indian woman off the bat," he said. "I remember discussing the old Indian ... It was a freaking nightmare. They just dropped the ball."

For the next two weeks, both families believed Maura was alive, that she had broken into a cabin because she was a survivor, was in excellent health and ran five miles a day, Rausch said.

Book lead

The book "Not Without Peril" subtitled "150 Years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire" by Nicholas Howe was found in Maura's locked car. A gift from her father, the book chronicles tragedies and rescues in New Hampshire mountains.

Rausch said police told the family the book had a photo of Maura's younger brother as a "bookmark" at a chapter entitled "A Question of Life or Death."

But even that is a red herring, Rausch believes, because it was Maura's favorite and she often re-read it, having brought it once on a visit to the Rausch home.

"While it's all true stories about people hiking and either dying or surviving a snow storm, it's also a survivor's manual more than about suicide," Rausch said.

Rausch said Maura was planning to become a physician's assistant after nursing school. She recalled how her son loved Maura, coming home one day to say he found someone with beauty, brains and wit -- and someone who could even outrun him.

Maura's father believes his daughter had too much going for her to commit suicide: a great boyfriend, future career and supportive family.

"Maura was such a personality. Everybody would seek her out. She was extremely popular, lively and fun," Murray said.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The New Hampshire Union Leader
August 25, 2013

Serial killer was in NH amid spree By Nancy West

Israel Keyes: FBI is seeking public’s help in effort to identify some of his 11 victims. Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes was registered April 9, 2009, at the Highlander Inn in Manchester during a week in which he kidnapped a woman from one East Coast state, killed her in another and ultimately dumped her body in a third state, he later confessed to the FBI.

“During that trip, he told us, he had murdered someone,” said FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden. “We believe she was kidnapped from New Jersey and taken to another state where she was murdered, and then he disposed of her body in upstate New York.”

Could Keyes, 34, an Anchorage contractor and handyman who traveled extensively and is believed to have murdered 11 strangers, have killed the unidentified New Jersey woman in New Hampshire, since he flew into the Manchester airport on April 7, 2009, and flew back to Seattle a week later?

“We just don’t know. It is certainly possible,” Goeden said, given his familiarity with New Hampshire and the East Coast in general, which he referred to as his “stomping grounds.”

About the victim, Keyes taunted investigators in 2012 after his arrest: “I’m not giving a name today.”

It was a busy week in April 2009 for Keyes, who rented a 2007 Hyundai Sonata in Manchester with a license plate X74QFZ, according to a time line of his whereabouts on the FBI website.

He put 1,047 miles on the rental car during that time and is believed to have robbed a bank in Tupper Lake, N.Y., the day after he registered at the Highlander Inn in Manchester.

Keyes, an Army veteran who committed suicide in an Anchorage jail cell last December, was no stranger to New Hampshire, having flown Southwest Airlines to Manchester on Oct. 6, 2004, putting 1,745 miles on a rented red Kia Amanti, license plate 1230139, before flying back to Seattle 10 days later.

He also took a couple of flights from the Northwest to Boston and Chicago from 2008 to 2011. Keyes admitted to randomly killing Bill and Lorraine Currier -- a middle-aged married couple -- on June 8, 2011, in Essex, Vt.

The FBI believes Keyes murdered a total of 11 people, but he identified only three -- the Curriers and Anchorage barista Samantha Koenig, 18 -- during extensive FBI interviews while awaiting trial in connection with Koenig’s slaying.

Help requested

The FBI is asking for help from people in New Hampshire and across the country to trace Keyes’ travels and learn the identity of the other victims whose bodies have not been found and whose loved ones may not have even reported them missing. The FBI said his victims were mostly female and ranged in age from teenagers to the elderly.

Authorities do not believe Keyes had anything to do with the disappearance in New Hampshire of nursing student Maura Murray from Route 112 in Haverhill on Feb. 9, 2004, or the murder of Celina Cass, 11, in Stewartsown two years ago, she said.

“We are asking for people to look at the time line on the FBI website and the time frames to see if any missing people fit that time frame and to call the FBI,” Goeden said.

Associate Attorney General Jane Young said the FBI has been in ongoing contact with New Hampshire State Police.

“I am aware the FBI and the Major Crimes Unit have had ongoing dialogue about Keyes,” Young said Friday, but she had no additional information regarding Keyes’ trips to New Hampshire and New England or potential victims here.

“Murder kits”

He was known to drive long distances. Keyes flew from Anchorage, where he lived with his girlfriend and daughter, to Chicago on June 2, 2011, rented a car and drove to Essex, killing the Curriers on June 8, 2011, according to the time line. #Then he traveled around the East Coast before driving back to Chicago.

Keyes was known to leave “murder kits” around the country containing weapons and cash from bank robberies he committed, according to the FBI.

“As to the April 2009 victim, we think we know who she is,” Goeden said, “but we are looking for additional information.”

Keyes was unusual in the realm of serial killers because he killed men and women and didn’t have a specific age or type, although he did prefer strangulation as the method to kill his victims, Goeden said.

“He chose victims more based on the situation, if he saw a good opportunity versus the specific person,” Goeden said.

Goeden interviewed Keyes many times.

“There were times we talked to him and had a normal conversation, like you were talking to your next-door neighbor,” she said. “Other times when he was talking about his crimes, it was a different Israel Keyes, the other side he didn’t think people would ever see.”

Keyes liked talking about his double life.

“He enjoyed the fact that he fooled people,” Goeden said.

She encouraged families who know of missing loved ones whose disappearance may coincide with the time line to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

“There still are a lot of unknowns, unanswered questions for families out there,” Goeden said.

FBI seeks help

Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes is believed to have committed multiple kidnappings and 11 murders across the country, including New England and possibly New Hampshire between 2001 and March 2012 before committing suicide in an Anchorage jail cell. The FBI is seeking assistance in developing more information about his travels to identify additional victims.

Anyone with information concerning Keyes or missing loved ones is encouraged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
nwest@unionleader.com

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
May 29, 2004

FBI Involved In Investigation - Brianna Maitland Disappearance
Gary E. Lindsley

Experts from the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Laboratory in Quantico, Va., are involved in the investigation of the disappearance of 17-year-old Brianna Maitland.

Maitland, who lives in Sheldon, Vt., has not been seen nor heard from since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery around 11:30 p.m. March 19.

William McSalis, a supervisory senior agent in the FBI's Burlington office, confirmed late Friday afternoon the FBI is involved in the Maitland case.

In fact, McSalis said the FBI has been working closely with Vermont State Police nearly since the inception of the case.

Maitland's car was found early the morning of March 20 partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the tavern where she worked.

She left two paychecks behind in the car.

Bruce and Kellie Maitland, along with Fred Murray, father of 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Maura Murray, have been demanding the state police in both Vermont and New Hampshire bring in the FBI to find their daughters.

Maura Murray disappeared the night of Feb. 9 after being involved in a minor, one-car accident on rural Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H.

McSalis said he could not say whether the FBI is involved in the Murray case as well. FBI officials in Boston could not be reached for comment Friday.

Regarding the Maitland disappearance, McSalis said the FBI was contacted by Vermont State Police not long after it was determined Maitland was missing.

Since then, and most importantly, he said, the behavioral sciences group from Quantico has been reviewing what has been done in the case by Vermont State Police.

FBI experts, who also can be called profilers, are using the information supplied by state police to see if it matches up with similar cases elsewhere in the country.

McSalis said a lot of work has been done so far by the group from Quantico. However, he would not discuss what evidence, if any, has been reviewed nor whether any FBI agents have visited Vermont and the accident scene because it is an on-going investigation.

McSalis also would not confirm published media reports that the team would soon be headed not only to Vermont for the Maitland case, but also to New Hampshire to investigate the Murray disappearance.

"We are working closely with the Vermont Sate Police," he said. "We don't want to go into details."

Lee Pugh, a spokesman from the FBI's Albany, N.Y., office, said he knows the Vermont State Police have conducted a very through investigation.

"We have been monitoring the case," Pugh said. "The full services of the FBI have been utilized to some degree."

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
June 29, 2004

Major Crimes Unit Involved - Maura Murray Case
Gary E. Lindsley

The New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit is now involved in the disappearance of 22-year-old Maura Murray.

Murray, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car accident the night of Feb. 9.

Her father, Fred, said the Major Crimes Unit earlier this month requested that everything present in Maura's black 1996 Saturn at the time of the accident be returned so a forensics investigation may be conducted.

At the time of the accident, Maura had about a week's worth of clothing, books for her college classes and diamond jewelry with her.

Everything in the car was turned over to family members after the accident.

The Major Crimes Unit only now asking for the items in Murray's car be returned is unsettling to her father.

"It's evidence Major Crimes was not involved until now," Murray said. "They sent (state trooper Todd) Landry to my daughter, Kathleen's (house).

"This is pretty sloppy," he continued. "For them to have told me they were treating this as a criminal investigation is a bunch of (expletive)."

Murray said, "So, it shows how amateurish this has been right from the beginning. They can't get away with this. They have to be held accountable."

Earlier this month, Murray requested a copy of the accident report and any other relevant information from the Haverhill Police Department and the state police.

To date, he has not received any response from Troop F, which is based in Twin Mountain.

However, he did receive a letter from Haverhill stating the request is being considered.

While Murray has faced frustration after frustration with New Hampshire State Police and Haverhill police regarding his daughter's disappearance, a northern Vermont family is receiving more communication from Vermont State Police looking into the disappearance of their 17-year-old daughter.

Brianna Maitland clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn at about 11:20 p.m. March 19.

Her car was found early the next morning partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the inn.

Brianna was headed home to her friend's home in Sheldon, where she had been living, when she disappeared.

Since the Maitlands met with Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper earlier this month, Bruce Maitland said there has been a big difference.

For one, police have discarded the runaway theory. And two, there is more communication.

"Ever since meeting with Dubie and Sleeper, things have turned around," he said.

However, Maitland also said there are no new leads.

"It's just like she has vanished right off the face of the earth," he said.

A vast network of friends is helping the Maitlands with sending out press releases across the country regarding Brianna's disappearance.

"If she's alive, we need your help," Maitland said, appealing to anyone who may be able to provide some information about Brianna.

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The Caledonian-Record
June 23, 2004

Letters To Editor - Reservations about officers' attitudes
By Helena Murray

To the Editor:

Since February, I have been reading the articles on the disappearance of Maura Murray. I believe that The Caledonian-Record has covered the story extremely fairly. I do, however, have serious reservations about the approach the various police agencies have taken and their apparent attitude about Maura's disappearance.

I took particular note of some comments that have been made ... "They also said they weren't going to waste any more time on any more worthless leads."

This would seem to discourage anybody from reporting anything. I would ask the law enforcement agencies this question: "How do you know a lead is worthless until you investigate?"

"I think it's almost character assassination of the victims," Bruce had said on Tuesday. "They said Maura wanted to disappear. Brianna, they said she chose an unhealthy life choice."

Mr. Maitland is absolutely correct in this statement, but it doesn't go far enough. Whatever Brianna and/or Maura may or may not have done, why would the law enforcement agencies punish the families.

As to one other comment: "Capt. Bruce W. Lang, chief of Vermont's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said there is no serial killer on the loose as has been speculated in the media," I would ask whether the person involved in the murders in the later '80s was ever caught. If not, then isn't he probably still on the loose somewhere?

And, yes, as you might guess I am related to Maura, although distantly.

Helena Murray

Weymouth, Mass.

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The Caledonian-Record
August 6, 2007

Reward Increased In Search For Maura Murray
By Gary E. Lindsley

It has been three years and nearly seven months since Maura Murray's black Saturn went off a rural road on a cold, dark wintry night in the town of Haverhill.

Murray, who at the time was a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was nowhere to be found when police arrived and has not been seen nor heard from since.

Now, an Arkansas-based group, Let's Bring Them Home, is trying to bring to light what happened to Murray, who was an accomplished athlete in track. The missing person's advocacy group is offering a $75,000 reward to help accomplish its goal.

"I have been compelled by circumstances of Maura's case," said Let's Bring Them Home Director LaDonna Meredith on Sunday. "I am a young person. I drive alone a lot. This could be me. This could be my sister. This moved me."

It was reported on Feb. 9, 2004, that Murray of Hanson, Mass., then 21 years old, lost control of her black 1996 Saturn on a curve on Route 112 near the Weathered Barn and crashed into a stand of trees.

John Healy, who is a member of a team of investigators working on the Murray case in concert with the Molly Bish Foundation, said the team has come up with other theories about what happened that dark February night.

Healy said although police have said Murray crashed her car into the trees, he and the other investigators do not believe it to be true.

He said, based on the damage to the Saturn, that it appears as if the car was traveling at a slow speed when it may have struck the underside of another vehicle; the actual crash site may have taken place somewhere else. Not only that, they believe Murray may not have been the young woman then-First Student school bus driver Butch Atwood saw. They believe the scene where the Saturn was found by Atwood may have been staged.

This does not mean investigators have absolutely ruled out that Murray was at the Route 112 site and simply fled. And they are not ruling out that she was abducted and killed.

Meredith is hoping the $75,000 reward will help bring answers to what happened to Murray the night she disappeared.

"Our hope," Meredith said, "is that this reward will generate the information that will help us locate Maura. We know that someone, somewhere, has information about her whereabouts and we implore them to come forward.

"Sometimes, people feel more comfortable talking to people not associated with law enforcement," she said.

"We knew the reward had to be significant because of the time span [since Maura was last seen]. We do see a big jump [in tips] when a big reward is offered."

Meredith said her group decided to take Murray's case after Murray's family asked for help. The reward is good to the end of the year because, Meredith said, tips usually only come in for a few months after being offered.

Helena Murray, member of Maura's extended family, is hoping the $75,000 reward will help spur people to bring information forward about what happened to Maura and tell where she is now.

"If you have information, now is the time," she implored. "I don't know [if the reward will draw people out]. Maura's not here and nobody is in jail."

Maura Murray's father, Fred Murray, could not be reached for comment. Neither could Sharon Rausch, the mother of Maura's boyfriend, Bill Rausch.

Besides the reward, Let's Bring Them Home is also offering a toll-free tip line: 1-866-479-5284 for people to call in with tips about Murray's whereabouts.

"We are here to support the families' efforts to recover Maura, and we believe that issuing this reward is the first step," Meredith said.

The reward is for the recovery of Maura Murray and the arrest and conviction of those responsible for her disappearance.

For more information on Maura Murray's disappearance or on Let's Bring Them Home, please visit www.letsbringthemhome.org or call 479-966-0471.

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The Caledonian-Record
December 21, 2005

TV Program To Highlight Missing Woman's Case - New Efforts Mounted To Find Maura Murray
By Gary E. Lindsley

A network television program is going to highlight the case of a young Massachusetts woman who disappeared nearly two years ago in Haverhill, N.H., after she was involved in a minor car crash.

Maura Murray, a 22-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was last seen by a school bus driver after her black Saturn crashed on a sharp left hand curve on Route 112 near the Weathered Barn, Feb. 9, 2004. She disappeared before police arrived.

The television program "20/20," which airs on ABC, will highlight Murray's disappearance on its Jan. 6 show, according to Sharon Rausch, the mother of Billy Rausch, Murray's fiance.

Rausch said she and her son were flown to ABC headquarters in New York, Dec. 7 for two days. They were interviewed from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. She said Fred Murray, Maura's father, was interviewed in Wells River, Vt., and at the site of the crash.

Donna Hunter, an assistant producer for "20/20," told Rausch "20/20" staff have been following Murray's case for awhile, according to Rausch.

The TV show's interest in Murray's case has been welcomed by Rausch, her son and Murray's family.

"My greatest hope is she is living and we will find out," said Rausch.

ABC News could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Rausch is encouraged that John Healy of Warner, N.H., and other retired law enforcement officers are going to investigate Murray's disappearance.

Healy, who retired as a lieutenant after 19 years with the New Hampshire State Police, said he has 10 volunteers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont who will be taking part in the investigation.

Those volunteers include retired police chiefs and detectives who now are licensed private detectives.

"We want to make sure these cases never die," said Healy.

Healy met Murray's relatives at a training session put on by the Molly Bish Foundation. Molly Bish was abducted on June 27, 2000, from Comins Pond in Warren, Mass., where she worked as a lifeguard. Molly was 16 years old. The search ended June 9, 2003, when Molly's body was found just five miles from the family's home.

The foundation helps with cases involving missing children.

"We don't have a game plan yet," Healy said. "First thing is to nail down the time [she disappeared]. Right now, we are just trying to separate fact from fiction."

Statistics, he said, will play a large part in the way they will conduct their investigation.

Healy said nationally, statistics show if someone is harmed, their body is usually left within five miles of where they disappeared.

He and his team will utilize topographical maps and compasses to conduct a search within five miles of the crash scene.

They will visit Haverhill in January and February and drive along the area's roads to learn where someone might feel safe while dropping off a body. That information will be entered into a GPS system. Then, during warmer weather, searches will be conducted using search dogs.

The team will also look at Murray's cell phone bill and the last 20 to 30 calls in an attempt to determine what was going on in Murray's life before her disappearance.

According to Healy, STALK Inc., a team of profiling professionals, has also offered its services to help find Murray.

"Our hearts won't let her go," Rausch said. "That is where my greatest hope is ... if she is alive, she is well. If she has run away, let us know she is well."

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The Caledonian-Record
February 10, 2005

Maura Murray Remembered A Year After Disappearance - Fears Center On Abduction
By Gary E. Lindsley

News photographers and reporters practically outnumbered family and friends of Maura Murray as they marked the one-year anniversary of her disappearance with a ceremony Wednesday.

Kathleen Murray, Maura's sister, wiped away tears and buried her head in the shoulder of her fiance, Tim Carpenter, as a small boom box played the song, "For Maura."

Others choked back tears or dabbed at them with tissues as traffic passed by on Route 112, the site where Maura Murray was involved in a minor one-car accident the night of Feb. 9, 2004.

She hasn't been seen or heard from since. Her credit card, cell phone and bank account have not been used in the year since she disappeared, according to her family.

Maura, a nursing student, left her dorm at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst around 4 p.m. Feb. 9 and is believed to have been heading to Bartlett, N.H., according to family members. She and her father, Fred Murray, had stayed there numerous times during their jaunts to the White Mountains.

As Maura's 1996 black Saturn rounded a sharp left curve just past The Weathered Barn on Route 112 at about 7:30 p.m., she lost control of the car and it went off the right side of the highway, striking a tree.

Butch Atwood, a First Student bus driver who lives just up the road from the accident scene, stopped his school bus by the Saturn to see if he could help. Murray was still in her car.

"I saw no blood," he said at the time. "She was cold and she was shivering. I told her I was going to call the police."

Maura, according to Atwood, told him not to because she had already called the AAA.

Atwood said he invited the woman to wait at his house nearby, but she declined. He said he then went home to call 911.

After about seven to nine minutes, he said he looked out and saw a Haverhill police cruiser by the Saturn. A short time later, Haverhill Police Department's Sgt. Cecil Smith notified Atwood that when he arrived at the crash scene, Murray was no longer with her car.

On Wednesday Maura's father placed a new picture and bow on the tree where Maura had her accident.

There also was a prayer given by the Rev. Lyn McIntosh. The song, "For Maura," was written and sung by Maura's friend Jenny Brooks.

"I have been up here more than I have cared to," Kathleen Murray said. "It's very hard. It's not getting any easier."

During the early stages after her sister's disappearance, she visited the area to help search for Maura.

"There is no question she was going to Bartlett," Fred Murray said after the observance Wednesday afternoon. "It is our favorite place. Bartlett is our home operation up here."

He said he and Maura used to visit the area four to five times a year and would hike area mountains in the region.

"We've been going there ever since I changed her diapers in the woods," Fred Murray said.

Although he is hopeful his daughter is still alive, he said he is also realistic. He said he has visited the area nearly every weekend since Maura's accident and disappearance to search every nook and cranny.

"I have gone into some spots (that were) really scary," he said. "Every time I feel a little lighter and younger when I come out of the woods and I don't find anything."

Although he doesn't believe it actually happened, Fred is hopeful someone picked Maura up after the accident and took her to a bus station across the Connecticut River to catch a bus.

"I wish we didn't have to do this," he said. "I hope it's the last time I have to do this."

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The Caledonian-Record
January 17, 2005

Letters To Editor - A grateful father
By Fred Murray

To the Editor:

So many people have selflessly and enthusiastically given of themselves and their time that if force of will were enough by itself, then Maura would have been back with us many months ago. When people ask me if there is anything that they can do, I tell them that I know they would already have done it if there were. Your universally overwhelming support is a striking demonstration yet again of the inherent goodness of people.

You can sense my gratitude, but I want your "thank you" to come to you when you look in the mirror and see reflected a person who, by choice, interrupted his or her life to try to help another human being in trouble. If there is any worthier motivation than that, we'd all be hard pressed to name what it is.

In Deep Appreciation,

Fred Murray

Father of Maura Murray, Missing Person since 02/09/04

Weymouth, Mass.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
December 10, 2004

Letters To Editor - Please help look for Maura Murray
By Patti Davidson

To the Editor:

'Tis the season to be jolly as family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays. This year has been filled with heartache and sadness for us because we are missing a family member.

While decorating the Christmas tree with my young children I try to pretend everything is OK. Then my 9-year-old son turns to me and says, "Mom, do you think you'll find Maura before Christmas?" I can no longer hold back my tears. My son is now crying and says, "Mom, I feel sad for Maura and her Dad." Comforting him, I tell him we are trying our hardest to find Maura.

His letter to Santa reads, "Dear Santa, please help find Maura for her father."

I am making a plea from my heart asking the people to help us look and find Maura Murray so we can bring her home.

Patti Davidson

Weymouth, Mass.

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The Caledonian-Record
February 8, 2014

Mystery Continues One Decade Later - No Answers, No Arrests In Maura Murray Disappearance
By Robert Blechl

On Feb. 9, 2004, Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray drove north into the White Mountains and was never seen again. Questions abound about whether she ran away to a new life, ran into the woods and succumbed to the elements after crashing her car along Route 112 in Haverhill or was the victim of foul play.

Ten years later, authorities are no closer to answers, or at least ones they will discuss publicly.

"It's still an open case and is a criminal investigation into a missing person," New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said this week.

Since the beginning, Maura's father, Fred Murray, was critical of the investigation.

On Friday, he was asked if he is still hopeful his daughter -or an answer to her disappearance -will be found.

"I'm only hopeful if the FBI comes in and takes over the case," said Fred Murray. "Other than that, it will take some luck, someone who gives me information that turns out to be accurate, or, barring that, somebody who knows something and gets mad at someone else and squeals on them, or someone getting loaded and bragging."

He does not believe his daughter was suicidal or running away.

"I think somebody grabbed her when she walked down the road, somebody listening with a scanner or something like that," he said. "She was supposed to call me and didn't and that's because she couldn't."

Maura, 21, had been a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. According to police, she departed the campus the afternoon of Feb. 9, 2004, after emailing her instructors, falsely, that she was taking time off for a death in the family.

About 7:30 p.m., Maura, driving a 1996 Saturn eastbound on Route 112 in Haverhill, crashed into a snowbank along the curve near the Weathered Barn.

Police arrived to find the car, registered to Fred, facing the opposite way, with rag in the tailpipe and the driver nowhere to be found.

First happening upon it, not far from his home, was school bus driver Butch Atwood, who told police he spoke with a woman later identified as Maura and offered to get her help, but she told him she had already called AAA and asked him not to contact police.

Atwood, however, drove home to call 911. When police arrived at her car, Murray was gone.

Inside the car were bottles of alcohol and evidence she had been drinking, said investigators.

Police said they did not find evidence of a struggle or footprints leading into the woods.

Although she made several cash withdrawals preceding her disappearance, Maura's credit card, debit card and cell phone were never used afterward.

Fred Murray, who in 2005 unsuccessfully filed suit against New Hampshire law enforcement in an effort to access the case files, criticized police for not informing his family about the crash until 24 hours afterward and for waiting more than a day before launching an all-out search.

"As it turns out, nobody searched for my daughter from Monday to Wednesday morning," he said. "On Wednesday morning, I was the guy searching for my daughter."

Murray said a search was made of the immediate site of the accident, but in the first days no concerted search was made east, where Haverhill police's jurisdiction soon ends and state police, who he said had a trooper in the area that night, begins.

"She's not there, the air bag's deployed, the windshield's cracked and the possibility she was drinking could have make hypothermia problem," he said. "It's now his case. She's out there by herself."

At the time, state police "built a case around anything but a bad guy," said Fred Murray.

Several years ago, the case was transferred to the New Hampshire State Police Cold Case Unit.

State police referred all questions to the attorney general's office.

Strelzin declined to say if new people have been interviewed about Murray's disappearance in recent years and if the agencies investigating have received new information.

"I've been asked if we've had any credible sightings since she disappeared," said Strelzin. "The answer is no."

Strelzin said an arrest or an answer to Maura's disappearance is "impossible to predict at this point." The New Hampshire attorney general's office is the lead agency on the case, with the FBI called in as needed, he said.

"Any case at some point could be resolved, and certainly that's a hope for this case," said Kieran Ramsey, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office, which covers New Hampshire. "Sadly and very tragically, some cases take far longer than we want them to."

In the car were directions to Burlington, Vt., but Maura had been heading east into New Hampshire, in the direction of Bartlett, where her family had spent vacations.

Still, no one knows precisely why Maura, who was no stranger to the White Mountains and had hiked through them with her father and family, was driving north on Feb. 9, 2004, and what she was intending as her destination.

Speculation remains rampant, and today, in cyberspace, are scores of Internet sleuths devoting web pages and blogs to Maura and propounding their own theories of what they believe happened to her.

But speculation and rumor only serve to spread misinformation about the case, said Helena Murray, a member of the extended family.

Because the Maura Murray case is well known, police could receive new information and a longawaited break, said Ramsey.

"There is no unsolvable case," he said. Ten years on, Fred Murray still makes occasional trips to the area where his daughter disappeared and said he follows up on ideas and information given him by local residents.

"It's not over," he said. "My daughter's gone. There's no such thing as over, no such thing as closure."

Courtesy Photo Julie Murray, left, sister of Maura Murray, and Fred Murray, father, place a ribbon at the location along Route 112 in Haverhill where Murray disappeared 10 years ago Sunday. She has not been found.

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The Caledonian-Record
February 9, 2009

Five Years Later, Maura Murray Still Missing After Driving To Haverhill, N.H. "Nothing has changed over five years." - Fred Murray - Questions Still Remain Five Years After Maura Murray's Disappearance

Gary E. Lindsley

Five years ago today, then 21-year-old Maura Murray left her University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus, drove north into the White Mountains of New Hampshire and disappeared. After five years, Fred Murray, Maura's father, is still trying to find out what happened Feb. 9, 2004.

Police say Maura crashed a 1996 black Saturn into some trees along Route 112 in the town of Haverhill near the Weathered Barn at about 7:30 p.m.

She either fled the scene or was picked up by someone else. They said she may have been suicidal.

During the past five years, not only has she not been seen or found, her credit card and cell phone have not been used. Nor has her bank account. Family and friends have heard nothing.

Butch Atwood was a First Student school bus driver who happened upon Murray's car, not far from his house, while on his way home that night. Atwood said he spoke with Murray and offered to get her help, but that she asked him not to contact police. Atwood said Murray told him she had already contacted AAA.

Atwood then drove home, parked his bus and went inside his house to call 911. Less than 10 minutes later, he said Sgt. Cecil Smith of the Haverhill Police Department came to the door of his bus and asked if he had seen someone at the car. Murray had disappeared.

What still puzzles Murray's family and friends is that police did not notify Murray's family about the crash until nearly 24 hours later … and did begin a search for 36 hours.

Murray's family said Smith told them he thought the driver of the Saturn was Murray's father, to whom the car was registered. Mysterious to them, though, is why Smith asked neighbors, the night of the crash, "Where is the girl?"

Since 2004 Murray has wanted FBI involvement to address the mysteries of the case.

"Nothing has changed over five years," he said.

When Murray was finally notified of his missing daughter, he was relieved to learn a state police trooper was at the crash site. "The state cop is more highly trained," he said. "These are career officers."

His relief was short lived, though, after he arrived in Haverhill.

"Evidently, they had not done anything," he said. "My first question was, 'You had an officer at the scene. What did your guy say?' Five years later I have the same question. He was the best chance Maura had. Why can't they say?"

The Saturn's windshield had a spider crack in it, which Murray said might have been caused by Maura's head striking it. Also, she was in danger of hypothermia.

"She had nowhere to run, nowhere to ask for help," he said. "There has been an accident and the driver has abandoned the car. It's his [trooper's] responsibility to get the person."

Murray said when he asked New Hampshire State Police Troop F commander, Lt. John Scarinza, what his trooper had done, Scarinza looked down at his feet and said nothing.

"He said zero," Murray said. "To this day, they have not said what he did. The only guy who can pull her bacon out of the fire, he didn't do it. I want the state police to tell me what happened Feb. 9, 2004. I want to go back to square one.

When they did not answer my question … 'What did your guy do?' … my heart sank."

Accident Records

During the last five years, Murray fought all the way to the New Hampshire Supreme Court to have the accident records released. The court ruled in the attorney general's favor not to release the information.

"The judge asked the assistant attorney general what was the percentage of bringing charges, and he [Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin] rolls his eyes, looks at the floor and then says, '75 percent.' He pulled it out of his back pocket," Murray said.

"My question now to the [assistant] AG is, what is 75 percent of nothing?

You said 75 percent two years ago. You made that up. Nothing has happened," he said.

Dispatch Logs

Murray said the Grafton County dispatch logs also bother him.

"You see dispatches for the same time period and they are different," he said.

"Times and information from the dispatches are not the same, later. These are official documents. Why don't they match?"

Murray is also bewildered about why the private investigators working on Maura's disappearance have not turned over evidence they found during a search on property at Mountain Lakes Estates in October.

"I think as of last summer they had not tested it or turned it over to state police," he said.

The evidence, Murray said, is being refrigerated.

"Everything is legal," he said. "It is valid."

John Healy, president of the New Hampshire League of Investigators, said in an e-mail, "We are still active.

We did a search last July, our third. We brought a medium up to the area last week. This one is the real deal, has done this before and first told us so much about ourselves it was scary. We passed her observations on to the police."

Healy said his group would meet again later this month to get back on track.

"We are in this for the long haul," he said. "The observation of the psychic and dog handlers from the search were given to the state police. Since it is oneway communication, we do not know if we found anything useful, but they were interested in our findings and asked for them."

Wants FBI Involved

Because of what he perceives is a lack of movement on the case, Murray is again calling for the FBI to be involved.

Maura's trip Feb. 9, 2004, took her through three states, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.

"Plus, you have her marching into the federal forest," he said. "You have three states and federal property. The FBI should enter the case because of irregularities. The FBI should enter because of the amount of violence in the area.

"Firemen ask for help when they can't put a fire out," Murray said. "But firemen aren't hiding anything."

Helena Murray, who is one of Maura's relatives and is the site administrator for mauramurraymissing.com, has not given up in her search for Maura.

"It's a long time," she said. "It's unbelievable to me. It's five years and my heart goes out to Fred and Laurie. I don't know how people do it. You want to have hope, but there is nothing. I don't think she is still with us."

Strelzin did not return several telephone calls last week; Scarinza was unavailable for comment; and Haverhill police are referring any questions about Maura's disappearance to state police.

Photo By Gary E. Lindsley

Fred Murray hangs a new bow on a tree Saturday near where his daughter, Maura, crashed her car on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., Feb. 9, 2004.

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The Caledonian-Record
February 11, 2008

Remembering Maura
by Gary E. Lindsley

Remembering Maura - Fred Murray takes a moment Saturday afternoon to remember his daughter, Maura Murray, who disappeared Feb. 9, 2004, after having a minor car accident near the tree he is standing at off Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. Fred placed a new ribbon and picture of his daughter on the tree.

Photo by Gary E. Lindsley

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The Caledonian-Record
June 10, 2004

Parents Of Missing Vermont Teen Heartened By Dubie Meeting
By Gary E. Lindsley

The parents of a missing 17-year-old Sheldon woman are feeling a bit more optimistic they will be receiving help from law enforcement authorities after meeting with Vermont Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, Wednesday.

Kellie and Bruce Maitland of Franklin met with Dubie and Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper at the Williston state police barracks to talk about their daughter Brianna, who has been missing since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery 11:20 p.m. March 19.

Kellie said she left the two-hour meeting with guarded optimism.

Dubie and Sleeper told the Maitlands they will ensure Brianna's disappearance will gain exposure with the national media, according to Bruce Maitland.

Both Maitlands, after Tuesday's press conference in which state police said at one point Brianna had been a runaway and had become involved in the world of illegal drugs, were surprised by the tenor of their meeting with Dubie and Sleeper - especially Dubie.

"They are starting to give an honest appraisal of what the case really is," Bruce said. "It's either drug-related or she has been killed. They have dropped the runaway (listing)."

Although he is glad authorities will drop the runaway characterization and start treating the case as being criminal, he cannot miss the reality of what that means.

"It's kind of disheartening," Bruce said, "because every night we pray she is a runaway."

If she was a runaway, the Maitlands believe they would have a better chance of finding their daughter unharmed.

Wednesday was a change for Bruce after having heard what authorities said about his daughter, and Maura Murray on Tuesday. Murray is the 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student who hasn't been seen since she disappeared after having a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9.

Tuesday, state police from New Hampshire and Vermont said there wasn't any connection between the disappearances of Brianna and Maura.

They also said they weren't going to waste any more time on any more worthless leads.

"I think it's almost character assassination of the victims," Bruce had said on Tuesday. "They said Maura wanted to disappear. Brianna, they said she chose an unhealthy life choice."

He said Wednesday's meeting with Dubie and Sleeper was a complete turnaround, just the opposite, from Tuesday's press conference.

"The lieutenant governor was super," Bruce said. "We went into the meeting that it was a setup. But, the lieutenant governor really wants to do what's in his power to help us out."

The Maitlands were assured by Dubie the case was of a very high priority.

"When the lieutenant governor called us a couple of days ago, I hoped he was sincere," he said.

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The Caledonian-Record
June 4, 2004

Body Identified - Johnson Woman
By Gary E. Lindsley

A body found Wednesday afternoon by a search team in a heavily wooded area near Johnson has been positively identified as that of a 35-year-old woman missing since May 27.

In a press release issued late Thursday afternoon, Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux stated Chief Medical Examiner Paul Morrow identified the body as Jodie Whitney, of Johnson.

Edgar Whitney, the woman's husband, was taken to Copley Hospital in Morrisville Wednesday after intentionally overdosing on pills. He was transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

It was reported on statewide television Thursday that if Whitney is released from the hospital today, he will most likely be arraigned in Lamoille County Court in connection with his wife's death.

According to Marcoux, it was information from family members after Whitney's suicide attempt which led to the discovery of what they believed to be Jodie's body.

She was found about 2 p.m. Wednesday well off the beaten path, deep in a wooded area within five miles the Whitneys' home.

While Marcoux was holding a press conference late Wednesday afternoon regarding Whitney's suicide attempt and the discovery of the body, Whitney was allegedly confessing to killing his wife, according to police.

Whitney notified police around 10 p.m. May 27 that his wife had not returned home. She also had not gone to work at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe that day. He had last seen her that morning before he left for work.

Jodie's white Jeep Cherokee was found by a citizen within five miles the Whitney home May 28.

Prior to the discovery of Jodie's body, Edgar's overdose and his confession, Marcoux and Lt. Leo Bachand, state police Troop B criminal division commander, had set up a meeting for 10 a.m. today with New Hampshire State Police and FBI agents to discuss the disappearances of Jodie, 17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., and 22-year-old Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass.

The meeting has been postponed until 10 a.m. Thursday.

Murray, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. Feb. 9.

Maitland has been missing since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt. late the night of March 19.

Her car was discovered early the next morning partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the inn.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
June 3, 2004

Police Say Husband Confesses To Murder - Missing Woman's Body Believed Found
By Gary E. Lindsley

The husband of a missing 35-year-old Johnson woman has confessed to killing her, Vermont State Police said Wednesday evening. Police also announced that a woman's body, believed to be that of Jodie Whitney, had been found that afternoon.

Lt. Leo Bachand, the state police Troop B Criminal Division commander, said Edgar Whitney, while being interviewed at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington late Wednesday afternoon, confessed to killing his wife.

Whitney notified police around 10 p.m. May 27 that his wife, Jodie, had not returned home. She had not arrived to work at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe that day. He reported last seeing her that morning before he left for work.

Jodie's white Jeep Cherokee was found by a citizen within a 5-mile radius of the Whitney home Friday.

Authorities from the Lamoille County Sheriff's Department, state police Search and Rescue Team, the state police Criminal Division, and police officers from Stowe and Morrisville, have been working together to find Jodie, according to Bachand.

Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux, during a press conference in front of the Lamoille County Courthouse late Wednesday afternoon, said the pace of the investigation was stepped up after authorities received a phone call that Edgar had taken some pills. Authorities are not releasing what the pills were.

"Right now, he is our best suspect," Marcoux said.

Bachand said family members called for an ambulance around 6:30 Wednesday morning after Edgar had taken an overdose of pills.

Edgar was first taken to Copley Hospital in Morrisville after overdosing before being transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care.

According to Marcoux, it was information from family members which led to the discovery of what they believe to be Jodie's body.

He would not say what had happened between Tuesday night and Wednesday which led him and other investigators to believe Edgar was involved in his wife's disappearance.

While Marcoux was holding a press conference late Wednesday afternoon about Edgar Whitney's apparent suicide attempt Wednesday morning, and the finding of a woman's body during the afternoon, Edgar was confessing to killing his wife, Bachand said.

Wednesday afternoon, according to Bachand, at 1:45, a search team of about 25 combed an area beyond the original 5-mile radius already searched. They found the body of a woman at 2:03 p.m. who Bachand said was believed to be that of Jodie. He said the body matched Jodie's description.

Marcoux said a positive identification is pending.

After the press conference Wednesday, Marcoux would not say exactly where the body was found. He also said more information about the cause of death will be available once an autopsy is conducted.

Both Marcoux and Bachand said they had not seen the body because once it was discovered, the crime scene was sealed off to everyone except for the Vermont State Police crime lab team.

The body, according to Bachand was found deep in the woods, a ways off "the beaten path."

Bachand said Medical Examiner Paul Morrow will be conducting the autopsy in Burlington this morning.

Marcoux said he did not know if Edgar had a criminal record. And when asked whether there was a history of domestic violence in the Whitneys' marriage, he would not comment.

However, later Wednesday, Bachand said there was a restraining order requested against Edgar Whitney last year but was withdrawn. He said the information is available in court records.

Edgar, he said, is still in the hospital. As of Wednesday night, charges had not been filed. Bachand said State Attorney Joel Page will decide what charges to file once the investigation is complete. An arraignment, if there is one, will take place at the Lamoille County Courthouse.

Prior to the discovery of the body, Edgar's overdose and his alleged confession, Marcoux and Bachand had set up a meeting for 10 a.m. Friday with New Hampshire State Police and FBI agents to discuss the disappearances of Jodie Whitney, Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray.

On Sunday, Marcoux said there wasn't any indication Jodie's disappearance was tied to the disappearances of 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Murray and 17-year-old Maitland of Sheldon, Vt.

Although Marcoux and Bachand now do not believe there is any connection between the three cases, the meeting will still proceed at the Lamoille County Sheriff's Department office.

"We want to keep the other cases in the spotlight," Marcoux said. Bachand agreed. He said it is important to have everyone together talking about the cases.

Besides Bachand, also assisting Marcoux and his department with the Whitney investigation are Sgt. Tim Clouatre and Detective Bob Cushing, both from the St. Johnsbury area.

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The Caledonian-Record
May 31, 2004

Another Vermont Woman Reported Missing - Police Find Her Jeep
By Gary E. Lindsley

Lamoille County authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a 35-year-old Johnson woman who hasn't been seen since Thursday morning -- the third woman to disappear in Northern New England since Feb. 9.

Jodie Whitney, who has a 3-year-old child, was last seen by her husband, Edgar, before he left for work Thursday morning. She not only failed to show up for work at Stoweflake Resort in Stowe, but she also did not return home.

Like the two other women who are missing, Whitney is described as a petite woman.

On Feb. 9, 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Maura Murray disappeared after she was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in the town of Haverhill, N.H.

A little more than a month later, 17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., disappeared after she left work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery late the night of March 19. Maitland's vehicle was found about a mile from the Black Lantern Inn, partially ensconced inside an abandoned building.

Sheriff Roger Marcoux said Whitney's white Jeep Cherokee was found within a 5-mile radius of her home by a citizen Friday afternoon.

Marcoux is not releasing where the vehicle was found because it's part of the ongoing investigation.

He said the vehicle is being looked at by a Vermont State Police crime lab team.

Kellie Maitland, Brianna's mother, was heartbroken to learn another woman had disappeared.

"I believe it's (the work of) a serial killer," Maitland said. "And the clock is ticking.

"One is too many," she went on to say. "Enough is enough! They (law enforcement) should pull out all the stops."

Marcoux said there isn't anything to lead investigators to believe there is any connection between Whitney's disappearance and the disappearances of Maitland and Murray.

"We have no evidence to tie them together at this point," he said.

Marcoux said police are conducting a missing person's investigation into Whitney's disappearance because nothing so far has indicated a criminal act has been committed.

He said Whitney is a reservations supervisor at Stoweflake Resort. She was supposed to be at work at 8 a.m.

When she had not returned home by 10 p.m. Thursday, her husband reported her missing.

"This is very out of character for her," Marcoux said. "She seems to be a very responsible person ... she has a young 3-year-old child at home."

Co-workers and members of Whitney's family have been interviewed, he said.

"Everything seemed fine," Marcoux said, referring to Thursday morning when Whitney's husband last saw her.

Investigators are tracking down some leads. One, according to Marcoux, came from officials at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

They reported they had a woman in the hospital possibly fitting Whitney's description. Investigators went to Dartmouth, but the woman was not Whitney.

Marcoux said about 50 law enforcement officers and the New England canine team, led by Vermont State Police Search and Rescue, conducted a ground search Saturday of an area consisting of a 1-mile radius of where Whitney's vehicle was found.

That search area was expanded, but nothing was found. An aerial search was conducted Sunday.

Authorities also searched about 3 miles of the Gihon River.

Whitney is described as being 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighing 110-pounds. She has shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes.

People with any information about Whitney should call the Lamoille County Sheriff's Dept. at 802-888-3502.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
May 25, 2004

Petition Drive Demands Action In Maitland Case - Seeks Action From Governor Douglas
By Gary E. Lindsley

The fear in her grandson's voice was the final straw for Lou Byam of Franklin.

Byam has mounted a petition drive to demand Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, and Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper take definitive action in the disappearance of 17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Sheldon.

"My grandson, who is 14, said, 'I don't want to come up here,'" Byam said. Her grandson did not want to visit her in northern Vermont because of the disappearance of Maitland and his concern for his own safety.

"He's scared," Byam said. "Parents are scared. Everyone's scared. We want answers and we aren't getting them."

The petitions, which are being circulated around sections of northern Vermont, read, "We, the undersigned concerned citizens of the state of Vermont, summer residents and tourists of the state of Vermont, do hereby petition the governor, lieutenant governor and the Vermont State Police Commissioner to figure out a way to find Brianna Maitland, no matter what it takes to get her home!

"We, as parents, friends, family, community, state, caring humans and taxpayers say enough is enough! It it time to do whatever it takes to get Brianna and others like her home."

The petition also notes because Maitland has not been found, it is time to bring in help, more resources.

"We live in fear for our children's health, safety, welfare and their lives," it reads. "Our children no longer have the freedom as an American citizen to walk, ride their bicycles, go shopping or drive their vehicles safely in our state!

"The government's first duty is to make sure its citizens are safe from crime. We are angry and want the wheels of motivation kicked into high gear. Bring Bri home now!"

Maitland has not been seen since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn late the night of March 19. Her vehicle was found partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the inn early March 20.

She disappeared more than a month after 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Maura Murray was involved in a one-car accident on rural Route 112 in the town of Haverhill, N.H.

Murray has not been seen since walking away from the accident scene the night of Feb. 9.

"Our children are our most valuable resources," Byam said. "The way the state police handled this since day one has been unacceptable. It kills me. Every day we see Bruce and Kellie (Brianna's parents). We want our state back. We want Brianna back."

"I hope it works," Kellie Maitland said, referring to the petitions. "I am starting to get desperate."

Bettina Desrochers, who is from St. Johnsbury, also is upset about the two missing young women. "It seems as if not enough is being done," she said. "We need more help. There isn't anything wrong with asking for more help."

As a parent of daughters whom she said are all beautiful, young and outgoing, her heart goes out to the Maitlands, as well as to Fred Murray, Maura's father.

With summer nearing, she is concerned about students getting out of school and their safety. "Wouldn't you want to know (the disappearances) are being handled properly?" Desrochers said.

Carolyn Gendron, who lives in Richford, also believes the investigation into Brianna's disappearance was botched from the start. She said common sense says if Brianna left behind her paychecks and driver's license, she didn't disappear willingly.

"They should know a kid wouldn't leave money behind," she said, referring to the state police. "As a parent, if it was my daughter, I don't think I could be as calm as Mr. and Mrs. Maitland."

Gendron believes the best investigators the state police have should be involved in the investigation. She also believes the FBI should be asked to be a major part of the search for Brianna.

Gendron said she almost lost her own daughter a few years ago. "Our daughter was coming home from a study group when she noticed a car kept driving by her," she said.

When there was an open area, the car pulled in front of Gendron's then 16-year-old daughter and the occupants screamed for her to get in the car. "She froze," Gendron said. "Luckily, a friend came forward and saw her and took her away."

So, she said, she got a little bit of a taste of what the Maitlands must be going through. "I can't imagine going to bed every night not knowing where this child is," Gendron said.

She truly believes there is a connection between Brianna's and Maura's disappearances. "They are too much alike," Gendron said. "They need to do a lot more to bring these girls home."

Bruce Maitland has put out his own plea to Vermont officials. "Brianna is not a runaway no matter how much the Vermont State Police ... try to play down her abduction," he wrote in a letter to the editor to area newspapers. "We desperately need you to step up for what is right and demand a large investigation involving many plainclothes/additional federal people on the ground to find Brianna and Maura before the trail goes any colder."

Today is Missing Children's Day. Carol Knowlton of the Mt. Angel, Ore.-based Child Seek Network will be reading Brianna's and Maura's names at a Missing Children's Day rally in Salem, Ore.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
May 21, 2004

Another Person Reported Missing - Man Fails To Return From Walk
By Gary E. Lindsley

A 24-year-old man is the fourth person to be reported missing since the beginning of this year in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the North Country of New Hampshire.

Matthew Harris, a coordinator of a meditation course at Karme Choling in Barnet, was last seen leaving the Buddhist meditation retreat at 3 p.m. Tuesday. He had a walking stick and a day pack.

Officials at Karme Choling reported Harris missing at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

State police Sgt. Robert Clark doesn't believe there is any connection to the disappearance of three other people.

Another 24-year-old man, Timothy Young of Glover, Vt., was the first to be reported missing. Glover, who is 6 feet tall, weighs 180 pounds and has blond hair, was last seen Jan. 20.

On Feb. 9, 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Maura Murray disappeared after being involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in the town of Haverhill, N.H.

She is a 5-foot, 7-inch brunette, weighs 115 pounds and has blue eyes.

Another young woman, 17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., hasn't been seen since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery around 11:20 the night of March 19.

Maitland has medium dark brown hair, hazel eyes, weighs about 105-110 pounds and is 5 feet 4 inches tall.

Although a missing person report has been filed on Harris, Clark does not believe he fits in the missing person category.

Clark said Harris has departed for areas unknown without telling anybody in the past. He does not believe Harris' disappearance is connected in any way to those of Young, Murray and Maitland.

"He is a free-spirited traveler," he said. "You can't lump him in with the others. He may not know he is (listed as) missing. He has a history of traveling the world while following different religious organizations."

Clark said during 2001-02, Harris took off without telling anybody where he was going. He was found in the Amazon in Peru emaciated, weighing only 82 pounds.

Then, from November 2003 to February 2004, he went to Scotland, following a religious sect.

"It's not like a 14-year-old girl who lives next to me and does not show up for work," Clark said as an example. "She's a missing person. That scenario is different from this."

State police have issued a bulletin to all police agencies in New England to be on the lookout for Harris.

If a police officer spots Harris, he or she is to ensure Harris is OK. The police officer is then supposed to contact Clark.

"He has a right to (go anywhere he wants)," Clark said. "He has a right not to have police following him. This is completely, completely different than the other three. This is a kid with a history (of taking off)."

Harris' father, Paul, doesn't agree.

He said when Matthew took off for the Amazon, he had let him and his wife, Anne, know. The same was the case when he went to Scotland.

"He had told us he was going to the Amazon," Harris said. "He called and told us he was going on a slow boat down the Amazon and we wouldn't hear from him four or five weeks."

When the five weeks had come and gone and they hadn't heard anything, the Harrises became concerned. Through the help of a shortwave radio operator, they learned he was in a Peruvian village and in bad shape.

Harris said Matthew went with the head of Karme Choling, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, to Scotland for about three months.

"It's sort of like being asked by the pope to be his assistant," Harris said.

His son, he said, is very learned and intelligent. "He is very generous and outgoing," he said. "We (once) gave him a watch. We asked him several months later how he liked his watch. He said he had given it to someone who needed it more."

Harris had praise for Karme Choling. "They are a terrific organization and they have treated Matt fantastically well. This is very out of character for him."

Founded in 1970 by ChÜgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, KarmÉ ChÜling offers year-round meditation retreats and yoga retreats.

Matthew, according to his father, left behind his passport, clothes and study materials.

Josh Silberstein, the retreat's health and well-being director, said Matthew had worked at Karme Choling for 21/2 years until October 2003.

Silberstein said Matthew had returned in February to work as coordinator of a meditation program.

He said Matthew was last seen by Bill Brauer, Karme Choling's director. "It's not uncommon for people to go for a walk," Silberstein said. "So, Director Brauer did not think anything about it."

Like Matthew's father, Silberstein said the 24-year-old's disappearance is out of character.

When Matthew did not show up for dinner at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Silberstein was notified. "Then, we did an exhaustive search of the land," he said, which consists of 675 acres of fields, forest and hills.

The search ran from 7:15 to 10:30 Tuesday night. Then, it resumed at 10:30 Wednesday morning. The search of the property ended about 12:30 p.m.

Then, members of Karme Choling drove about 20 miles south and north on Interstate 91. They also searched sections of Route 5.

When 3 p.m. Wednesday arrived, and Matthew had not returned, Silberstein said state police were notified.

Silberstein said Matthew did not appear to be despondent or depressed any more than anyone else, until the day he disappeared. "After lunch, it was noticed he was more erratic," he said. "His demeanor changed. He was not there ... he was off thinking about something. He was not as interactive as he normally was."

Matthew is fluent in Spanish and can speak some French and Italian. He also knows sign language.

He is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 175 pounds, has blond, close cropped hair, and has a red and blue chain-like tattoo around his left arm. He also wears glasses.

Anyone with information about Matthew's whereabouts are asked to call state police at 802-748-3111.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boston Globe
April 16, 2004

N.H. Police Consult Psychic on Missing Woman
By Peter DeMarco

New Hampshire State Police interviewed a California psychic yesterday who says she had visions of a man abducting Maura Murray, the Hanson native who disappeared in February after a minor car crash on a rural New Hampshire road.

Lieutenant John Scarinza, the lead investigator, said he spoke with psychic profiler Carla Baron and plans to talk to her again, but he did not share details of their conversation.

Baron, a nationally known psychic, told Fred Murray that she believes his daughter was abducted and killed. Baron said the visions indicated that Murray was buried near another woman abducted by the same man.

Scarinza said authorities would consider Baron's psychic visions as they would any other tip.

"Mr. Murray has asked us if we could listen to what this woman has to say. We're not close-minded to talking to anyone," he said.

Baron was profiled last night on ABC's "Primetime Thursday." She has aided numerous police departments in missing persons and homicide cases.

More than a dozen psychics have called New Hampshire State Police offering assistance with the Murray case, Scarinza said. But Murray's father has only asked police to speak with Baron.

Meanwhile, the police chief in Haverhill, N.H., where Maura Murray was last seen, has warned her family members that they could be arrested if they trespass on property surrounding the accident site, according to the Associated Press. Police Chief Jeff Williams said in an April 2 letter to Murray's father that his department has received a written request from area residents complaining about repeated trespassing and parking problems, the AP reported.

Murray's family believes that the 21-year-old woman, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was abducted by someone who offered her a ride just minutes before police responded to a 911 call about her car accident. Authorities have found no evidence of foul play and say they have been unable to determine where she was headed at the time of the accident. Investigators plan to conduct further aerial searches of the wooded area in Woodsville, N.H., where Murray crashed into a snowbank on Feb. 9, Scarinza said.

State Police and New Hampshire Fish and Game officials, along with a team of dogs, are preparing for another "line search" of the area in hopes of finding any of Murray's belongings, such as a backpack, that were apparently missing from her car, he said.

While similar searches have already been made, Scarinza said, "We don't want to leave anything to chance."

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boston Globe
May 3, 2004

Circle of Hope - Story in Caption
By Justine Hunt

Friends and family of Maura Murray gathered at the track at Whitman-Hanson High School yesterday to release balloons for Murray, who has been missing since Feb. 9 after a car accident. Globe Staff Photo / Justine Hunt

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boston Globe
May 9, 2004

State Police Find Skeletal Remains
New England in Brief / Livermore, N. H.

The skeletal remains of what could be a hiker were recovered by New Hampshire State Police yesterday about 500 feet from the summit of Mt. Kancamagus in Livermore, N.H., police said. The unidentified remains, which include a skull, were found by a hiker who ventured off a trail on Friday. The remains appear to be at least a year old, and based on their apparent age, police have ruled out the possibility they could belong to missing college student Maura Murray of Hanson, who vanished in February about 25 miles away.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boston Globe
June 3, 2004

Police Say Husband Confesses in Slaying
New England in Brief / Hyde Park, VT.

The husband of a Johnson woman missing since last week has confessed to killing her, police said last night. Earlier in the day investigators discovered the body of a woman but officials said they could not positively identify it as that of Jodie Whitney. At a late- afternoon news conference held to announce the discovery of the body, Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux described Edgar Whitney as a suspect in the disappearance of his wife. Edgar Whitney tried to kill himself by overdosing on pills yesterday morning, said Marcoux. Marcoux said investigators were still looking for links between the cases of two other missing women from the region. Marcoux and a State Police detective were still planning to meet Friday with New Hampshire detectives to look for links between the cases. In February Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, disappeared after a minor car accident in Haverhill, N.H., about 75 miles from Johnson. In March, Brianna Maitland of Sheldon disappeared after leaving her job in Montgomery.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boston Globe
April 26, 2007

People
By Wendy Kileen

WHO'S WHAT WHERE: Carolanne Cavalieri of Marketing & PR Solutions in Marblehead, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has added sleuthing to her pursuits. She recently received a certificate in professional investigation from Boston University. She also joined volunteers and private investigators in a missing person search for Maura Murray in Haverhill, N.H., and attended a two-day seminar given by the Licensed Professional Detective Association of Massachusetts.

Send people items to wdkilleen@comcast.net. Photos, as jpg attachments, may be sent to globenorth@globe.com.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boston Globe
February 13, 2014
Daily Guide

Missing 7:30 p.m. WCVB-TV (Channel 5) Where is Maura Murray? A case that has confounded family, friends, and police for the last decade.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
February 16, 2004

Hanson woman, 21, still missing after crash
By Elizabeth Smallcomb

HANSON - Family members and friends are anxiously awaiting news about the whereabouts of Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, who disappeared after her car crashed in northern New Hampshire.

‘‘I haven't heard a word,'' her mother, Laurie Murray, said yesterday after talking to police in New Hampshire.

Maura Murray, a junior nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was in a single-vehicle accident last Monday on Route 112 in Woodsville, N.H. She refused help and walked away from the accident scene.

Friends and family describe Murray as intelligent and responsible, and they say it is uncharacteristic for her to have no contact with family.

Elizabeth Drewniak of Hanson, a close friend, said that after talking with Murray's family and boyfriend, all indications are that something made Murray decide she needed to get away.

Murray's father, Frederick; her brothers, Frederick and Kurtis; her sister, Kathleen; and her boyfriend, Army Lt. William Rausch of Oklahoma, are distributing fliers in New Hampshire near the Vermont border.

Police in New Hampshire called off their search after three days without any leads. They are investigating cell phone and debit card records, hoping they lead to Murray.

Haverhill, N.H., Police Chief Jeff Williams said last week that no evidence of foul play was found.

Maura Murray was an honors student and one of the top cross-country and track-and-field runners in the state during her years at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, from which she graduated in 2000. She continued running at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she studied for three semesters before transferring to UMass to study nursing.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
February 20, 2004

FBI seeking clues to disappearance from Hanson family
By Joe McGee

Boston FBI agents have joined in the search for Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student from Hanson who disappeared more than a week ago after an accident on a snowy New Hampshire road.

New Hampshire search and rescue teams, meanwhile, made one last attempt at searching the mountainous, rural area of Route 112 in Woodsville, N.H., where the 21-year-old was last seen on Feb. 9.

For reasons that remain unclear, Murray had driven to northern New Hampshire that day from the UMass campus in Amherst, where she went to school.

Authorities have suggested from the information they have that Murray may have run away and doesn't want to be found, while family members say she may have been kidnapped.

The terrain in the area where she was last seen is rough and wooded, and the National Forest Service has warned that anyone lost there in the winter cold could perish.

Police, however, said they still consider Murray a missing person, while they don't believe foul play was involved in her disappearance.

‘‘What we asked the FBI to do was to do a background investigation, talking to family members, so hopefully we can generate ideas as to what she was thinking or where she was going. Other than that, we're doing all we can,'' Lt. John Scarinza, commander of New Hampshire State Police Troop F, said.

According to police, sometime before Feb. 9, Murray downloaded directions to Burlington, Vt., from her dorm room computer. She sent an E-mail to her professors and place where she work saying she needed a week off because of ‘‘family problems,'' and left Amherst with $280 cash and a few personal items.

At about 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, the car she was driving hit a snow bank in Woodsville, a town near the Vermont border on Route 112, which locals call Wild Ammonoosuc Road. She refused help from bystanders and was gone when police in the rural town arrived.

At the accident scene, there were no footprints left in the snow and bloodhounds could not pick up her scent.

While there may be clues suggesting Murray wanted time alone and away from campus, family members believe someone picked her up from the accident scene. Running away isn't like Maura, they said.

‘‘She would've contacted someone, her boyfriend or someone. I can't see her running away. She knows how I worry,'' Lauri Murray, Maura's mother, said.

The only personal problem Murray had recently was that the accident was the second vehicle accident she had had in three days. Friends said little things like that might set off a focused person like Maura, a former standout athlete and honors student at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School who attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for a year.

‘‘Top notch. She was one of my brightest students,'' said John Souther, Murray's advanced placement calculus teacher at Whitman-Hanson.

Souther offered to help family members search in New Hampshire this week, one of many who have called the family to lend their support.

Erin Devine, a George Washington University student and high school classmate of Maura's, said she is doing what she can from Washington, D.C.

‘‘I haven't lost hope. I've been working with a criminal psychology professor. We talked about it all day during class today and we're trying to do something about it. I called the police up there and even the U.S. Embassy in Canada,'' Devine said.

Although Murray's father has expressed concern that not enough has been done to help find his daughter, police said they have followed procedures normal to investigating a missing adult case.

Scarinza said search efforts began 36 hours after the accident. That may seem like a long time, but it was for good reason, he said. Witnesses reported that Murray was drunk and so it was thought she fled the scene to avoid arrest. A further complication, authorities have said, was that the vehicle was registered to her father, not her.

‘‘With all those facts, it's not unusual that the person wanted to leave and did not want to be found,'' said Scarinza.

Crews fanned out for three days in the mountainous region before the search was called off.

A dozen people resumed the search yesterday on foot and in a helicopter. Scarinza said that was more than enough manpower to scan the rural terrain.

It was likely the last time a search crew will venture into the woods. If Murray had wandered off the road, finding her would be easy because there is about 1½ feet of snow on the ground, Scarinza said. and it has not snowed since Feb. 9.

Anyone with information that might help investigators is asked to call state police at 603-846-3333, or Haverhill police at 603-787-2222.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Patriot Ledger / Eagle Tribune
February 17, 2009

NH lawmaker proposes cold case unit Officials seeking federal stimulus cash for program
By James A. Kimble

CONCORD - A proposed cold case homicide unit would target New Hampshire’s 100 unsolved murders, some on the books since 1969.

Rep. Peyton Hinkle, R-Merrimack, has filed a bill he’s been working on for four years, inspired by the unsolved killings of two young girls in the Candia woods in 1973.

"What we need is detectives who can work on these cases," Hinkle said. "I think it is possible to get something done."

Hinkle isn’t alone in that sentiment. Even with the sober realities of the state budget crisis, the assistant commissioner of the Department of Safety hopes there may be federal stimulus money to start up a four-person unit.

"If something like that comes forward, then we might be able to see it come to pass," Assistant Commissioner Earl Sweeney said.

"Our first priority is to keep troopers on the road. The governor has been very kind to us and I think we are going to be able to avoid layoffs in troopers. Having said that, at some point, we would like to have a unit like that."

Sweeney said state police detectives work cold cases when time allows.

Lately, that’s been rare. In the past two years, the state has prosecuted its first two capital murder cases in decades, along with other cases that had multiple defendants.

Hinkle proposes assigning two state police detectives to the cold case unit, along with a paralegal and a prosecutor from the state attorney general’s office who would work part time for the unit.

The Department of Safety estimates the unit would have a startup cost of $221,322, and an additional $62,602 for the attorney general’s office.

Creation of the unit also could mean more forensic testing. Sweeney said another bill in the works which would require collection of DNA samples from all felons would enhance the ability to find murder suspects who have committed other crimes.

In 2007, Kenneth Dion was an inmate at New Hampshire State Prison when Alaska State Police determined he was the man responsible for the 1994 killing of Bonnie Craig, an 18-year-old college student.

Alaska State Police had no knowledge of Dion until his DNA sample matched semen found on the dead woman’s body. Time will tell whether Hinkle can draw enough support from fellow lawmakers and the public to establish the cold case unit.

There is no hearing date set for the bill. "I think there’s family members for a lot of these victims who would like to testify," Hinkle said.

He hopes to draw support from Maine, which last year assigned a state prosecutor to work part time exclusively on cold cases. Word of Hinkle’s proposal is welcome news to Kingston police Chief Donald Briggs.

State police had been assisting his department in the March 1980 murder of Rachel Garden, a 15-year-old girl who disappeared after leaving a convenience store in Newton.

Police have searched local ponds and dug around various sites in recent months, working on new tips as they get them, Briggs said. But working on cold cases is a matter of having the resources to do it, the chief said.

"Having a unit like that would be very helpful to us, especially in the Rachel Garden case," he said.

With a plethora of TV shows and crime fiction focused on unsolved murders, many people assume cold case units already exist in New Hampshire.

"We definitely get those questions, ’Do you guys have a cold case squad?’ And when we say no, people are surprised," said Jeff Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general. Strelzin said his office routinely works on unsolved cases, but it’s done either when new information comes to light or as time allows. If a unit was developed, Strelzin said, its first task would likely be to cull the solvable cases from the 100 or so that are on the books.

With the passage of time, it’s possible witnesses and prime suspects die before an arrest is made, Strelzin said. "Whenever we pull up an old case, one thing we look at is whether our witnesses are around anymore," he said. "It may be that less than half of those cases are in the solvable category." The attorney general’s office recently won convictions in two 20-year-old homicides. In 2006, a jury convicted George Knickerbocker of manslaughter for shaking to death 5-week-old Adam Robbins in February 1983. The case remained an unsolved Concord murder until his arrest in 2002. Also in 2006, Eric Windhurst pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing his friend’s stepfather in November 1985. Strelzin said his office has recently been working on a 30-year-old homicide. Hinkle proposes starting the unit out small, giving it a two-year shelf life and making it accountable to top government officials. The group would issue an annual report on its results to the governor, House speaker and Senate president. "People say we don’t have the resources to investigate these cases," Hinkle said. "I don’t understand why we don’t. We seem to have money to spend on a lot of other things that aren’t as necessary. This has to do with a fundamental part of government, which is public safety and justice. I don’t know why we don’t put them ahead of other things."

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Worldnet Daily
March 18, 2006

Serial killer behind 'disappearing' women? - Frustrated parents of 2 girls suspect cases connected, killer on the loose
By H. P. Albarelli

Brianna Maitland - On a freezing cold March 19, 2004, night at 11:20 p.m., 17-year old Brianna Maitland clocked out of her job at the historic Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery Center, Vermont.

Maitland had to get up early the next morning for her second job as a waitress in nearby St. Albans. Business at the Black Lantern had been bustling that night, and earlier that day she had spent several hours shopping with her mother Kellie. She was tired, she told fellow workers, and couldn’t stay for an after-closing dinner.

Less than two hours later, her car was spotted a mile from the inn, backed into the clapboard siding of an abandoned, roadside farmhouse. The vehicle, with its headlights still on, was empty except for two un-cashed paychecks and personal items on the front seat. Brianna Maitland had vanished.

Five weeks earlier, and 90 miles south of Montgomery Center, on a cold, snowy Feb. 9 evening at about 7:20 p.m., Maura Murray, a 21-year old University of Massachusetts student, drove her car into a snow bank on a sharp curve on Route 112 near Haverhill, N.H.

Maura Murray * Within a few minutes, a school bus driven by Butch Atwood stopped alongside Murray’s vehicle. Atwood, who told reporters he is a former police officer, asked Murray if she was okay and if she wanted him to alert local police. Murray, according to Atwood, said that she was fine and that she had already used her cell phone to call AAA for assistance.

Still concerned, Atwood continued up the road to his house, only about 100 yards away, and, once inside, telephoned police to report the accident. About 10 minutes later, a Haverhill police officer, and then a New Hampshire State Police trooper, arrived on the scene. Maura Murray’s car was empty and she had vanished.

The still unsolved disappearances of Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray have caused widespread feelings of insecurity among women throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, and have renewed fears that a serial killer may be on the loose.

The disappearances have served to shatter the long-standing reputations of the two states as geographically safe and tranquil havens from the ills of urban America. Both disappearances also have created deep concerns about law enforcement response procedures, as well as friction between the families of both missing women and the New Hampshire and Vermont State Police departments.

No longer safe

Throughout the 1900s, Vermont and New Hampshire were at the top of the nation’s list of states that were near-free from violent crimes and murder. Indeed, in the 1950s and early 1960s, Vermont experienced murder rates that were in the low single digits, sometimes escaping annual counts without any recorded killings. All that began to slowly but steadily change in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By the late 1970s and 1980s, murders doubled and tripled in the two states. In the 1990s, and thereafter, violent crime and murders rose astronomically, and much of it was directed at young women.

From 1970 to 2004 nearly 30 women vanished in the tiny states of Vermont and New Hampshire. Of that number, 10 eventually were found, most having been brutally murdered. In total, 19 women remain unaccounted for between the two states. By most authoritative counts, there are over 60 unsolved homicides in Vermont and New Hampshire that occurred during that period.

Over the past several decades, law enforcement authorities in both states repeatedly have claimed that the murdered and missing are the victims of a wide variety of causes, including runaways, domestic violence and crimes of passion and sexual predators. Law enforcement officials argue there is no evidence a serial killer is on the loose, but many people take exception with this.

These people point to the series of young women murdered in the two states during the 1970s and 1980s by a person the media dubbed the “Valley Killer.” The Valley Killer, who never has been apprehended or identified, is responsible for attacking at least seven women and for murdering at least six women. Included in the Valley Killer’s death count are several young women, who physically resemble Maitland and Murray.

With the recent disappearances of the two women, police continue to insist there are “no reasons to believe that a serial killer is on the loose.” Police maintain the unsolved cases are not connected in any way. But many people remain skeptical of that claim.

Says Maitland’s father, Bruce, “Just because there isn’t any evidence is not a reason to close the door on that theory, or any other. If you look at the vital statistics on all of these missing women, you’d see right away that most are startlingly similar. If none are related, then that means there are a good 100, or so, individual murderers out there roaming about free to do anything they want.”

‘She had a special charisma’

By all accounts, Brianna Alexandra Maitland was an extraordinary young woman. Beautiful beyond her years, creative, caring and fiercely independent, she was the envy of many of the girls who knew her. Maitland was as good as any man at shooting skeet, riding a snow mobile or all-terrain-vehicle, and she could track a deer for miles through the woods.

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Mauramurraymissing.com
July 2008
Our sincere thanks to those who gave up their holiday weekend!!

Press Release:

This past Friday and Saturday a group of licensed private investigators from NH, VT and MA, along with K-9 teams from as far as Connecticut searched wooded areas in Haverhill, NH in search of Maura Murray.

Maura went missing in February of 2004 after a minor automobile accident on Rte 112 and has not been seen since.

The family reached out to the Molly Bish Foundation a couple of years ago and since that time a group of private investigators has been working the case pro bono. This weekend's search was the third ground searched performed by the team for Maura's case.

As information was developed just three weeks prior to the search, our usually sources of housing for the teams was not available. Local private investigator Nanci Mahoney, who was not part of the Maura Murray Task Force, donated her townhouse and obtained her neighbor's townhouse to house all the K-9 teams and some of the investigators as well as providing a home made breakfast for all Saturday at 5:30am.

Shannon Door owners Tom and Tess Mulkern donated the Friday night meal for the teams. Betty Jane Newton donated a case of "Doggie Yogurt" for our K-9 partners and Starbucks Manager Kim Elliot donated the Saturday morning coffee.

Without the kindness of these people this weekend could not have happened.

On behalf of Maura's family, the Molly Bish Foundation, the K-9 teams and investigators I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of those who assisted us.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
May 3, 2004

Missing 3 months and still no clues: Hanson woman's kin, friends gather
By Chris Nelson

HANSON - Three months after Hanson native Maura Murray vanished in northern New Hampshire, friends and family say they are upset by lack of progress in the case.

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst student vanished after crashing her car on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H.

Yesterday, friends and family gathered at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School for what they termed a ‘‘circle of hope'' ceremony to rekindle interest in the case.

Other ceremonies were held yesterday at the spot in New Hampshire where Murray vanished after crashing her car, at UMass-Amherst and at military bases in Oklahoma and North Carolina, where her boyfriend and sister are stationed.

At the high school from which Murray graduated in 2000, 75 people crowded into a semicircle around a large, framed portrait of her. Seated to the right of the picture was her grandmother, Ruth Mehrman.

The ceremony was held at the school's track, because Murray was a star athlete.

‘‘It's only fitting to gather on the same track where Maura and her friends spent hours training and running,'' said event organizer Beth Drewniak, mother of Liz Drewniak, 22, a close friend of the missing student.

‘‘I think those of you who know Maura know her giggle, her beautiful smile and, oh, those dimples to die for,'' she said.

Murray's 22nd birthday was Tuesday.

Friends and family said yesterday they are disturbed that there has been no progress on the New Hampshire State Police investigation.

‘‘It seems like the New Hampshire police don't do a ... lot of anything about the investigation,'' said family friend Beverly Kelley.

Kelley, 59, works with Murray's mother, Laurie Murray, at the Samuel Marcus Nursing and Retirement Home in Weymouth.

Maura Murray packed up her belongings in her dorm room on Feb. 9, loaded up her car and abruptly left UMass. She wrecked her car later that night but refused help from a passing motorist. Ten minutes later, police arrived, but Murray was gone.

Blue and pink balloons that were passed out to everyone at yesterday's event were released into the wind at the ceremony's conclusion. They headed north, in the direction of New Hampshire.

Speakers included Tom Zamagni, Murray's seventh- and eight-grade basketball coach, and the Rev. Mark Hannon, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, where Murray was involved in church activities.

After the service, Laurie Murray reflected on her daughter's disappearance. ‘‘It makes no sense. It's like she just, poof, - vanished,'' she said. ‘‘How is that possible? There's not a trace of her.''

She said New Hampshire State Police periodically follow new leads, but there has been no good news to report. ‘‘When I talk to the investigators, they always have leads and follow them, but they always end in a dead-end. It's been almost three months, and I just want my daughter to come home.''

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The Patriot Ledger
February 10, 2005

Haunted, but hopeful: Family wants N.H. police to do more to find Maura Murray, who disappeared a year ago
By Joe McGee

HAVERHILL, N.H. - Fred Murray rips down a worn blue ribbon from a tree standing off the side of a country road. It has been a year since his daughter, Maura Murray of Hanson, disappeared from this site on Route 112 in Haverhill. Murray puts up a new ribbon as a symbol of new hope.

‘‘I hope this will be the last time we have to do this,'' he said.

Maura, then 22, left the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on Feb. 9, 2004, and was last seen that evening on Route 112 after the car she was driving crashed off the road.

She may have wanted to get away from personal problems of some nature when she left Amherst and so she is officially listed as a missing person. But her family believes she was abducted after the crash. Credit cards and a cell phone were inactive and it is unlike her not to contact her family during a time of need.

After a year of waiting and wondering in anguish, Fred Murray and his family are tired of hearing questions about why Maura left school. They want to know what happened when she reached Haverhill.

‘‘They say she was suicidal and a runaway but there is no sign of it. The wrong guy picked her up,'' Murray said.

Murray brought this message directly to Gov. John Lynch yesterday when he entered the State House's executive chamber and interrupted a meeting to personally ask the governor to release records of his daughter's case. Murray believes the New Hampshire State Police were lax in their investigation and now feels it is his duty to follow all possible leads.

Lynch made no commitments. ‘‘I told Mr. Murray that I will look into the situation, and I promised to get back to him as soon as I possibly can,'' he said.

Murray said the meeting was a positive start toward repairing relations between him and investigators handling the case.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarniza said that if Lynch's office calls he won't be able to offer any new information even though his detectives have spent ‘‘thousands'' of hours investigating the case.

‘‘Contrary to what Mr. Murray says, this case continues to be a high priority,'' he said.

Music and prayer

Murray's State House appearance was followed later in the afternoon with a prayer vigil at the crash site.

A group of family and friends followed Murray from Concord north to where Maura was last seen. The trip along Route 112 (the Kancamagus Highway) winds through the White Mountain National Forest and along the Wild Ammonoosuc River in some of the most deserted areas of the region.

‘‘It's hard to come here. This place reminds me of her because I've been up here so many times to look for her,'' said Maura's brother, Fred Murray of Hanson.

Clergy read a prayer and a special song written for Maura by Jenny Brooks, a high school classmate, was played by the roadside.

‘‘We're haunted by the unknown but driven by hope,'' the Rev. Lyn McIntosh of Lisbon, N.H., said to the group.

The Murrays spent the last year traveling this rugged country on the weekends to search and investigate on their own. While some locals sympathize with the family, others are upset by their walking on private property, questioning of neighbors and the media attention the case has brought to their rural community.

Butch Atwood was the last person reported to have seen Maura alive. He offered her a ride to his home up the road where his wife and mother were that night. Atwood says Maura refused his help but he called police anyway.

Maura was gone when a police officer arrived. There were no footprints or any other markers to show where she was headed.

Atwood said he is tired of having his name associated with the case. He said reporters have continually questioned him and taken undesirable photographs that may lead some to believe he was a suspect. Police, however, said they questioned Atwood as a matter of routine but never considered him a suspect.

‘‘I'm irritated beyond irritation,'' Atwood said. ‘‘I only tried to help her. It hurts.''

A former Taunton, Mass. police officer, Atwood and his wife moved to New Hampshire in 1984. Because of his police background, Atwood said he has always been kind to stranded motorists.

Neighbors disagree

The owner of a general store near Haverhill feels the same resentment toward Fred Murray.

‘‘He's just wrong. He's not telling us everything about her and what he's done is turned neighbor against neighbor up here,'' Bill Matteson said.

But among the disgruntled townspeople are people like Gina Paye who said she lives on Route 112 with three young children. A Springfield, Mass., native, Paye said she has reconsidered her move to the area since Maura's disappearance. Now she doesn't let the children out of her sight.

‘‘It has made me very nervous about living here and I don't know if it's safe anymore,'' Paye said.

‘‘I don't want to down our police department but I honestly don't know if they searched enough. I don't care about her background or if she was drinking. My feeling is she was picked up and we need to know what happened.''

Murray said he won't rest until that question is answered.

‘‘I'm encouraged,'' he said after meeting with Lynch. ‘‘But I'll be more encouraged when I see a better response (from police).''

Joe McGee may be reached at jmcgee@ledger.com.

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St. Albans Messenger
June 10, 2004

Authorities shed new light on missing women's lives
By Leon Thompson

St. Albans Town - Police concluded Tuesday there is no connection in the mysterious disappearances of Brianna Maitland, 17, of Franklin, and Maura Murray, 21, of New Hampshire.

Investigators did say, however, that Maitland had strong ties to the drug community, and that Murray probably ran away.

For four hours yesterday, the Vermont State Police (VSP), New Hampshire State Police and FBI met at the VSP barracks in St. Albans before addressing the media about the cases. Their assessment: The Maitland and Murray cases are unrelated.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Caledonian-Record
July 14, 2004

Another Search For Maura Murray Turns Up Little - Missing Since Feb. 9
By Lorna Colquhoun

HAVERHILL, NH - Nearly 100 searchers from across New Hampshire combed a one-mile radius in Swiftwater, N.H., Tuesday, in search of clues that could shed light into the perplexing mystery of what happened to Maura Murray.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The New Hampshire Union Leader
September 2, 2006

Mackenzie says she's sorry
By Stephen Beale

Laura Mackenzie apologized this week for the pain she caused when she disappeared from Goffstown last March, only to turn up five months later living and working as a waitress in St. Augustine, Fla.

"I am sorry, and I need to ask everyone to forgive me for what I did, putting them through the hardships and pain of 5 long months where I was missing," Mackenzie said in an online statement.

Mackenzie posted her written apology on a Web site dedicated to Maura Murray, a 22-year-old who was last seen in Woodsville on Feb. 9, 2005.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Foster’s Daily
Friday, January 27, 2006

N.H. judge denies father's records request in case of missing daughter
By Associated Press

Haverhill, N.H.— A New Hampshire judge denied a Massachusetts man's request to see police files in the case of his daughter who disappeared nearly two years ago.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

TheWMURChannel.com
March 17, 2006

'20/20' Examines Maura Murray Disappearance - Report Compares Case With Missing Oregon Woman

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The unsolved disappearance of college student Maura Murray is well-known in New Hampshire, and now, the story is hitting the national airwaves.

Friday night, "20/20" will attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery. Murray vanished in 2004 after her car broke down, and anchor Elizabeth Vargas will take viewers through the events right before her disappearance.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
May 6, 2004

New tip on missing Hanson woman
By Joe McGee

A new lead in the search for missing Hanson woman Maura Murray has New Hampshire authorities searching woods a few miles from where she disappeared.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said a motorist may have seen Murray jogging along Route 112 on the night she disappeared. The sighting was only a few miles from where her wrecked car was found.

Police have searched the area by helicopter and are planning more ground searches this weekend.

‘‘We're placing a lot of weight on the fact that he may have seen her,'' said Scarinza.

The witness had just gotten off work when he saw a person jogging east on Route 112 toward Woodstock. It was shortly after 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, around the time Murray was involved in a single-car accident on the same stretch of road in Haverhill. Murray was gone when police arrived about 10 minutes later and she has not been seen since.

Scarinza said the new tip seems credible. It was only a few miles from Haverhill and someone could easily jog there in a short amount of time. The road is infrequently traveled at night by pedestrians or motorists, police said.

‘‘The times he gave us are consistent and so we think that it could've been Maura that he saw,'' said Scarinza.

The clue offers at least some hope for Murray's family and friends. What happened after the car accident is only part of the mystery. Questions about why she was in New Hampshire are also unanswered. The last time friends saw her was the afternoon of Feb. 9, when Murray packed her belongings at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and left. She E-mailed professors saying there was a death in the family.

Another woman who disappeared in Montgomery, Vt., shortly after Murray is Brianna Maitland. Her family plans to meet with the Murrays this weekend. So far, police in both states see no connection in the cases.

Murray's father, Fred, recently underwent a lengthy reading with psychic profiler Carla Baron of Los Angeles. Baron believes Murray was the victim of an opportunistic killer. Although clairvoyants are considered a last resort in police work, Scarinza said detectives spoke with Baron at the father's request.

‘‘We took the information she had to offer but at this point I can't say she offered us anything substantial,'' said Scarinza.

Baron said she has a clear vision of who the killer is and why he did it.

‘‘It isn't the first time they've done this,'' said Baron. ‘‘His job involves traveling around. It's something where he is in different areas for different reasons. I think that's his motive. It's opportunity. He doesn't harvest women like a serial killer. He's a regular-looking guy, trustworthy, looks intelligent and you would never think he'd be capable. That's why Maura trusted him.''

Baron said her track record of working alongside detectives is ‘‘sterling.''

Baron was featured on the Court TV special ‘‘Psychic Detectives'' and on a recent episode of ABC's ‘‘Primetime Live.''

Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch of Oklahoma, said the family doubts the veracity of Baron's visions, but when a loved one has been missing for as long as Maura, you're willing to try anything.

‘‘It's difficult because it's human nature to want to know what happened,'' said Rausch.

Reach Joe McGee at jmcgee@ledger.com.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
May 7, 2004

Parents of 2 missing want more done; Will meet tomorrow to urge a harder look at possible connection
By Joe McGee

The parents of two young women, including one from Hanson, who disappeared in locations 100 miles apart this winter will hold a press conference tomorrow morning to request more help from the FBI.

Although police have not found a link between the cases, the families think more should be done to explore what they consider a strong connection.

‘‘Police have done a pretty thorough job, but I think it's time somebody comes in from the FBI to look at both cases, and look at these girls, and see if there is someone similar that came in contact with them,'' said Bruce Maitland of Vermont.

Maitland's 17-year-old daughter, Brianna, disappeared seven weeks ago after leaving her part-time job in Montgomery, Vt., about six weeks after Maura Murray of Hanson, a 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst student, disappeared in northern New Hampshire.

Murray was last seen Feb. 9 on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., where she was in a car accident. Police showed up within 10 minutes, but Murray was gone. Because there were no footprints in the snow, many think she was picked up.

Maitland disappeared on the night of March 19. Her abandoned car was found the next morning about a mile from where she worked. Ground searches in Vermont have not yielded any evidence.

Police in both states have shared information on the cases.

This week, a local contractor reported that he may have spotted Murray walking east on Route 112 shortly after her accident.

Despite that development, the women's families are growing frustrated. Murray's mother, Laurie, said all avenues must be explored.

‘‘They're two young beautiful girls and both disappeared about the same time,'' Laurie Murray said. ‘‘(The families) are getting together to compare notes to see if there are similarities. Evidently the police department feels there aren't any.''

The FBI's Boston field office controls investigations in New Hampshire. The agency's Albany, N.Y., office controls the Northern Kingdom region of Vermont.

Personnel from the Boston office interviewed Murray family members early in the case. Special Agent Gail Marcinkiewicz, spokeswoman for the Boston office, said the office continues to support the New Hampshire state police in their investigation.

Marcinkiewicz said the FBI has resources across the country and can conduct interviews in any jurisdiction.

The more help offered, the better, Laurie Murray said.

‘‘I want as much done as possible. It's awful. She's been missing for three months without a trace.''

The parents will meet tomorrow in New Hampshire.

Anyone with information is asked to call the New Hampshire state police at 603-846-3333 or the Vermont state police at 802-524-5993. Two web sites offer information and rewards: www.bringbrihome.org and www.spbowers.com/mauramissing.html.

Joe McGee may be reached at jmcgee@ledger.com.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
May 24, 2004

Coping pains families of the missing: Says mother of Molly Bish, it's ‘like a bad movie'
By Joe McGee

Magi Bish remembers the ‘‘fragile Fridays,'' an end-of-the-week prayer ritual of asking God for one more week of strength to continue looking for her missing daughter, Molly.

And Maureen Lemieux will never forget going to bed and not wanting to wake up when her 10-year-old granddaughter, Holly Piirainen, went missing.

With the search for Maura Murray more than three months old, times also have turned desperate for family and friends of the 22-year-old Hanson woman who disappeared on Feb. 9 in Haverhill, N.H. There is no trace of Murray. Her ATM and cell phone have been dormant. Woods have been searched by ground and air several times.

Bish and Lemieux, who lived through the same anguish in two of the state's highest-profile missing person cases, said the need to know what happened is indescribable.

‘‘Evil is what this is,'' Magi Bish said. ‘‘It's like a bad movie and you can't get out, and the fear when you don't know what happened, it can make people cross over. I fought the mental monsters every day.''

Maura Murray's family has traveled to New Hampshire countless times. Every weekend they make the four-hour trek from the family home in Hanson to New Hampshire to canvass rural woods and interview people they have never met in hopes of finding any scrap of information.

Bish said it is hard to explain how someone makes it that long with little hope of seeing their child alive again. Investigators last spring found Molly Bish's skeletal remains 5 miles from the Bish home in West Warren. Molly had been last seen in June 2000 at Cummins Pond in Warren, where she worked as a lifeguard.

Magi Bish and her husband, John, devised their own coping mechanism during the three years of not knowing Molly's fate.

‘‘We had what we called ‘fragile Fridays.' If we got through one more week, we knew we could do it again the next,'' Bish said.

Maura Murray's father, Fred Murray, has been the most active figure in the search for his daughter. His public criticism of police, his consultation with a psychic and his compulsive hikes to New Hampshire are all symptoms of the aching quest to know what happened, Maureen Lemieux said.

Lemieux's granddaughter Holly Piirainen was found dead about two months after being abducted from her family's summer cottage in Sturbridge in August 1993.

‘‘Mostly my son went out,'' Lemieux said. ‘‘They took ATVs, four-wheel-drive vehicles, whatever they could do up in the woods, looking around. They went with psychics. You don't want to leave any stone unturned. If somebody thought they had an idea, you went with it. If there was a psychic or anyone that sounded reasonable, we left immediately and searched.''

The Bish family has spoken to Fred Murray and offered their support. Magi Bish said she identifies with Fred's tireless spirit. It is all you have in a situation like this, she said.

‘‘If you're a ‘doer,' and Fred sounds like he is, you just go. I'm sure it's hard because they live so far away, but you just do it. You're never prepared,'' Bish said.

As the weeks pass, the frustration grows for investigators.

New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Thomas York said police have followed up on every piece of information. Detectives are still active on the case, but the ground searches will be discontinued until a credible tip comes along. York said he realizes they may never find Maura.

Recently New Hampshire state police found the remains of Steven Romines, a Massachusetts man who disappeared in the White Mountains 20 years ago. It can take that long, York said.

‘‘We're coming to the end of what we can possibly do,'' York said. ‘‘I hope that things turn out for the best for Maura, I really do.''

Reality is also setting in for Murray's college friends in Amherst that they may never see her again. Kate Markopoulos, a track teammate of Murray's at UMass, said she is getting classmates' E-mails addresses and phone numbers to stay in touch after she graduates. Markopoulos was taking finals last week and packing to return home to upstate New York.

‘‘I think it'll hit me after I graduate because I'll start calling people and I can't call Maura,'' Markopoulos said.

‘‘She was one of the people I planned on keeping in contact with after school, especially because she loved where I'm from because it's near the Adirondacks. She loved hiking,'' Markopoulos said.

Joe McGee may be reached at jmcgee@ledger.com.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Patriot Ledger
July 5, 2004

Cop comments anger missing Hanson woman's mother: Laurie Murray rejects suicide, runaway theories
By Dan DeLeo

Maura Murray's boyfriend and her mother say they are angry that police are suggesting that the young woman who disappeared five months ago killed herself or ran away.

The 22-year-old nursing student from Hanson has not been seen since she was involved in a minor accident in Haverhill, N.H., on Feb. 9.

‘‘She would never run away and she would never commit suicide,'' her mother, Laurie Murray of Hanson, said yesterday.

Murray said she believes her daughter was abducted.

Maura Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. William Rausch of Weymouth, said he told police from the beginning of the investigation that he does not believe she would take her own life.

‘‘In no way shape or form did I say that was the most likely explanation. They should be focusing on finding Maura,'' said Rausch, who is stationed at Fort Sill, Okla.

Rausch complained that local police did not bring FBI officials onto the case once they ran out of leads.

‘‘It's been disheartening to see the many mistakes they've made,'' he said.

Murray's family was outraged last week when New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza linked the discovery of a book about tragedies in the White Mountains to the possibility that Murray committed suicide.

The book, ‘‘Not Without Peril,'' was found in Murray's abandoned car, along with diamond jewelry, clothing and alcohol.

In an interview last week, Scarinza said, ‘‘What does that mean? I don't know.''

Laurie Murray said the book is one of her daughter's favorites. She said Maura and her father met the author, Nicholas Howe, while hiking in the region.

Murray took offense at Scarinza's comments.

‘‘What he is saying on the news is slanderous and it is interfering with the search for her,'' she said. ‘‘It's upsetting the whole family more than we already are.''

Scarinza could not be reached for comment.

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The Patriot Ledger
July 13, 2004

New search begins for Hanson student
By Patriot Ledger staff

New Hampshire State Police today combed an area where a 22-year-old nursing student from Hanson was last seen.

About 60 troopers searched the area in Haverhill, N.H., where Maura Murray was involved in a minor automobile accident on Feb. 9.

A man answering the phone at State Police headquarters in Twin Mountain, N.H., said the effort was being made ‘‘just to see if they could pick up anything new.''

The man, who did not identify himself, said that the search began this morning and was expected to continue until late this afternoon.

Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, packed up her belongings in her dorm room on Feb. 9, loaded up her car and abruptly left school.

She crashed her car in Haverhill, N.H., that night, and refused help from a passing motorist. Ten minutes later, police arrived, but Murray was gone.

Police have had few leads in their investigation, and Murray's family has grown increasingly frustrated about the lack of progress toward finding her.

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The Patriot Ledger
July 15, 2004

Mom: I was kept in dark about search; Not told that police were looking for missing Hanson student this week
By Don Conkey

HANSON - Laurie Murray is pleased that New Hampshire State Police searched again this week for clues about her daughter's disappearance.

She just wishes someone had told her about it.

‘‘The way they are treating me is cruel, for me to find out this information secondhand through the media,'' Murray said.

New Hampshire State Police conducted the all-day search Tuesday in Haverhill, N.H., in the area where 22-year-old nursing student Maura Murray of Hanson was last seen in February.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said yesterday the search failed to turn up anything new about Murray's disappearance.

While that news disappointed Laurie Murray, far more upsetting, she said, was the lack of communication.

Laurie Murray, who lives in Hanson, said she didn't know that a search was under way until she was called by The Patriot Ledger on Tuesday morning.

No one from New Hampshire State Police talked to her about it, she said.

‘‘I called State Police late in the morning Tuesday and they couldn't even tell me where in New Hampshire they were searching,'' Murray said.

‘‘I identified myself as Maura's mother, and the only information they said they could give me was that a search was going on,'' she said.

‘‘I left my number, but nobody has called,'' she said.

Scarinza acknowledged that State Police did not contact Murray, but said they did speak with her ex-husband, Frederick Murray of Weymouth, on Monday.

Scarinza said State Police tried to call Frederick Murray after the search, but as of late yesterday morning they had not been able to reach him. Meanwhile, Scarinza said, Frederick Murray had been on television in New Hampshire saying he had never been contacted by police about the search. Frederick Murray could not be reached for comment.

Laurie Murray said she deserved a call. ‘‘I am the mother.''

Scarinza said State Police thought the Murrays were exchanging information. ‘‘If the communication is not happening between Mr. and Mrs. Murray, we can correct that,'' he said.

Laurie Murray has had a testy relationship with the investigators pursuing leads in the case. Less than two weeks ago, she criticized police for suggesting that Maura may have killed herself or run away. Murray believes her daughter was abducted.

Scarinza said nearly 100 people searched Tuesday in the area where Maura Murray was involved in a minor car accident on the night of Feb. 9.

During their first search of the site more than five months ago, police found diamond jewelry, clothing and alcohol in Murray's abandoned car, along with a book about tragedies in the White Mountains.

Murray, then 21, apparently refused help from a passing motorist after the accident. Police arrived 10 minutes later, but she was gone.

She has not been heard from since.

Scarinza said that 60 troopers, as well as state fish and game officers and volunteers, were involved in the search Tuesday. Searchers fanned out in a one-mile radius from the accident scene and searched from 9 a.m. until dark.

Scarinza said the investigation into Murray's disappearance will continue.

‘‘At this point, several thousand hours of investigation have gone into this. We continue to try and find out what happened,'' he said.

Don Conkey may be reached at dconkey@ledger.com.

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The Patriot Ledger
February 8, 2006

Ledger Update: Where is Maura? 2 Years Later, Missing Hanson Woman’s Family Clings to Hope, Waits for Answers
By Joe McGee

Laurie Murray has had the same bedtime ritual every night for the past two years. She prays to the Catholic patron saint of lost things, hoping that she’ll awaken to good news. ‘‘What I do every night is pray to St. Anthony,’’ Murray said. ‘‘I have a statue right here.’’

It will be two years tomorrow since Laurie’s daughter, Hanson native Maura Murray, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, disappeared after a minor traffic accident in Haverhill, N.H.

Police, who have treated her disappearance as a missing persons case, stopped talking about leads long ago.

Even now, as the family clings to hope and waits for answers, they stand firm in their belief that wherever Maura went, she did not go willingly.

They are hoping renewed media attention and the work of a private investigator will yield results.

‘‘Someone doesn’t just disappear. ...She called me every night,’’ Laurie Murray said. ‘‘Something went horribly wrong.’’

A Web site, mauramurray.com, keeps her memory alive. It also has provided the family with tips and theories about the case, none of which has been confirmed by police. One tipster suggested that drug dealers in the rural area knew something about her disappearance.

Maura’s story has been mentioned on CNN, Fox News and ABC in reports about the mysterious disappearances of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway during a post-graduation trip to Aruba and honeymooner George Smith during a Royal Caribbean cruise. Maura’s story will be told again in a segment of ‘‘20/20’’ that the news program is calling ‘‘Vanished.’’

‘‘At this stage of the game, we have to put her in God’s hands and pray he’ll guide us to wherever it is to find her,’’ said Barbara McDougall of Weymouth, a cousin to Maura.

Tomorrow, while Laurie Murray is at church saying more prayers to St. Anthony, a private investigator will be retracing Maura’s steps from the time she left UMass on Feb. 9, 2004, to the time of the accident in New Hampshire that night.

‘‘You just go back and put yourself at the scene and imagine what could have happened that night,’’ said Tom Shamshack, a former Winthrop police chief and an investigative consultant to the Molly Bish Foundation who became involved with the Murray case in December.

Shamshack, -who says missing property often gets more attention than a missing person, - wants to interview those who were last in contact with Murray, including college friends, relatives and Butch Atwood, a bus driver who was the last to see her.

Atwood, who has since moved to Florida, was driving by in a bus that night and offered Murray help. He said she refused his help, saying she would call for roadside assistance with her cell phone even though there is no coverage in the area.

Atwood told New Hampshire newspapers that he went back to his home, about 100 yards from the accident scene, and called 911. Police arrived minutes later, but Murray had vanished.

Atwood said he saw other cars go by while he was calling for help, but that it was too dark to tell their makes or models.

Police found no footprints or other evidence to suggest Murray had walked away.

‘‘You just think about the different scenarios, number one being that she could’ve easily walked down the road to try to get cell phone coverage,’’ Shamshack said. ‘‘Somebody else could’ve driven by who nobody saw, and offered help. She got into that automobile and then left the scene and that’s it.’’

A New Hampshire Superior Court judge recently denied the family access to official police records, making it almost impossible to draw a timeline from when Murray left school to when she arrived in Haverhill.

But Shamshack said visiting Haverhill, a mountainside community of 4,400, would help him get a sense of where Maura could have gone.

The area of the accident scene, on Route 112 at a hairpin turn marked with a big red barn, should be the best source of what happened, he said.

‘‘I’m a Somerville guy and I have some understanding of what goes on on the streets, and my sense is what happened is right there in that neighborhood,’’ he said.

Murray’s boyfriend, Army Capt. William Rausch, said he still has a special place in his heart for Maura, the girl he planned to marry.

Still single, Rausch, 25, said he finds strength by dedicating himself to his job at Fort Sill, Okla., and staying close with friends from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he and Murray met. Some of his colleagues knew Murray from the year she spent at West Point and have fond memories of her, Rausch said.

‘‘It seems evident that whatever happened is concrete,’’ Rausch said, ‘‘but I still love her like many others do, and I feel lucky to have had what we had.’’

Joe McGee may be reached at jmcgee@ledger.com.

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The Patriot Ledger
August 7, 2007

Reward offered in missing woman case
By Karen Goulart

HANSON - If anyone knows what happened to Maura Murray on a frigid February night in New Hampshire nearly four years ago, they aren’t talking.

Relatives of the Hanson native and a national organization devoted to helping families find missing persons are hoping that money might loosen some lips.

The national group Let’s Bring Them Home is offering a $75,000 reward ‘‘for the recovery of Maura Murray and the arrest and conviction of those responsible for her disappearance.’’

In February 2004, Murray, a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, told her professors that she needed to deal with a family emergency. After going to her dorm room and packing belongings, she drove to New Hampshire. She had not told anyone what her destination was.

On Feb. 9, her car went off the road and hit a snowbank on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. Murray was nowhere to be found when police arrived.

Authorities consider her a missing person, but private investigators working on the case think she may have been abducted or killed.

Let’s Bring Them Home spokeswoman LaDonna Meredith said members of the Murray family contacted the group about nine months ago.

The nonprofit organization, based in Rogers, Ark., assists families of missing persons through public-relations work and is a clearinghouse of information about educational and support groups.

A picture of Maura Murray and information about her disappearance have been posted on the organization’s Web site. And now, so is a notice advertising a $75,000 reward, good until Dec. 31.

‘‘Looking at the facts in Maura’s case, we thought in order to generate tips we would need to offer a significant reward,’’ Meredith said. ‘‘Historically, when you offer a reward of that size, someone who knows something will talk.’’

Anyone with information is asked to call a toll-free ‘‘no cops’’ tip line.

‘‘It’s not answered by law enforcement. It’s just an answering service encouraging the person to leave a detailed message,’’ Meredith said. ‘‘The success rate with that - when someone does know something, something like this is attractive to them - nine times out of 10 people are going to call the number.’’

Meredith said phones rang constantly on Monday. Many were media calls, but some involved possible tips, she said.

Fred Murray continues to seek and follow leads in his daughter’s disappearance. He recently appealed, for a second time, a New Hampshire Superior Court ruling denying the release of police records about the case. He is thankful that Let’s Bring Them Home is offering the reward and hopes that it will prompt someone to talk.

Murray said any good citizen who had information would already have come forward. A person on the wrong side of the law might be afraid to talk, but the promise of money could change that, he said.

‘‘The reward is a good idea. I’m glad they’ve come forward with this,’’ Murray said. ‘‘It can only help. It’s kind of a play on human nature. It acts as an influence.’’

Murray said notice of the reward has appeared in Haverhill, N.H.-area newspapers. Meredith and Let’s Bring Them Home volunteers plan to visit the town in the fall, and he will be in town soon - as he often is - to hand out fliers.

And there is always the power of small-town gossip.

‘‘The grapevine there is a powerful thing,’’ Murray said. ‘‘The case is a general topic of conversation and the rumors fly. I’ve chased a million false leads, but I don’t mind hearing them. I’ll chase them all.’’

Information about $75,000 reward

Let's Bring Them Home, a national organization for families of missing persons, is offering a $75,000 reward for the recovery of Maura Murray and the arrest and conviction of anyone who may be responsible for her disappearance.

Anyone with information can call this toll-free, ‘‘no cops’’ number and leave an anonymous message: 1-866-479-LBTH (5284).

More information is available on the organization’s Web site, letsbringthemhome.org.

Karen Goulart may be reached at kgoulart@ledger.com.

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The Patriot Ledger
May 8, 2013

New Hope For Local Kin - Families of missing women riveted by rescues in Ohio
By Chris Burrell

Aday after the rescue of three women who had been held captive in a Cleveland house for 10 years, the news riveting a nation has stirred a little hope in the hearts of some local families whose loved ones have been missing for years.

"The first time I turned it on this morning, it just said there was three missing women that had been found. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. Oh my God, my heart was pounding.," said Patricia (Patty) DeMoura, whose sister Debra Melo vanished 13 years ago.

DeMoura hoped for those few seconds that the TV news would announce that one of them was her sister. In 2000, Melo's husband, Luis, told police he and his wife had argued, and she had gotten out of their car on a wooden stretch of Route 18 in South Weymouth. No sign of her was ever found, and no arrest was ever made.

"We don't have any final answer," said DeMoura, a Taunton resident. "You always have a string of hope that maybe she is out there. You don't know a hundred percent."

A similar response was felt by the family of Jennifer Lee Fay, who disappeared on a November day in 1989 in Brockton when she was 16 years old.

"It certainly always gives us hope that something like that can happen in Jennifer's case," said Michelle Little-field, a private investigator who has worked Fay's case since 2005.

But mixed with hope is heartache, said Littlefield.

"As much as you want to be hopeful, at the same time, after 23 years, you also have to be realistic," she said. "So it's bittersweet for us."

DeMoura said she watched the television news from Cleveland for much of Tuesday as police recounted how Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight had been held captive in a house there since their teens or early 20s. "It just breaks your heart. We don't even know where to look," said DeMoura. "I talked to her daughter this morning, and she felt the same way. This really makes me feel like, is she really out there? What more can we do?"

Both Fay's and Melo's families hope the good news from Cleveland makes more people aware of the plight of families still wondering what happened to loved ones who have gone missing.

Another South Shore resident who has been missing for years is Maura Murray, a Hanson resident whose car was found on a rural road in New Hampshire.

Murray disappeared in 2004 when she was 21, and neither police nor private investigators have ever found viable clues.

Nationally, there are as many as 100, 000 active missing persons at a given time, according to a federal database of missing persons.

In cases of children, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children states that it is rare for abducted children to be murdered.

Enterprise reporter Amy Carboneau contributed reporting to this story. Chris Burrell may be reached at cburrell@ledger.com.

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The Patriot Ledger
May 11, 2013

Never Give Up on the Missing

Many people look at the three women in Cleveland freed this week after being kidnapped separately a decade ago and call it a tragic story. They are correct, as evidence of sexual abuse, secret rooms and ropes and chains comes to light.

But this is also a story of hope. It gives hope to the family of Debra Melo of Taunton, who disappeared after a fight with her husband in 2000. It gives hope to the family of Jennifer Fay of Brock-ton, who was last seen in 1989 - without a word since. It gives hope to the family of Maura Murray of Hanson, whose car was found in New Hampshire in 2004. No trace of Murray has ever been found.

Most children who are missing more than a few days or weeks are not found alive. They either never return or their bodies are eventually found. It happens in case after case. But every once in a while, a miracle occurs.

Melo's sister, Patty DeMoura of Taunton, said Tuesday that her heart was pounding when she first heard news reports of three missing women being found alive. She hoped for a moment that one of them was her sister.

"We don't have any final answer," said DeMoura. "You always have a string of hope that maybe she is out there. You don't know a hundred percent."

In Cleveland, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were set free Monday when a neighbor heard Berry screaming for help and police found not only Berry, but the other two women in the house of suspect Ariel Castro.

This reminds us of the case of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 at age 11 in California and, remarkably, found safe 18 years later, living with the couple who held her prisoner. She walked out of their home with two children fathered by kidnapper Phillip Garrido, much as Berry was found with a young child police believe may have been fathered by Castro or one of his brothers.

Think also of Elizabeth Smart, snatched from her Utah bedroom at age 14 in 2002. A massive search turned up nothing and, as months went by, many people must have thought their hopes and prayers wouldn't come true. But the next year, Smart was found wandering the streets with the couple holding her and she was reunited with her family.

It might take a miracle to find Melo, Fay or Murray, dead or alive. But it does happen. Berry's mother died in 2006 believing her daughter was dead. It is tragic that mother and daughter never saw each other again. But it's extraordinary that Berry, DeJesus and Knight have been reunited with their loved ones after a decade of doubt.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader
December 8, 2010

Year-old unit seeks to bring closure to state's cold cases
By Lorna Colquhoun

WELLS RIVER, Vt. -- More than five years have passed since the horrible September night when Betty Conrad's son Tom was shot and killed in the driveway of the home they shared in Pike, N.H.

In all the years since, no arrest has been made, but on Monday, Betty Conrad and more than 30 people got an assurance from the head of New Hampshire's Cold Case Unit.

"We are actively working on this case, and there are developments we are actively pursuing," said Assistant Attorney General Will Delker. "This has a good chance of being resolved. I don't want to give the impression that an arrest is imminent, but there are some positive developments."

Delker was the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Good Ole Boys, a decades-old social organization in Haverhill, N.H. Betty Conrad and her son Mike were among the guests, and an officer of the club said the meeting turnout was high because there is interest in the case of Tom Conrad.

Delker's talk came just days after the cold case unit issued its first status report on Dec. 1.

The unit, established when Gov. John Lynch signed HB 690 in to law in July 2009, includes Delker and three other detectives who are dedicated to solving cases that were not solved by initial investigations. Some of the unit's cases date back to the 1960s.

"It's the first effort in New Hampshire history to have a dedicated unit of investigators and prosecutors to work on unsolved homicide cases," Delker said.

In the past, when a case was left unresolved and went "cold," Delker said, newer cases got priority over them. But the 2009 law, funded through stimulus money for three years, ensures that manpower won't "get pulled off for the next active effort."

When the unit first came together, its first task was to inventory all the unsolved cases that were not collected in one place, but rather within the institutional knowledge of local police departments and the state Attorney General's Office.

In all, "there are 119 victims of homicide that didn't result in prosecution," Delker said, noting that after the creation of a website, four additional cases were added due to public response.

The first success for the unit came last summer with the arrest of David B. McLeod, who is now charged with four counts of second-degree murder in the 1989 deaths of the Hina family of Keene, N.H., including Carl Hina, his wife Lori and daughters Sara, 12, and infant Lillian.

They perished in a house fire.

Once established, the cold case unit set about establishing protocols, implementing a case management system for keeping track of the cases and tips, and taking up cases like the Conrad murder with "high solvability factors," according to the status report.

In the year since the cold case website was established, investigators have received more than 300 tips relating to 74 of the cases.

In addition to the Conrad case, Delker noted two other high-profile cases in Grafton County that the cold case unit is investigating.

"The case of Maura Murray has not been ruled a homicide and still a missing persons case, but circumstance lead us to believe that she is missing because of foul play," he said of the 2004 case of the Massachusetts woman who disappeared without a trace between a minor accident on Route 112 in Swiftwater, N.H., and the response of a Haverhill police officer a few minutes later.

The other case he noted was the 1991 stabbing death of Plymouth State College assistant registrar Tess Reed.

"That case has definite potential -- we have leads that can be followed," Delker said.

According to the status report, the cold case unit is "currently actively investigating approximately five cases," and has worked on 25 cases in the past 12 months.

According to the report, "These efforts vary from the review of the case file to determine the validity of a tip, working with local law enforcement agencies which are investigating cold cases, and responding to inquiries from family members of victims."

The report also states that, "Because of the sensitive nature of these investigative efforts, it is not appropriate to discuss the particulars of those investigations in more details."

For families like the Conrads, the cold case unit gives them hope for resolution and justice.

"I don't think you get full closure," Betty Conrad said, "but it would be helpful to know."

"I have a lot of faith in them," she said of the investigators who keep in touch with her.

Looking ahead, the unit intends to continue its work over the next 18 months.

According to the status report, "While there are no guarantees that the Unit will be able to develop sufficient evidence to charge anyone over that time, the members of the unit are cautiously optimistic that its current investigative efforts will result in the resolution of additional cases within that time."

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The New Hampshire Sunday News
February 7, 2010

Murray case 'very much active'
By Nancy West

Tests are being performed on possible new evidence in the mysterious disappearance six years ago of University of Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray in Haverhill, according to Lt. James White, head of the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit.

Tuesday will mark the sixth anniversary of the day Murray vanished in the North Country after crashing her car on remote and winding Route 112 during a snowstorm shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2004.

Some time in the last two weeks, police received new information in the case, White said, though he declined to say exactly what it is.

"This case is very much active," he said.

As a result of the new leads, White said, police collected items that are now in the process of being tested.

Murray's family in the meantime continues to be critical of the investigation and would like the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take over the case, according to Murray's sister, Kathleen Carpenter of Hanover, Mass.

She said she didn't know anything about the new evidence.

"Anything like that, we should have the right to know. Honestly they should be telling us," Carpenter said.

The hardest part for her family now is wondering what could have happened to Murray, Carpenter said.

Murray, 21 at the time of her disappearance, was upset at having crashed her father's new Toyota a day earlier, causing $10,000 in damage, while he was visiting her in Amherst, Mass.

The day she disappeared, the Hanson, Mass., resident took $280 from her bank account, according to police, and told professors she would be away for a week because of a death in the family, although there had been no death. She then headed north to an area she knew from vacationing with her family.

Carpenter said she and her husband, Tim, will make their annual pilgrimage to Haverhill, near the Vermont border, on Tuesday and place a blue ribbon on the tree Murray hit that dark night.

Carpenter is pleased that "Disappeared," a television program featuring missing-person cases on the Investigation Discovery channel, will feature Murray's case tomorrow at 10 p.m.

Carpenter was also surprised, she said, by some similarities between her sister's case and the disappearance eight weeks ago of Sarah Rogers, 29, of Barrington. Rogers' blue Scion xB was found idling in the median on Interstate 95 north in Clinton, Maine, on Dec. 13, 2009, also during a snowstorm. Police and a private investigator who has investigated both the Murray and Rogers cases, however, have found nothing to link the two disappearances.

Carpenter believes her sister met with foul play.

"(She) was abducted, definitely. She's not the type that would run away," Carpenter said.

The family wants to keep the case in the public eye in case anyone hears or remembers anything that could help police.

"This time of year, it gets stressful," Carpenter said. "We'll go up (to Haverhill) and say a prayer."

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New Hampshire Union Leader
October 30, 2007

Group offers $75,000 reward, plans a search
By Nancy West

Even the wording for the $75,000 reward echoes a heightened level of fear for Maura Murray.

The reward is for the recovery of Maura and arrest and conviction for those responsible for her disappearance, according to LaDonna Meredith, director of Let's Bring Them Home. It is an Arkansas-based group dedicated to helping find missing people.

The group is organizing another search for Maura in northern New Hampshire sometime in November.

The $75,000 reward expires Dec. 31. There is a separate $40,000 reward posted from donations from family and friends, but that one is for the safe return of Maura.

"We have had tips come through on the hotline, unfortunately nothing new or substantial," Meredith said. "The number to call is 1-866-479-5284. We just need that hotline to ring," Meredith said.

Maura, who was a nursing student at University of Massachusetts, is described as having brown hair, usually pulled back in a bun and blue eyes. She is 5-foot-7 and weighs 120 pounds.

Murray's family hopes the promise of cash and deadline will prompt someone to come forward soon with new information about what happened to Maura.

"What is so surprising is no one has come up with anything, not a trace. We've had the FBI, police, several search teams. People just don't disappear without a trace. That's unheard of," said Maura's mother, Laurie Murray, who lives in the family home in Hanson, Mass.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

New Hampshire Union Leader
October 29, 2007

Could she have decided to disappear? - Could Maura Murray have simply decided to run away and begin a new life?

It is probably the least likely scenario police are considering, but something similar has happened recently in New Hampshire, although for a much briefer time.

Laura Mackenzie of Goffstown was an 18-year-old high school honor student when she sparked a nationwide search after disappearing March 8, 2006.

Mackenzie never spoke a word about her disappearance to friends of family members. In five months' time, she did not use her ATM card, her e-mail account or a cell phone.

Investigators followed leads that suggested Mackenzie might have traveled all the way to California.

She had run away to Florida to avoid facing a shoplifting charge.

She worked as a waitress until being discovered in St. Augustine Beach in August 2006. Mackenzie later reached a plea bargain and agreed to pay for her extradition to New Hampshire.

"I am very sorry for the pain, time and expense associated with the search to find me during the time I was gone," she said after pleading guilty to a shoplifting charge in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

New Hampshire Sunday News
October 28, 2007

Maura Murray mystery timeline

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004: Maura and her father, Fred Murray, look for used cars to replace her balky 1996 Saturn. After dinner at a brewpub in Amherst, Mass., Maura drops Fred off at the Quality Inn in Hadley, Mass., takes his new Toyota for the night, and joins friends at a University of Massachusetts dormitory party.

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004: At about 3:30 a.m., Maura crashes the Toyota while driving back to her father's motel, causing $10,000 in damage. Police gave her a ride to the Quality Inn.

Monday, Feb. 9, 2004: Maura departs Amherst, Mass., at about 4:30 p.m., leaving behind packed belongings in her UMass dorm room. She took $280 from her personal bank account. Computer searches later show she looked up travel and lodging information for Bartlett, N.H., and Burlington, Vt., and sent e-mails to her job supervisor and a college professor saying she would be absent from work and school for a week due to a death in the family. There had been no recent death in the family, and she does not tell family or friends of her plans to leave campus.

  • At 7:27 p.m., Faith Westman calls Grafton County Sheriff's Department to report Maura's vehicle in a ditch on Route 112, on a sharp turn near Westman's residence. A passing motorist later says Murray refused his offer of assistance, claiming she already had called AAA on her cell phone. There is no cell-phone reception in that area, however, and AAA later says it never received a call from Murray.

  • At 7:43 p.m., a 911 dispatcher relays a second call on the Route 112 accident to the Grafton County Sherrif's Department, saying a woman at the scene is shaken up but not injured.

  • At 7:46 p.m., Haverhill Police Sgt. Cecil Smith arrives at the scene, finding a locked Saturn and no driver. Fire and rescue personnel who arrive at the scene inform all units to be on the lookout for a female accident victim, about 5 feet 7 inches tall.

  • At 9:26 p.m., police clear the accident scene.

May 8, 2004 -- Members of New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, New England K-9 Search and Rescue, New Hampshire State Police and Haverhill Police conduct a search in the Haverhill/Landaff/Easton area of Route 112 after a man reported having seen a person matching Maura's description jogging east on 112 about 45 minutes after the accident and 4 ½ miles east of the crash site. The search extends about 3 1/2 miles east of the reported sighting, to the height of the land at the Wildwood campground and picnic area, and for several miles north around Route 116. No evidence is found.

June 8, 2004 -- New Hampshire and Vermont State Police issue a joint press release saying there was no connection between the disappearances of Maura Murray and Brianna Maitland, 17, of Franklin, Vt. Maitland was last seen at work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt., on March 19, 2004. A State Police news release summarizes the searches for Murray, saying there was about 2 ½ feet of snow on the ground when she disappeared, limiting areas she could have wandered into the woods, and making it easy for searchers to distinguish between human and animal tracks.

July 13, 2004 -- About 90 searchers continue to look for possible clues at and around the accident site in Haverhill. The search, which again includes use of a State Police helicopter, is focused in a 1-mile radius from the accident site. Search areas include parking sites, wooded areas and roadways along Route 112 to the town of Woodstock; and Route 118, from the Junction of Route 112 south to the height of the land at the Woodstock/Warren town line. Investigators do not believe any of the items collected to be relevant.

Sources: New Hampshire State Police, Grafton County dispatch records.

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New Hampshire Union Leader
October 4, 2006

In Brief - Maura Murray search continues Oct. 21

HAVERHILL -- Volunteer private investigators and K-9 handlers are teaming up on Saturday, Oct. 21, to search the area where Maura Murray disappeared more than two years ago.

Volunteers from the New Hampshire League of Investigators are asking for donations such as bottled water, drinks, snacks, meals and lunches to support the effort. They are also asking for lodging and gas cards, to be used by owners of the out-of-state K-9 search dogs and their family members.

Property owners near the location where Murray disappeared are also asked to provide access and cooperation during the effort.

Murray disappeared in Februrary 2004 after a minor automobile accident. Anyone interested in helping out is urged to contact John Healy at 746-4994 or Benjamin McDonald at 759-2340.

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New Hampshire Sunday News
April 16, 2006

Human remains found
By Garry Rayno and Shawne K. Wickham

CONCORD--A forensic anthropologist is being called in to help identify the man whose skeletal remains were found in a wooded area just off Interstate 93 Friday afternoon.

State and local authorities were excavating the area, down a steep embankment near Exit 12 southbound, for much of the day yesterday.

Assistant Attorney General David Ruoff, who is investigating the case for that office, said the remains, later determined to be those of an adult male, were found by a man walking in the woods shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. Police sealed off the area overnight, and authorities began searching the area and removing the remains yesterday morning.

The remains, Ruoff said, "appear to have been there a while, so it's going to take a while to make any kind of identification."

Ruoff said while there was once excavation required to uncover all the remains, the area "did not appear to be a burial site."

"It just seemed that it was leaves, and it has been there for a while, so there was some amount of soil covering."

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin said clothing found at the scene and dental records will aid in determining who was found dead.

"We expect the earliest the identification will be made will be Monday," Strelzin said.

Asked if officials have an idea who the dead man may be, Ruoff said investigators have consulted the state police database on missing persons. "What we know has been run against the database and we have some hunches and suspicions, but we really have to wait until we know more," he said.

There are four individuals from New Hampshire posted on the New Hampshire State Police Web site's missing persons page. Three are women: Maura Murray, and Tina and Bethany Sinclair.

The only male is Lorne Boulet, born March 27, 1980. According to the Web site, he has been missing since July 29, 2001 from Chichester _ one town east of Concord. Asked if the remains discovered yesterday could be those of Lorne Boulet, Ruoff yesterday replied, "No comment."

Strelzin said, "We don't speculate on who we think those remains will be."

Louise Holmburg, Boulet's aunt, said last evening that she hadn't received word on whether the remains might be those of her nephew.

"I'm sitting here with a weight in my stomach," the Bristol woman said. "I've already chewed off my fingernails.

"The not knowing is very difficult," said Holmburg, who wears a sterling silver ring of Boulet's with blue stones. "Like everyone, we want positive answers. We want to find Lorne safe and that's how we keep searching."

Should it turn out to be him, she said, "It's going to be devastating."

Boulet's parents could not be reached. An answering machine at their home in Chichester contained this message: "If this is you, Lorne, we need to hear from you. We love you and we miss you."

His family has posted a Web site (www.findlorne.faith-web.com), worked with several missing persons organizations and even taken their search to the "Larry King Live" show on CNN.

According to the published reports, Lorne Boulet was diagnosed with schizophrenia just before he turned 20. A graduate of Pembroke Academy, he worked at the Concord Wal-Mart and lived with his parents in Chichester. The evening he disappeared, Boulet left home for a customary walk, taking no identification, cash or cell phone with him, according to his family.

Concord police are conducting the investigation into the body found Friday. The state police major crime unit was not called in, but Ruoff said that does not mean no crime was committed, as Concord is one of the cities that investigates its own homicide cases.

A deputy medical examiner initially examined the remains Friday evening, Strelzin said.

The state's chief medical examiner, Dr. Tom Andrew, was at the scene yesterday. The remains were to have been brought to the medical examiner's office at Concord Hospital for a forensic examination, which Ruoff said differs of the condition of the remains.

Ruoff said Andrew expects to call in Dr. Marcella Sorg, a Maine forensic anthoropologist who has worked with New Hampshire authorities on prior cases, to consult in the case. He was also planning to consult a forensic "odontologist," an expert in dental records.

Asked is the area was being treated as a crime scene, Ruoff said it was too soon to say whether the death appeared to be a homicide or accidental. The medical examiner, he said, "is not going to be able to make a determination on cause and manner" of death until he consults with Sorg.

Yesterday, a light-colored tarp could be seen at the bottom of the steep, 20-foot embankment near Exit 12 to South Main Street. Yellow police tape was placed along a short section of the woods, which are between the highway and the South End Marsh.

While investigators worked, police blocked off the right travel land of I-93 southbound from above Exit 14. Traffic was backed up and slowed to a crawl through the city at noontime.

--Staff Reporter Michael Cousineau contributed to this report.

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New Hampshire Union Leader
January 7, 2014

Missing teen: The FBI said the three-month span does not mean much to the investigation seeking to find the North Conway girl. - Nearly 3 months later, awaiting word from Abigail
By Dan Seufert

Conway -- As the three-month anniversary of the disappearance of 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez nears, her mother says she’s struggling more than ever without her daughter, and she wants Abigail to call home.

“I’m devastated,” Zenya Hernandez said Monday. “I was hopeful during the Christmas holidays that she might contact me again, but nothing has happened.

“I just want to hear her voice,” said her mother, who received a letter from her daughter in early November, but law enforcement officials have asked her not to disclose its contents.

Abigail’s father, meanwhile, posted a new photo of his daughter on Facebook on Sunday, showing her happily sitting at a restaurant counter in front of a dish ice cream.

Law enforcement investigators say that although she disappeared after walking away from Kennett High School on the afternoon of Oct. 9, they aren’t thinking in terms of the calendar.

The FBI’s Kieran Ramsey said the three-month span does not mean much to the investigation. He cited previous cases as examples: In 2011, 11-year-old Celina Cass vanished from her northern New Hampshire home and was found dead a week later, but Maura Murray disappeared in 2004 after a one-car accident on New Hampshire Route 112 in Haverhill and still has not been found.

“We don’t focus on anniversaries,” Ramsey said. “This is a 15-year-old girl. As a parent, I would say that any number of days missing is too many days. I can’t imagine what this must be like for this family.”

The law enforcement efforts to find Abigail continue, he said.

“I don’t want to comment on the size and scale of what we are doing, but the posture of this investigation has not changed. There are still very active efforts going on, between the Conway police, the state police, and the FBI.”

“Sadly, she still hasn’t been found,” Ramsey said.

Meanwhile, a close friend of Abigail wrote a letter to her that was posted Saturday on the Bring Abby Home Facebook page, also asking for contact.

“After almost three months I still can’t wrap my head around it,” the friend wrote.

“Days don’t get any easier as time passes but we learn to carry on. We move forward and push thoughts to the back of our minds. We scale back searches and give up hope.

“I know you’re out there. People want you home, need you home. Please though, if you can’t do that, I hope you’re happy. I hope you’re safe. I hope that whatever decisions you’ve made will someday bring you back to us.”

dseufert@newstote.com

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New Hampshire Union Leader
January 31, 2007

Warren death probed
By Lorna Colquhoun and Mark Hayward

Warren -- An elderly man who had cobbled together a network of helpful townspeople to make it through the winter was found dead in his home yesterday, a discovery that has shocked this town of 900 in the Baker River Valley.

"We are looking into a suspicious death up there," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery A. Strelzin yesterday. A prosecutor from his office was at the scene, but Strelzin would not discuss the matter further.

Albert J. Powell, 89, of Gould Hill Road, had lived in town for years, first as a summer resident and then full time, said his neighbor, who only wanted to be identified as Ms. Howard.

"He was a sweetheart, just very nice, very soft-spoken," said Howard, who took Powell on errands to the center of Warren or to Plymouth, about 20 miles away, when needed.

"He's a really sweet old guy," said another neighbor, Crystal Hancock.

Authorities said little about the matter yesterday, but state police troopers and members of the state police Major Crime Unit spent most of the day in town, parked at the town office building-fire station in the center of town.

Grafton County Sheriff Doug Dutile said the county dispatch center received a call about 9 p.m. Monday from Lakes Region Mutual Aid, which dispatches for the community. Dispatchers were sending an ambulance to the residence for an "unresponsive" elderly male.

Police Chief Warren Davis, who also responded, then called for state police.

Powell had lost two wives to cancer and lived alone on his property, a one-time farm that includes a handsome brick house, an attached barn and fields behind the house.

Townspeople at the Warren Village Market in the center of town last night recalled Powell as a delightful elderly man who was retired from the military. A longtime summer resident, he moved to Warren about 10 years ago from Gloucester, Mass., and had kept his property immaculate.

The home is within view of the intersection of Swain Hill and Gould Hill roads, a couple of miles off Route 25 from the center of town.

Powell had given up his driver's license this past summer and rebuffed an offer to spend the winter in New York state with his son, Howard said. Rather, he chose to rely on his friends and neighbors for assistance. Meals on Wheels made regular deliveries; Howard took him on errands; a man in town plowed his driveway.

The plowman found him dead, Howard said. He grew concerned when he telephoned Powell and his answering machine picked up; Powell stayed at home and always took his calls, Howard said.

Howard telephoned Powell on Sunday to see if he wanted to make the weekly garbage run. She, too, reached his answering machine, which she said seemed odd. When she later saw his lights on, she guessed that someone else took him.

Last night, a lone state police trooper sat in a cruiser in the driveway of the home and yellow caution tape was strung across the front yard. A light was on inside the house.

At Calamity Jane's restaurant, several people at the counter talked about the state police presence. For some, the police activity called to mind the September 2005 death of Thomas Conrad a short distance away in Pike. No arrest has been made in Conrad's death.

Also unresolved is the disappearance of Maura Murray on Feb. 9, 2004, not far away on Route 112 on the Bath/Haverhill line.

Meanwhile, police yesterday said nothing about what happened in Warren.

"What am I supposed to do tonight?" Howard asked. "Do I lock my doors and get my .38? How do we know we don't have a serial killer running around here?"

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SOCO Magazine
April 2011
4 of 7

Belanger said he also doesn't understand why Murray is upset about the first New Hampshire Stale Police officer who responded. He said there wasn't anything out of the ordinary about it.

"It wasn't long before police were there and more came shortly thereafter" Belanger said.

Initially, Belanger continued, it wasn't immediately assumed that Maura was a missing person. The first action of police was to start with her car being off the road. He recalled similar incidents he's been involved with where a person is drinking and driving, their car goes off the road, and they leave the scene to avoid getting a DUI and usually call police the next day to report it. Belanger said this is a scenario police often consider when a vehicle is found abandoned and off the road.

"Initially, the mood was that she had an accident, went away on her own. Not knowing that she disappeared into thin air that doesn't come to light until sometime later," Belanger said. "If they want to disappear, they will."

When the search for Maura starred, Murray recalled that a group of private investigators were called in to assist. The leader of the group, he said, was a retired New Hampshire Stare Police officer, which didn't bring him much comfort. The investigators used search dogs to help comb the area, including sniffing out a nearby A-frame house where apparently the dogs went crazy as if they got the scent of a dead body.

Murray recalls that carpet samples were taken from rhe house and were supposed to be tested for DNA. The samples were never tested, he said, and the leader of the private investigative group didn't tell the state police about the samples until two and a half years later.

Champy said around the time Maura went missing the A-frame house was being rented by a local man and his girlfriend. The man, she said, was known to have a violent temper and was allegedly a sex addict. She added that it was rumored there were bones and dead dogs at the house, which may have been what the search dogs smelled.

The local man and one of his male friends did snow plowing in the area at the time, Champy added, recalling that while plowing they drove along Route 112 frequently. Strangely, she continued, neither has been seen in the Haverhill area since Maura disappeared. Champy also recalled that the local man was friendly with someone in the Haverhill area court system, which further fueled rumors this man could have had something To do with Maura's disappearance.

"He used to brag about it," Champy recalled.

More speculation has ensued about a rusty, reddish-brown stained knife that a man (who is now deceased) gave to Fred Murray later in 2004, Helena Murray recalled. The knife belonged to the man's brother. The brother had a criminal past and lived less than a mile from where Maura's car was discovered, she said. The brother and his girlfriend reportedly acted strangely after Maura's disappearance.

According to Champy, the man mailed the knife to the Haverhill Police Department, but nothing was ever done with it. "lt's been kicked to the curb," Champy said.

Will Delker, a senior assistant New Hampshire attorney general assigned to the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit, said because the case is still being actively investigated he is unable to comment on the status of the knife and whether the man who handed it over or his brother were ever questioned by police, Delker said he also can't comment on the carpet samples from the A-frame house.

Another unconfirmed story has circulated about Maura having another boyfriend in the Haverhill area, whom she may have been going to see. A rumor went around that Maura was linked to a young man who worked at the Loon Mountain Club (where Champy also worked at me time).

The young man apparently had a girlfriend who lived in Manchester, N.H., and the girlfriend turned up missing or dead at the time of Maura's disappearance, according to Champy.

Both Conway and Champy emphasized that this story is pure rumor. Champy, said this story, surfaced a few months after Maura disappeared.

"I think it's just one of those rumors, I asked family and friends and no one had any information to back up the rumors," Conway wrote in her e-mail.

Two more mysteries about this case involve a rag that was stuffed into the tailpipe of Maura's car and a phone call Billy Rausch received on his way to help with the search.

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SOCO Magazine
April 2011
5 of 7

Sergeant Smith found a rag stuffed in the tailpipe of the Saturn during his accident scene investigation. The rag came from the trunk of Maura's car, part of an emergency roadside kit her father had stored in the trunk. According to one of Conway's articles, a Hanson, Mass.-based auto mechanic explained that stuffing a rag into a car's tailpipe can be a way to plug it to check for leaks in the exhaust system, but that it would also stall the vehicle and at some point destroy the engine.

We've all heard of carbon monoxide poisoning as a way, to commit suicide; however, the gas would have to somehow be fed back into the vehicle, through a hose perhaps, which wasn't present in this situation. Considering that the car was experiencing mechanical problems, Fred Murray said at the time that it was possible Maura had stuffed the rag into the tailpipe herself if smoke was coming out of it and she wanted to plug it up.

O'Connell and his team of experts, who've been conducting a pro bono private investigation on this case for the past two and a half years at the request of Fred Murray have their own conclusion about the rag.

During their work on the case, O'Connell's team determined Maura's car had a full tank of gas when it was found off the road on Route 112. Even if Maura left UMass with a full tank of gas in her car, O'Connell said, she wouldn't have still had a full tank by the time she reached Haverhill; she would have had to stop and get gas along the way. lt was when she stopped for gas, O'Connell said, that the rag was stuffed into her tailpipe.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this beautiful nursing student stopped at a gas station, someone stuffed a rag in her car (in the tailpipe), which helped contribute to the disabling of her vehicle. The airbags were deployed, she was not seriously injured, she was abducted," he said.

Aside from theories about the rag in the tailpipe, many are also mystified by the phone call Billy Rausch received on his cell phone on Feb. 11, 2004. While traveling from Oklahoma to New Hampshire to assist with the search for his missing girlfriend, Billy Raush had turned his cell phone off while going through airport security. He turned his phone on afterward and had a new voice message. The voice message is a woman breaching, sniffing, and whimpering. According to Helena Murray's account of events, many, including Rausch, believe it was Maura. Rausch called the number back, but couldn't reach a person because whoever called had used a prepaid calling card issued to the American Red Cross. Before Maura got a cell phone, she used to use prepaid phone cards to call Billy in Oklahoma, and Billy's mom gave Maura two prepaid cards at a previous Thanksgiving dinner, said Raush 's mother, Sharon Rausch, during an interview included in "Disappeared."

To begin to understand why Maura's disappearance is so puzzling, it helps to know the events that led up to her leaving the UMass Amherst Campus when she did. Helena Murray provided SOCO with a recap of the events leading up to Maura's drive to New Hampshire.

On Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at 10:20 p.m., while Maura was working at her on-campus job at Student Security, she spoke with her sister, Kathleen on the phone. Kathleen later recalled that the two talked about guy problems and that there was nothing unusual about the conversation.

Maura received another phone call while still at work, at 1 a.m. all Friday Feb. 6, after which she become upset. She was escorted back to her dorm room by her supervisor. Fred Murray arrived at the UMass Amherst campus on Saturday, Feb. 7, to visit his daughter. He planned to stay overnight in the area and rented a motel room. Maura lived with her mother growing up, but always maintained a close relationship with her Father. The two went shopping for a used car tor Maura because her vehicle at the time, a 1996 black Saturn, had been experiencing mechanical problems.

Also all Saturday, Maura and her father ate dinner along with one of Maura's friends at an Amherst restaurant. After dinner Maura dropped her father off at his hotel room. She borrowed his car that evening and drove herself back to the UMass campus to attend a dorm party with her friend. At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, Maura left her friend's dorm room and started to drive her father's car, a brand new Toyota Corolla, back to his hotel. On the way, she went off the road on Route 9 in Hadley, Mass., striking a guardrail. No charges were filed by police and damage to the vehicle totaled $8,000. Fred Murray recalled that at the time Maura was shaken up and apologetic about the accident.

Maura called her boyfriend at 4:49 A.M. from her father's cell phone. Later on Sunday, Fred rented a car, dropped Maura off at her dorm, and headed to Connecticut for work. That was the last time he saw his daughter.

Maura spoke to her father on the phone at 11:26 p.m. Sunday night. They spoke about getting the necessary forms from the registry pertaining to the accident and decided to discuss the matter again on Monday night.

A search by then-New Hampshire State Police Troop F Commander Lieutenant John Scarinza of Maura's computer hard drive revealed that sometime later Sunday night she searched online for directions to Burlington, Vt.

On the day of her disappearance, at 12:55 p.m. Maura called for information about renting a condo in Bartlett, N.H. The call lasted for three minutes and she did not rent a condo. At 1 p.m. she sent Rausch an e-mail saying that she didn't feel like talking to anyone but that she would call him later that day. She also called 1-800-GOSTOWE at 2 p.m., but the number was out of order.

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SOCO Magazine
April 2011
6 of 7

At 4 p.m. (or earlier) Maura sent an e-mall to some of her professors and her boss, in which she wrote that she would be our of town for several days due to a death in her family. There was, however, no death in her family. A dorm mate of Maura's reported seeing her leave campus between 3:30 and 4 p.m.

After she left the campus, Maura's first stop was at an ATM, where she withdrew $280 from her bank account. According to Helena Murray's account, the surveillance footage from the ATM shows Maura was alone. Maura's second stop was at a Iiquor store, where she purchased a box of Franzia red wine and bottles of Kahlua, Bailey's, and vodka.

The official search for Maura began on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004. Maura's family, the Rausch family, police, and New Hampshire Fish and Game personnel combed the area of Route 112 where her car was found and BOLO (Be on the lookout) messages were sent to neighboring towns. Billy Rausch also told police about the mysterious phone call he received while going through security at the airport on his way to New Hampshire.

Well into the process of interviewing potential witnesses, Maura's father recalled, New Hampshire State Police said that Maura was reportedly spotted four miles down the road shortly after her accident. A man reportedly saw Maura between 8 and 8:30 p.m. The person believed to be her was wearing jeans, a dark coat, and a light-colored hood.

"They accept this is true. She was seen down there. All they had to do was go around the corner and grab her," her father cried.

A police dog was given a pair of Maura's gloves to search for her scent. The dog tracked her scent 100 yards east of where her vehicle was found. Police believe this suggests she was picked up by a passing vehicle.

While Delker can't comment on specific details about the case, he was able to provide more insight into the investigation of Maura's disappearance than the New Hampshire State Police were able to.

In response to Maura's father's concerns that people in the area weren't interviewed by police right away, Delker said that isn't true from what he remembers. "Police spoke to a number of people early on. In some missing person cases police don't get involved right away. (In this case) police were involved fairly early on," Delker said.

There doesn't seem to be anything suspicious about the first state police officer to respond to the scene of Maura's accident. Delker said, echoing Belanger's statements. "From my understanding of the case, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Police took appropriate steps to try and locate her quickly," Delker said.

While Maura is still classified as a missing person, Delker said, her case is also included on the Cold Case Unit's list of unsolved homicides.

"It isn't classified as a homicide. (But) if they suspect foul play in a missing-person case it's included on the Cold Case (unsolved homicide) list," Delker said. "The investigation developed information that raised a question as to whether Maura Murray disappeared as a result of foul play."

Delker added that it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that she wandered off and her body hasn't been found yet. He said whenever the Cold Case Unit receives a legitimate tip on this case, it follows up.

"Since the inception of the Cold Case Unit in December 2009, we have received a number of tips about this case. Some we've been able to follow up on and others we're still in the process of evaluating," Delker said.

O'Connell and his team of experts have come to their own conclusions about Maura's disappearance. O'Connell met Fred Murray through a friend while doing investigative work on another missing person case.

O'Connell's team of investigators includes Anne Marie Myers, director of the Molly Bish Foundation, forensic anthropologist, and member of the Boston medical examiners' office; Craig Ackley, a retired FBI agent formerly in charge of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit and an expert in criminal behavior; Daniel Parkka, a retired Massachusetts police officer who did a reconstruction of the accident scene; and Carla Meyers, a retired New Hampshire attorney.

"Fred was all alone. That was two and a half years ago. I had been following the case anyway," O'Connell recalled. "It was obvious to me Maura was not a runaway and not a candidate for suicide. I reviewed all the information about Maura's case -- what went on the week before, the weeks and months after the search. I reviewed all the media attention. I was able to collect facts and information."

On Nov. 20, 2010, O'Connell and his ream came to a conclusion about what they believe really happened to Maura on Feb. 9, 2004.

"The search for Maura in Haverhill conclusion is something very bad happened to Maura right at her car. She didn't run away, she didn't commit suicide," O'Connell said. "She was taken against her will. Sometime shorty thereafter she was killed."

O'Connell added that even if Maura got into a passing vehicle, as police suggested, and even if it was of her own free will, he feels strongly that she was abducted after that.

"People don't just disappear. We know our children, what they will do and would not do," O'Connell said. "The car is registered to a UMass student, it's in the middle of nowhere- think foul play, somebody grabbed her. Just don't rush to the conclusion that this was an everyday run-of-the-mill motor vehicle accident."

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SOCO Magazine
April 2011
7 of 7

He doesn't agree with any one thing Troop F had to say about Maura, O'Connell said, echoing Fred Murray's sentiments about how the case has been handled by New Hampshire State Police. The rag that was stuffed in the tail pipe of Maura's car, the fact that her car had a full tank of gas, and other elements of basic police work have been ignored, he said.

"They (New Hampshire State Police) never did it right. The rag stuffed in the tailpipe of the car, he (the first state police officer to respond to the accident scene) never photographed the scene, never searched the scene. He never bothered to call the father, the registered owner of the car. He knew a female was operating the vehicle that night because Butch Atwood just called," O'Connell stated.

O'Connell has not held the state police in high regard ever since a meeting he had with Scarinza and New Hampshire State Police Detective Sergeant Chuck West on May 27, 2004. At the time O'Connell had just finished his investigation into the death Patric McCarthy, another case he worked on before Maura's. West and Scarinza were the lead investigators on McCarthy's case for the state police and were initially also the leads on Maura's case. The New Hampshire State Police determined Patric had died an accidental death. However, O'Connell and his team determined Patric was in fact murdered.

From O'Connell's recollection, what happened at the meeting is an example of the attitude the New Hampshire State Police had about Patric McCarthy's death and Maura's disappearance.

O 'Connell wanted to get the FBI to persuade the state police to reopen Patric's case, in the hopes that it would officially be determined that he was murdered. On May 27, 2004 he arranged a meeting at the FBI office in Bedford, N.H., with four FBI agents, one US attorney, and West. Upon concluding a three hour presentation on his findings about Parric's death, O'Connell was told by FBI agent Jay Fallon, "You've convinced the FBI this case stinks of foul play." O'Connell recalled looking over at West, who said, "I told you before, Terry, unless you've come up with substantial evidence we are not going to reopen this case."

O'Connell also recalled that before the meeting, he introduced himself to West in the hallway outside the room where the meeting took place. He said West had a smirk on his face when he spoke. "You Massachusetts people keep getting lost up here," West said. O'Connell said he responded, "Patric didn't get lost up here, buddy."

This attitude of "Oh, Patric just got lost" or "Maura just ran away or maybe she committed suicide" is unfortunately how the state police approached both cases, O 'Connell said, almost as if they didn't care.

"Scarinza said there was no evidence of foul play. The problem with his erroneous conclusion is that it tends to lead to tunnel vision. It precludes you from investigating a case with an open mind," O'Connell said.

Now, in April 2011 , O'Connell and his team are in recovery mode on this case and are looking for Maura Murray's body.

"We're certain she is within a five-mile radius. She was murdered. We're looking for her body," O 'Connell said. "We've searched around one pond in Haverhill with a Quincy, Mass., dive team. We plan to search the pond again shortly."

Through the past seven years some unconfirmed sightings have been reported, Helena Murray recalled. In June 2006 someone reported seeing a girl who looked like Maura, accompanied by an older male, at a Cumberland Farms convenience store in Hillsborough, N.H. The person said the girl was apparently mouthing "help me." The sighting was not reported until a few months later after the person saw photos of Maura on a television program.

Another sighting was on the day of her disappearance, between 8 and 8:30 p.m. A resident of Swiftwater, N.H., reported seeing a young person moving on foot along Route 112 about four to five miles cast of where Maura's car went off the road. The witness said the person was wearing jeans, a dark coat, and a light-colored hood. When the witness approached, the young person ran off quickly.

The Murray Family also dismissed a claim by a psychic in 2004 that Maura had been murdered. While it has been more than a rocky road for Maura's family and friends, the police, and the private investigators who've worked on this case, the bottom line is answers are needed.

At the time of her disappearance Maura was described as 5'7" tall, weighing 120 pounds, with shoulder-length brown hair. She was last seen wearing a dark-colored coat and jeans and carrying a backpack. To find more in information about Maura, to find news about her disappearance or offer support, visit www.mauramurraymissing.com, www.myspace.com/mauramurraymissing2, or the Maura Murray Missing Group page at www.facebook.com.

Witnesses or persons with information should contact Cold Case Unit, N.H. Scare Police Major Crime Unit in person at 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. 03305, by phone at 603-271-2663 or by e-mail to coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov.

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The Patriot Ledger
Friday, November 19, 2004

Missing Hanson woman's last call yet to be investigated: N.H. condo owners say police made no effort to contact them since February. By Joe McGee

HANSON - The family of a missing 22-year-old is demanding to know why police apparently failed to investigate one of the last telephone calls she made on the day she disappeared.

At 1 p.m. on Feb. 9, Maura Murray called a Wakefield couple who own a condominium at the Seasons at Attitash resort in Bartlett, N.H., that was for rent. Murray's family has stayed at the resort.

But the couple, Dominic and Linda Salamone, say they have never heard from investigators.

"It's so upsetting," Linda Salamone said last night. ''I was the last person she talked to, so wouldn't I be the first person they would call to at least find out her state of mind?''

Murray made her last call at 2 p.m. on the same day to a toll-free number that offers information about lodging in Stowe, Vt.

Salamone said she did not know about Murray's mysterious disappearance until last month, when the mother of the young woman's boyfriend telephoned to ask about the February call.

"I couldn't even tell her what she said because it was so long ago but I'm assuming she wanted to rent the place," Linda Salamone said.

Sharon Rausch, the mother of Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch, said she discovered the call to the Salamones last month when she looked over Murray's cell phone bill for February.

"It blew our minds that it's now eight months later and we're finding out that (police) never even called these people," Rausch said.

New Hampshire State Police said the investigator who was given the phone records, Lt. John Scarinza, would not be available for comment until Monday.

This is not the first time the Murray family has criticized the way the investigation has been handled.

In July, Laurie Murray found out from a Patriot Ledger reporter that police had conducted a day-long search for her daughter. Police said they had told her ex-husband, Fred Murray of Weymouth, and assumed he would tell her, but Murray denied in a television interview that he had been notified.

In June, Laurie Murray criticized police for suggesting that her daughter had killed herself or run away. Murray believes her daughter was abducted.

Murray was last seen Feb. 9 in Haverhill, N.H., a small town near the Vermont border, where she crashed her car on Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway. Earlier in the day she left her dormitory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst without telling anyone why.

Police said Murray was dealing with personal issues, but family members said none of it was serious enough that she would run away.

Bartlett, where the Salamones have their condominium, is about 60 miles east of Haverhill on Route 112.

While the Murrays may have lost faith in the police investigation, they are continuing their effort to find their daughter.

A new website launched last week, www.mauramurray.com, offers information about the case and a forum for people to chat.

"We've already had interest from people," said Kerri Doble Gingras of Marshfield, a relative of Murray who developed the web site with her husband.

"We're hopeful from having a response that at least she's still on people's minds," she said.

Murray's story will be featured on the Montel Williams talk show on a date to be announced.

Over the last month, volunteers have also attached photos of Murray to their mail with information about how to contact police.

But the family is also dealing with another crisis.

Laurie Murray was diagnosed with throat cancer last month and is undergoing 30 days of chemotherapy and radiation.

"Everything comes in numbers. We already had Maura and now this," Murray said. "But I'm a fighter and I'll beat this."

She said she is determined to see her daughter again.

"I want her home for the holidays," she said.

Joe McGee may be reached at jmc...@ledger.com.

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Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise / New Hampshire Union Leader / Lowell Sun / Nashua Telegraph / Boston Globe / Valley News
February 13/14, 2004

Notes:
1. Lowell Sun has different heading and additional summary in italics
2. Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise and Nashua Telegraph has additional text in bold, but the Nashua Telegraph adds a sentence in italics and omits the last paragraphs.
3. Boston Globe's headline in large bold. 4. The New Hampshire Union Leader ends before the Boston Globe's additional information. 5. The Valley news uses the words "an accident" in place of "crash" (regarding Amherst accident).

Hanson woman, 21, missing after crash

Missing person investigation for Hanson woman continues
Search for missing woman continues

HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — A missing person investigation continued Friday for a young Massachusetts woman, who disappeared earlier this week after her second car crash in three days.

Haverhill police Chief Jeff Williams said the search of the area where Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass., crashed her car into a snowbank last Monday has ended, but the investigation continues. He said the hope is she will contact a family member or friend, or someone else might see her and call, he said.

“We are concerned for her personal welfare. There is no evidence of foul play,” he said.

“Our concern is that she’s Upset or suicidal, something the family was concerned about.”

Murray’s family along with her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch, and his family have flown into the state to help. The family has been passing out fliers with her picture on both sides of the border, hoping someone might have seen her.

“This is very unusual,” said Fred Murray, her father. “It's not like her to just take off.”

Police using dogs and a helicopter and Fish and Game officers searched the immediate area of the accident and found nothing. Murray disappeared after a resident in the area went out to help her, and called police, though she asked him not to. When police arrived, she was gone, leaving behind her car, which was [undriveable.] Boston Globe variation: [which could not be driven due to the accident.]

The accident occurred on Route 112 about one mile from the Swift Water Village, and about five miles from Wells River, Vt., across the Connecticut River.

Additional Information in Nashua Telegraph: She was familiar with the area because her family vacationed in the Lincoln and Conway areas for years.

Sharon Rausch, the boyfriend’s mother who flew in with her husband, Bill, from Marengo, Ohio, to help said she had been told Murray “had made arrangements to be away from work for a week.”

She worked at an art gallery while going to nursing school at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she is a junior, Rausch said.

----------------------------------------------------------End Nashua Telegraph---------------------------------------------------------------------------

She said Murray crashed her car two days after wrecking her father’s car in [a crash] [an accident].

“She’s extremely responsible, an extremely frugal girl. I think she wanted to get away and get her head on straight,” Rausch said.

“We have no reason to believe she was running away.”

“She’s a jewel of a girl,” she said.

-------------------------------------------------------------Boston Globe Additional--------------------------------------------------------------------- She said Murray left an e-mail message with her son on Monday afternoon that said she wanted to talk to him.

Murray and her son met at the US Military Academy at West Point, where both were students, Rausch said. She left after 1 1/2 years. Rausch said Murray is an outstanding athlete who ran in high school and college.

-----------------------------------------------------------End Boston Globe Additional-------------------------------------------------------------------

AP FILE PHOTO
Maura Murray, of Hanson, Mass., was last seen Monday on Ammonoosuc Road in the Woodsville neighborhood of Haverhill, N.H., where she had crashed her car.

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Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise / The New Hampshire Union Leader / Nashua Telegraph / Portsmouth Herald / Lowell Sun
Sunday, April 11, 2004

Note: The Lowell Sun includes additional detail, in bold at the bottom.

Missing UMass student’s family turns to psychic

HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — The family of a Massachusetts woman missing in northern New Hampshire for two months turned to a psychic to try to get some answers — and they didn’t get good news.

The psychic said she believes the young woman is dead, the victim of a serial killer.

University of Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray has not been seen since she was involved in a one-car accident in Haverhill on Feb. 9.

Police have said there are no signs of foul play, but her family, and now nationally known psychic Carla Baron say they believe someone picked Murray up after the accident and harmed her.

Baron, of Los Angeles, believes Murray was picked up by a man passing through the area.

“I believe she is no longer with us,” Baron said.

Baron, a psychic profiler who helped lead police to finding the body of a man who had committed suicide in a cornfield in the Midwest, has provided Murray’s father, Fred, with a description of the person she believes picked up the woman, as well as the type of vehicle.

Fred Murray said Baron also told him there is another woman’s body near his daughter’s — a victim of the same person. And, Baron told him there have been others.

Murray told the Caledonia Record he does not want too many details released right away so police have time to analyze the information and search possible locations.

He said he spoke with Lt. John Scarinza, who has been in charge of the case, on Friday.

He asked police, again, to bring in the FBI and make a direct appeal to the public for any information they may have in helping find his daughter.

He said Scarinza mentioned police had been contacted by other psychics.

Meanwhile, Vermont and New Hampshire state police say there is no connection between the disappearances of Murray and a young woman over the border in Vermont.

Both disappeared after the next being involved in traffic accidents, but police say that is with its rear where the similarities end.

Brianna Maitland, 17, of Sheldon, Vt., has been missing since she left work in Montgomery, Vt., the night of March 19. Her car was found the nest morning with its rear end partially inside an abandoned building about a mile away.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise
April 12, 2004

Parents skeptical of psychic’s analysis
HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — The parents of a Massachusetts woman missing in northern New Hampshire for two months reacted with skepticism to a psychic profiler’s belief that the young woman was abducted and killed. Maura Murray’s father, Fred, contacted the California psychic and is unsure if he believes her, but the missing woman’s mother says she is disregarding Carla Baron’s belief that Maura Murray was the victim of a serial killer.

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Burlington Free Press / Lowell Sun / The New Hampshire Union Leader / Portsmouth Herald / Caledonian Record
Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Note: The Portsmouth Herald adds the paragraphs in Italics, but omits the paragraph in bold. Its alternative headline is in Italics.

DISAPPEARED AFTER N.H. CAR ACCIDENT
Father: Search for his Mass. daughter stagnant
Father: Search for daughter has become stagnant
College student last seen after crashing car into snowbank

By J.M . HIRSCH
Associated Press Writer

The investigation into the disappearance of a Massachusetts woman last seen more than a week ago in northern New Hampshire has become stagnant, the woman’s father said yesterday.

“There’s no new leads, no new evidence,” Frederick Murray said of the search for Maura Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student who disappeared after a car accident in Woodsville, N.H. “Its stagnant at the moment.”

He blamed the lack of leads on a shortage of resources, saying that though local police were working hard, he wished the small department had more help so it could broaden its search.

“Results are slow in coming. Like the bus stations. Did she leave from a local bus station? That hasn’t been investigated, so I did it myself,” Mr. Murray said, adding that his efforts turned up nothing.

“The police are good guys,” he said. “But there aren’t many of them.”

Authorities said Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student from Hanson, Mass., withdrew $280 from an ATM on Feb. 9 and emailed professors saying she wouldn’t be in class all week because of a family problem.

Around 7 p.m. that evening she crashed her car into a snowbank on Route 112 in New Hampshire several miles from the Vermont border. Police say a witness offered help, but that Murray refused and told the witness not to call police.

The witness, who later told police Murray appeared intoxicated but uninjured at the time, called authorities anyway. But by the time emergency workers arrived, Murray was gone. Most of her belongings were left behind in the car.

On Feb. 11 a police dog was brought to the scene, but was able to track her for only 100 yards, prompting her family to conclude that she got a ride. A police helicopter and ground search also turned up no evidence.

Mr. Murray said yesterday that his daughter may have been distraught at the time, in part because just two days earlier she had been involved in another accident. Police described Maura Murray as “endangered and possibly suicidal.”

Since then, Maura Murray’s family, her boyfriend and his family have come to area to help in the search and hand posters through out New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

Mr. Murray no longer believes his daughter is in the area, adding to his frustration that the police lack the resources to do more.

Mr. Murray is convinced foul play is involved, thought authorities have yet to find evidence of it. Still, he holds out hope that perhaps she just needed to get away.

He wants the FBI to get involved, but was told there needs to be evidence of foul play first.

*Burlington Free Press from below. *
"But you can't get evidence because you don't have the force enough to go out there and get it." he added "Do you wait until you have a body to have evidence and you can call the FBI in? Isn't is possible to expand a little and pound a little harder?"

A spokeswoman for the Haverhill Police Department which is handling the case, would not comment except to say that the investigation was ongoing.

"Just tell us you're OK," he urged her. "Don't come back if you don't want to. Just tell us you're OK. ... She would if she could but I don't think she is able to, for whatever reason that is."

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Lowell Sun / The New Hampshire Union Leader / Foster's Sunday Citizen / Nashua Telegraph
Wednesday, February 22, 2004

Notes: The Nashua Telegraph ends where indicated below. Foster's Sunday Citizen has additional text in italics, below.

Dad of missing Mass. woman now suspects foul play
Father of missing woman frustrated with search

By Kate McCann

Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. — The father of a missing Massachusetts woman said he wants police to start treating the search like a criminal investigation.

Since 21-year-old Maura Murray vanished after a car accident in northern New Hampshire two weeks ago, police have repeatedly said they do not suspect foul play.

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 and then packed her belongings as if she was moving out.

New Hampshire investigators have been working with Massachusetts law enforcement, including campus police at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where Murray is a nursing student.

Police said it appears she was leaving Massachusetts without telling anyone and wanted to get away on her own, and she may not know about the search if she’s not in New England.

But her family is starting to suspect otherwise. Her father, Frederick Murray, believes his daughter was given a ride from a person who won’t come forward since he helped her leave the scene of an accident, or a person who gave her a ride and then abducted her.

“To take a break or start a new life, she would need money,” Murray said in a telephone interview. “She hasn’t used her ATM card, she hasn’t used her cell phone, she hasn’t spent a dime.”

Searches, including a renewed search Thursday with dogs and a helicopter in northern New Hampshire, turned up no sign that the woman wandered into the snow-covered woods.

Police called off the ground search in that area. Frederick Murray said he is afraid the search is slowly grinding to a halt.

“We should think of it in term s of a criminal investigation,” Murray said. “It sounds like it would be the key to expanding it. Let’s grab the bull by the horns and call it foul play.”

Vermont state police, Burlington police and other local agencies were combing area motels yesterday, after a check of Murray’s computer found she had looked up directions to Burlington the day she disappeared.

----------------------------------------------------------End Nashua Telegraph---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Police and family members are also trying to gauge the significance of a phone call that reduced Murray to tears while working her campus job at UMass-Amherst on Feb. 5. She was so disturbed by the call her supervisor had to take her home.

Police are also investigating a message on Maura’s phone from a friend she talked to the day before she disappeared.

Authorities said Murray withdrew $280 from an ATM on Feb. 9. Around 7 o’clock that evening she crashed her car into a snow bank several miles from the Vermont border.

A witness, who told police Murray appeared intoxicated but uninjured, called authorities against Murray’s wishes. By the time emergency workers arrived, Murray had gone, leaving most of her belongings in the car.

Maura’s father and his 33-year-old son were searching along the Kancamagus highway in northern New Hampshire on Saturday, where the family goes camping every summer.

"Time’s running out. Somebody must have seen something, somewhere," Fredrick Murray said. "One tip from anybody, you could be the person who saves this girl’s life." An award fund for any information about Murray is now more than $20,000.

Sharon Rausch, the mother of Maura’s boyfriend, said Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has donated an undisclosed amount to the fund. Rausch said the coach met Maura at Madison Square Garden over the holidays. Krzyzewski’s daughter is friends with Maura and her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch.

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Lowell Sun
June 3, 2004

News Digest
Husband says he killed missing Vt. woman
HYDE PARK, Vt. (AP) — The husband of a Johnson woman missing since last week has confessed to killing her, police said last evening. Earlier in the day investigators discovered the body of a woman but officials said they could not positively identify it as that of Jodie Whitney. Investigators are looking for links among the cases of two other missing women from the region. In February Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, disappeared after a traffic accident in Haverhill, N.H., about 75 miles from Johnson. In March, Brianna Maitland of Sheldon disappeared after leaving her job in Montgomery, about 25 miles from Johnson.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / Nashua Telegraph / Caldeonian Record
April 15, 2004

Residents warn searchers
HAVERHILL (AP) - Family members of Maura Murray, a Massachusetts student who disappeared following a minor car accident in New Hampshire, have been warned by police that they could be arrested if they trespass on property surrounding the accident site.

Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams said in an April 2 letter to Murray’s father that his department has received a written request from area residents complaining about repeated trespassing and parking problems.

Williams said the property owners also are excluding friends and relatives of Maura Murray; volunteer searchers, canine handlers, private investigators, media, and others seeking clues or searching for her.

Murray, a 21-yearold Hanson, Mass., resident and junior at the U niversity of Massachusetts, disappeared after she was involved in a one-car accident the night of Feb. 9 on Route 112 in Haverhill.

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Boston Herald / The New Hampshire Union Leader / Unidentified / Nashua Telegraph
April 21/22, 2004

Notes: Unidentified newspaper has an alternative headline in italics.

New search for student finds nothing
Mystery <> UMass student has been missing since Feb. 9 car crash.
Witnesses say Maura Murray was involved in a traffic accident prior to her disappearance

HAVERHILL (AP) - Another search for a missing University of Massachusetts student has failed to turn up any sign of her whereabouts.

State police in a helicopter searched the Haverhill area on Monday. That’s where Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass., was last seen the night of Feb. 9.

Lt. John Scarinza said the area had been searched before, but had been covered with snow. He said he did not know exactly when ground searchers would go back into the woods.

Murray’s family has spent considerable time searching the area and asking people in New Hampshire and bordering Vermont if they had seen her.

Murray, who didn’t tell her family or anyone at school where she was going, was driving east along Route 112 when she failed to make a sharp left hand curve near The Weathered Barn and crashed. She was unhurt, but disappeared before police arrived and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Her cell phone, bank account and credit cards have not been used since the accident.

Meanwhile, people living in the area disputed a police report that they had filed complaints about family and friends trespassing on their property while searching.

“The one neighbor wrote the letter saying it was all the neighbors,” said Steve Loud, who lives near The Weathered Barn. “I said they can park on my land,” Loud said. “I will do anything I can to help.” Another neighbor, John Boutilier, also said he will do anything he can to help find the woman. “I don’t care if they come on our land,” Boutilier said. “I don’t have any problem with that. I think it’s a most stressful situation for (Fred Murray).”

Faith Westman, who owns The Weathered Barn and lives across the road from it, filed a complaint with Haverhill police about people parking their cars in the parking lot next to the barn. She said she also complained about people walking on her property. “After two months, what are they looking for?” she said. “Have we not covered enough? We really debated about saying something. We really can sympathize with the family.”

Every time the police have parked near her barn or searched her property, they asked permission first, she said.
“The family has never consulted us,” Westman said.

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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.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / North Adams Transcript / Portsmouth Herald / St. Albans Daily Messenger
May 5/6, 2004

Note: The Portsmouth Herald has an alternative headline and additional paragraphs in Italics.

Parents of missing young women will meet
Parents of missing women to meet in N.H.

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The parents of a missing Sheldon teen will meet this weekend in New Hampshire with the father of a young Massachusetts woman who recently vanished to discuss whether their daughters’ disappearances are related.

“We’d really like it if someone would come in and look at both situations and see if a single suspect might have been involved,” said Bruce Maitland of East Franklin, father of 17-year-old Brianna Maitland.

Bruce Maitland, his wife, Kelly, and Fred Murray of Hanson, Mass., will meet in Woodsville a few miles north of where Murray’s 21-year-old daughter, Maura, disappeared in early February.

Maura Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts, vanished shortly after her car went off Route 112 in Woodsville the night of Feb. 9. Woodsville is across the Connecticut River from Wells River.

Brianna Maitland disappeared after finishing work at the Black Lantern Inn restaurant in Montgomery the night of March 19. Her car was found a mile west of town the next day, its rear end rammed into the side of an abandoned house on Vermont 118.

Police in both states have discounted the possibility that the two disappearances are related.

“We have looked at that and talked with the New Hampshire State Police about both cases,” said Lt. Tom Nelson of the Vermont State Police. “We have not found anything that connects the cases in anyway."

Maitland said police should continue to explore possible links, and said Saturday’s event will help keep the spotlight on the two cases.

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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.

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Portsmouth Herald
May 28, 2004

Missing woman’s father asks gov. to get FBI help

CONCORD (AP) — The father of a missing University of Massachusetts nursing student has asked Gov. Craig Benson for help to get the FBI involved in the case.

Fred Murray of Weymouth, Mass., wants the governor to urge New Hampshire State Police to call in the FBI for help in finding Maura Murray.

She has been missing since the evening of Feb. 9 after a minor accident in which she failed to make a curve on Route 112 outside Haverhill.

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Portsmouth Herald
February 10, 2005

Missing lady’s dad visits gov. - Fred Murray asks that investigation records be released
By Anne Saunders
Associated Press
CONCORD - The father of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared a year ago met with Gov. John Lynch on Wednesday to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation.

Fred Murray, whose daughter, Maura, vanished after a minor car accident in Haverhill, wants state police to release their records so he can pursue leads himself.

“I asked, failing that, to have it declared a criminal investigation rather than a missing person investigation, and, if he didn’t want to do that, I asked him to accept the offer of the FBI to come in,” Murray said after the meeting with Lynch.

Lynch made no commitments on the specific requests.

“I told Mr. Murray that I will look into the situation, and I promised to get back to him as soon as I possibly can, and that’s how we left it," he said.

Maura, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, was last seen on Feb. 9, 2004, walking away from her car on Route 112 in Haverhill. Police said they have no evidence of foul play and have searched the area repeatedly.

“Literally thousands and thousands of hours have been invested in the search for Maura Murray,” said state police Lt. John Scarinza, of Troop F, which is handling the investigation.

Murray was highly critical of state police and said he’s heard nothing from the investigators in six months.

“I am the investigation. That’s why I want the information," he said. Scarinza said his troopers talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear.

Murray’s claim he hadn't heard from them in six months is “absolutely inaccurate.” he said.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / Nashua Telegraph
December 25, 2005

20/20 to air story of missing student
HAVERHILL (AP) - The case of a college student who disappeared after a car crash in northern New Hampshire almost two years ago will be featured on ABC news magazine “20/20” next month.

Maura Murray, a 22-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, was last seen on Feb. 9,2004, walking away from her car on Route 112 in Haverhill.

Police said they have no evidence of foul play and have searched the area repeatedly.

Sharon Rausch, whose son is engaged to Murray, says she and her son were interviewed in New York earlier this month for a show to be aired Jan. 6. Murray’s father also was interviewed.

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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.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / North Adams Transcript / Boston Globe
September 22/23/24, 2006

Missing woman’s dad seeks information
By Associated Press

Concord, N.H. - It’s been over two years since Maura Murray disappeared after her car got stuck in a snow bank in Haverhill, and her father hasn’t given up his quest for information.

Fred Murray is asking the state Supreme Court to rule on his right to-know request for police records.

Since his daughter’s disappearance, Murray, of Weymouth, Mass., has repeatedly attempted to obtain reports, log files and all information collected from Feb. 9,2004, to the present.

His requests were made to the Grafton County attorney’s office; the attorney general’s office; Gov. John Lynch; the Hanover Police Department, state police; Major Crimes and the Historic Case Unit; the Fish and Game Department; and the University of Massachusetts Police at Amherst. Maura Murray was a student at UMass.

The defendants have denied the request, citing an exception in the law created by the New Hampshire Supreme Court for law enforcement investigative files. Police and the attorney general’s office maintain that the release of other records could result in the destruction of evidence and witness intimidation.

Murray claims that invoking the exception is misplaced, as police have characterized Maura’s case as a missing person matter and not a criminal investigation.

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North Adams Transcript / Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise
January 19, 2006

Note: The North Adams Transcript has additional information in italics.
Also there are some minor wording variations not noted here.

Father seeks records in case of missing girl
By Associated Press

Haverhill, N.H. — A judge Wednesday took under advisement a Massachusetts man’s request to see the police files in the case of his daughter who disappeared in northern New Hampshire.

Grafton County Superior Court Judge Timothy Vaughan heard the case in Haverhill a few miles from where Maura Murray, 21, disappeared after a minor car accident on Route 112 in February 2004, the Valley News reported.

Fred Murray of Hanson, Mass., believes his daughter was a victim of foul play and has is working with private detectives to investigate the case.

Murray claims police, the attorney general and the governor violated state and federal public information laws by not releasing the investigative files and that New Hampshire authorities have failed to conduct a criminal investigation.

The state disputed that claim and said a missing person investigation has the potential of being a criminal case and thus details that could compromise the investigation cannot be made public.

The state has maintained that it has shared any details that would not jeopardize the investigation into the disappearance of the woman, who was a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

After the hearing, Murray said he needs some of those records in his effort to recreate a timeline of what happened.

Murray said members of his family have received interesting information from people and relayed that information to police.

“We’d like to get these records, to see if any of this is being followed up on,” Murray said. “I’m moving every stone I can find, that I can budge. Maybe I can get a break, finally. I can use it.” he said.

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The Hew Hampshire Union Leader / Lowell Sun / Nashua Telegraph
September 4, 2006

Note: The Nashua Telegraph has a different headline and additional information in italics below.

Goffstown teenager apologizes
Mackenzie says shes sorry on site dedicated to missing Mass. woman

Teen apologizes on site dedicated to missing Mass. woman

GOFFSTOWN, N.H . (AP) — A Goffstown teen found in Florida last month after a five-month search is apologizing — on a Web site set up to help find a young Massachusetts woman who disappeared in New Hampshire two and a half years ago.

Laura Mackenzie does not say why she left New Hampshire in March, but she asks for forgiveness in a message posted on a Web site dedicated to the search for Maura Murray, the Hanson, Mass., woman who disappeared in northern New Hampshire after a minor car crash in February 2004.

“I am sorry, and I need to ask everyone to forgive me for what I did, putting them through the hardships and pain of five long months where I was missing,” Mackenzie wrote.

Mackenzie disappeared from Goffstown in March 8, the same day she was scheduled to appear in on shoplifting charges. As authorities began a nationwide search and her anxious family pleaded for information on her whereabouts, Mackenzie moved to Florida, where she was found on August 7.

Mackenzie’s message says she did not realize authorities were engaged in an all-out search for her for five months as she tried to avoid detection by not using her bank card or checking e-mail and keeping her driving to a minimum.

“I never knew there was a search for me going on, and I had never dreamed of something to the extent that there was,” she wrote online.

Mackenzie is entering New Hampshire Community Technical College in Manchester this fall, focusing on business and marketing.

Mackenzie said she heard about Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, from a friend and had been reading articles about other missing people from New Hampshire. “I just wanted to give them a little hope because I was found,” Mackenzie said of Murray’s family. “There are a lot of different ways that could be looked at. I just thought that I might have a different perspective.”

Mackenzie said people should realize that, like herself, Murray could turn up anywhere.

Mackenzie also said she regretted the effort and expense Goffstown Police put into the search. The department has asked that the Superior Court to consider making reimbursement part of any sentencing on the shoplifting charge.

“I know they’ve spent a lot of money they shouldn’t have spent because it was a stupid mistake,” she said. If her parents end up compensating police, Mackenzie said she will pay them back after she graduates from college and has a job.

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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.

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Nashua Telegraph / Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle / Boston Globe / Boston Herald
February 8, 2009

Note: The Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle has a different headline and additional information in italics.
Boston Globe or Boston Herald difference is at end in large bold. The Lowell Sun has an additional sentence in bold and some of the additional commentary as in the Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle, where indicated.

After 5 years, few leads on missing student

Few leads on missing student
Five years later the case leaves investigators ‘befuddled’

Five years later, case frustrates family

By Beth LaMontagne Hall
The Associated Press

Concord - It’s been five years since nursing student Maura Murray, 21, vanished from the scene of a car crash in Haverhill, and investigators say they still don’t know what happened to the Massachusetts woman that night.

Murray packed up her schoolbooks and drove to northern New Hampshire on Feb. 9, 2004, eventually heading east on Route 112, a rural road that cuts through the White Mountain National Forest. She had told her friends and professors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that she would miss a week of class because of a death in the family, but her family has said that wasn’t true.

Around 7 p.m., police received reports of a crash along the desolate road. When they arrived three to four minutes later, they found the Hanson, Mass., woman’s car with minor damage, but Murray was nowhere to be found.

“I’m totally befuddled,’’ said John Healy, president of the New Hampshire League of Investigators, a group of private investigators who’s been volunteering on the case for four years.

“The thing that is really, really tough for us, and it’s got to be tough for the state police, is the time frame. Literally, this was in a blink of an eye,” Healy said.

“Did a car stop? Did she walk away? We just don’t know that.”

The mystery has been especially hard on Murray’s family. Her father, Fred Murray, has been pushing the New Hampshire State Police and the Attorney General’s office for answers, but because the case is still under investigation, they have revealed little about what they’ve found.

“She was just 200 yards down the road when (police) got there, two minutes’ worth,” he said. “All they had to do is go grab her and they didn’t. If they did, she’d be here with me now.”

Murray has been critical of state investigators because he believes they didn’t look for Maura quickly enough and were slow to follow up on leads. They aren’t telling him what they’re doing, he said, or if any progress has been made.

------------------------------------------------------Also in Lowell Sun, except bold-------------------------------------------------------------

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin says the case is still open and active.

"There's been a lot of activity behind the scenes and the state police have put in hundreds of hundreds, if not thousands, of hours on the case, but unfortunately we don't have the answers yet," said Strelzin.

Healy, a former state police lieutenant, said investigators have not shelved the case.
------------------------------------------------------Also in Lowell Sun, except bold-------------------------------------------------------------

“Trust me, these people are working their tails off,” he said.

But Murray is frustrated after years of battling with investigators.

"I want to put it together again from the beginning, but I don't want one arm tied behind my back," said Murray. "I want the public to know that the police have been asked, 'What did your guys do?' and they won't say."

He believes if he knew what they knew, he could put together a timeline of the night and, he hopes, a clearer picture of what happened.

Strelzin said police believe Maura Murray could have essentially run away and is living elsewhere, a scenario her family does not buy.

Murray could have also been injured in the accident, wandered off into the woods and died of exposure or ran into someone who harmed her.

“I’m 100 percent certain that it’s foul play. She was supposed to call me that night. She would have if she could have, but she couldn’t,” said Murray. “It’s a question of who.”

Healy said his crew of volunteer investigators has found some possible evidence over the years, such as a human scent picked up by search dogs, but he's uncertain if it ever led to anything.

Although he continues to occasionally examine the area where Maura Murray disappeared, Healy thinks the best bet police have in solving the case is if someone new comes forward.

"One thing that I've learned is that very few people commit a crime ... without telling somebody about it somewhere," said Healy. "Human beings need to talk."

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Nashua Telegraph
March 9, 2009

Troubled histories - State is considering unit for unsolved police cases - Bill calls for two state police detectives to look into unsolved cases
By Karen Lovett

Merrimack - Pete Hinkle never knew Diane Compagna or her friend, Anne Psaradelis.

But now he knows their story.

In the summer of 1973, the two Merrimack teens went missing. They were later found dead in a wooded area in Candia.

The now 35-year-old unsolved murder of the two Merrimack teens was shoved back into the spotlight two years ago, when former Merrimack police Detective Joseph Horak published two books about the case,which he has continued investigating long into his retirement.

Through news reports of Horak’s work, Hinkle learned about Compagna and Psaradelis. Hinkle said he then listened to Horak speak at a local book signing in 2007. The two met personally some time ago.

“Everything he said - the dates, times, places, information - was very consistent,” Hinkle said. “I thought there must be something to this.”

They talked about the whole case, Hinkle said, which drove him to connect with a state police detective about the case’s status, and to set up a meeting with the attorney general. “If they were to take the case to the grand jury, they’d need good evidence for it to be worthwhile, and they alerted me to this,” Hinkle said. “It just seemed a matter of the state not having resources to devote to cold cases.”

It was last summer’s break in a decades-old Maine killing that spurred Hinkle to further action. Police tracked down Roger Bernier at his Manchester apartment, connecting him to a 22-year old strangulation of a Portland woman.

It occurred lo Hinkle: maybe, after all this time, something will have changed to bring the Compagna/Psaradelis case closer to being solved.

“We may have some people who have knowledge of the murder,” Hinkle said. “Or people who’ve felt threatened, but now feel safe, (who) might testify or provide information.” Hinkle also learned of the dozens of other cold cases in New Hampshire, which motivated him to investigate establishing a cold case unit.

“It is in the state’s interest for our good image to do see that we do something about these cases,” Hinkle said, adding that he felt for the families of the deceased. “This is the shame of it: They just don’t get any answers.”

Hinkle filed the bill last fall. It calls for hiring two state police detectives and a paralegal in the Department of Safety, plus an attorney and assistant in the justice department.

All told, the bill would require just over $280,000 in the first year, with costs going up slightly in 2011.

Rep. Dick Hindi, R-Merrimack, said while the economy is difficult, he would support the bill and some kind of funding. “I believe this comes right up there and should have a high priority to it,” Hinch said.

Hinkle said his understanding is that New Hampshire may get $10 million in stimulus money for law enforcement purposes, something the state could tap into for a cold case unit.

Grants m ay also be available, Hinkle said, and there may be a way to cobble together a solution with help from Lynch’s proposed belt-tightening measures, such as closing prisons.

Since filing the legislation, Hinkle said he’s fielded several calls from families who support a cold case unit, including 21-year-old Maura Murray, a Bay State resident who went missing in 2004 after a minor car crash in Haverhill, N.H.; Kathy Lynn Gloddy, who at 13 was raped, beaten, run over by a car in Franklin in 1971; and Molly Bish, a 16-year-old Massachusetts girl who was abducted while on duty as a lifeguard in 2000. He thinks there could be a strong showing from some of those folks and more at hearing on the bill, scheduled in Concord for Tuesday.

“I think it’s important that we provide the resources to bring closure to all of these cases,” Hinch said. In the meantime, the New Hampshire Department of Safety has taken no official position on the bill, but several investigators in the State Police Major Crimes Unit, which handles murders, said they are all for it.

“We would love to be able to have enough personnel and the resources to have a cold case unit,” Sgt. Steven Rowland said. “It’s something we feel is essentially needed.”

The state’s Attorney General’s office also has taken no position on the bill, and the head of that agency’s homicide unit, Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin, declined to opine on it himself.

“We’ll obviously follow whatever the law is,” he said. People often assume New Hampshire has a cold case unit, Strelzin said, but in reality very few law enforcement agencies do, and very many would say they could use one, he said.

“I think a lot of those agencies would tell you they don’t have enough resources to keep up with their current cases, never mind going backwards,” Strelzin said.

New Hampshire law enforcement never lets cases go entirely cold, however, Strelzin said.

“We always work on unsolved cases,” Strelzin said, though he added, “They (police) are probably right that the vast majority of their time is spent on current cases.”

Karen Lovett can be reached at 594-6402 or klovett@nashuatelegraph.com. Andrew Wolfe contributed to this report.

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The Brockton Enterprise
February 20, 2004

Investigators say Murray probably left in another vehicle

By Elaine Allegrini, Enterprise staff writer

HANSON The 21-year-old college student who disappeared after a minor car crash in New Hampshire last week probably left the area in another vehicle, investigators said Thursday after a search near the crash scene failed to produce evidence she had walked into the woods.

Police say they have considered that someone whom Maura Murray knew was traveling with her in another vehicle, but that remains unknown. She is a junior at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the Feb. 9 disappearance widened Thursday when the FBI joined the probe at the request of New Hampshire State Police. FBI agents spent Thursday morning interviewing Murray's mother, Lauri Murray, at her Hanson home.

"They want to talk to everybody that knows her, any clue," said a distraught Lauri Murray. "We're pushing, now, two weeks and there's not a word or a sign of this girl."

Maura Murray excelled in academics and sports at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, went on to the West Point military academy and left after a year and a half to pursue a nursing degree at UMass, where she was on the dean's list.

"She's a very academically talented, gifted student," said Jim Daley, Whitman-Hanson basketball coach and social-studies coordinator. "She's very organized, very diligent. She was a steady-eddy, very consistent, very focused, a lovely young girl.

"It's more than sad, it's tragic," added Daley, a Hanson resident who is hopeful Murray will let people know she is safe.

"She definitely was very responsible," said her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch, a West Point graduate who has been in New Hampshire since last week with his parents and Murray's family.

From a small motel over the Vermont border, the families have been searching the area, keeping in touch with investigators and talking to the media.

Rausch said he cannot explain Murray's disappearance in the rural area where she has climbed mountains and vacationed with her family.

Her father, Fred, of South Weymouth, and older brother, Freddy, also searched the woods along Route 112 in the past week and have not found any footsteps to indicate she had been there, Rausch said.

The family has established a Web site with photographs of Murray, hoping someone will recognize her.

"She has that intense radiant smile in every photo," Rausch said. "She's such a radiant, happy girl that you just can't help falling in love with her."

He said his parents, who drove from Ohio to join the search, feel the same way.

Rausch said Murray was excited about the challenges she faced in a new semester at school after they spent the holidays together. Her desire to follow her parents into the medical field prompted her transfer from West Point to UMass, he said.

Although they are separated because of his military assignment in the South, Rausch said he and Murray spoke regularly, sharing a cell phone account.

"We talked about marriage quite a bit, when we were going to be engaged," Rausch said.

He said he received a voice mail from Murray on the afternoon of Feb. 9.

"Regardless of why she went up here, I'm certain that she wanted me to know," he said in a telephone interview from the Vermont motel. "She told me she missed me, she loved me."

She also asked him to call her or, if she did not hear from him, she would call him again, he said. The call never came.

Now, Rausch and Murray's family call her cell phone many times each day, but she does not answer. The calls go to voice mail. They also access the voicemail, but he said, there are no messages related to her disappearance or her whereabouts.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said investigators are as frustrated as Murray's family and friends. He hopes the FBI will uncover some information to shed some light on her disappearance while New Hampshire state and local police continue their probe.

"We're trying to learn as much as we can about what Maura was thinking, who she may have for friends or why she may have headed north," Scarinza said Thursday.

He was in the area Thursday for the ground and air search of the area along Route 112 where Murray was briefly seen after crashing her vehicle and urging a witness not to contact police.

There are several houses along that stretch of the otherwise lonely road that Murray could have gone to for help, Scarinza said.

If she entered a vehicle to get away from the scene, as police believe, they wonder if she knew the driver or if she went with a stranger.

There is also new information indicating that Murray may have intended to leave school for longer than a week.

"Clearly, her intention was to leave school for, at this point, a destination unknown," Scarinza said. "Why she went through Haverhill is unknown."

Many of her belongings had been packed and left behind in her dorm room at the school, Scarinza said after talking to campus police.

The school newspaper, The Daily Collegian, also quoted a classmate who said Murray's room was packed like she was planning to move out.

Murray was believed to have a single room in the dorm, school spokesman Patrick J. Murray said.

She was also quiet and did not socialize with other students, according to a report published in the school newspaper.

On the day she disappeared, Murray e-mailed the art gallery where she worked and her teachers to say she would be gone for a week to attend to a family emergency, Scarinza said.

Although there have been reports that Murray may have been suicidal, that she had a family problem during the weekend before she disappeared, those close to the young woman said she was upbeat and did not have a history of depression.

She had crashed her father's car in Amherst on the Saturday night before she disappeared, but Rausch said it was nothing serious, that she skidded on ice. Police, however, said it was a significant accident.

A witness at the New Hampshire crash site said she appeared to be impaired by alcohol. Police have not provided information to support that, but Lauri Murray said she believes there was some wine in her daughter's car, though she is unsure if it was open or broke when the two airbags deployed in the crash.

That is not an issue, Lauri Murray said, as she tries to cope. Her son Curtis, 15, remains with her at the family home after spending several days searching the New Hampshire woods last week.

Police have scaled back the ground search after making a third and larger sweep through the area Thursday, Scarinza said.

"That's not the case for the rest of the investigation," he said.

The search for Maura Murray will continue in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts, both on an official and personal basis.

"If Maura is not contacting us because she's unable to, we most certainly don't want her to give up," Rausch said. "We won't give up. Our mission right now is to find her."

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The Caledonian-Record
February 27, 2004

Seeking Outside Help
Family, Friends of Maura Murray Upset With Investigation
By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Family and friends of 21-year-old Maura Murray believe someone picked up the University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student after she was involved in a one-car accident in Haverhill, N.H., Feb. 9.

They have hired an outside investigator to find out what happened to her.

It has been more than 2-1/2 weeks since Murray's car failed to negotiate a sharp curve near The Weathered Barn on Route 112 and crashed into a stand of trees about one mile east of Swiftwater.

"With all the attention from the media, if a good person had picked her up, he would have come forward," said Sharon Rausch, mother of Bill Rausch, Murray's boyfriend. "It leads us to believe a bad guy picked her up."

"I just wish they would treat this as a criminal investigation. If they treated it as such, the FBI could become more involved."

The "they" she is referring to is New Hampshire State Police Troop F and the Haverhill Police Department.

Rausch said her son Bill, Murray's father, Fred, and Murray's siblings, Freddy, Kathleen and Julie, are all frustrated with the lack of leads and the apparent belief by law officials that Murray's disappearance is nothing more than a person not wanting anyone to know where she is.

They believe Murray would have fought anyone trying to abduct her.

Family members and friends are also frustrated with conflicting information in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Murray, who is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes, was last seen on the UMass campus between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9.

Packed Up Her Dorm Room

UMass Police Department Detective Brian Davies said Murray had packed up all her belongings in her dorm room and appeared to be moving out and not returning.

Murray also had notified her professors she was going to be gone for a week because of a family emergency.

A search of Murray's computer by UMass detectives turned up evidence she had conducted a Mapquest search on the Internet for directions to Burlington, Vt.

Murray may had been having trouble with her black 1996 Saturn.

Rausch said she understood the vehicle was not running on all of its cylinders. Believing that, Murray may have left Interstate 91 and exited onto Route 302. She then picked up Route 112 and was headed east when her accident occurred.

She reportedly is familiar with the White Mountains region because of family camping trips.

Accident Scene

After Murray's accident, Butch Atwood said he was returning from taking students skiing when he spotted Murray's car half in the road and half off the road without its flashers on at about 7:30 p.m.

Others near the scene said the car's emergency flashers were on.

Atwood, who drives a First Student school bus, stopped his school bus by the Saturn to see if he could help. Murray was still in her car.

Atwood said she looked to be about 20 and had dark hair.

"I saw no blood," he said. "She was cold and she was shivering. I told her I was going to call the police."

Murray, according to Atwood, told him not to because she had already called AAA.

Atwood said he invited the woman to wait at his house, nearby, but she declined. He said he then went home to call 911.

After about seven to nine minutes, he looked out and saw a Haverhill police cruiser by the Saturn. A short time later, Haverhill Police Department officer, Sgt. Cecil Smith, notified Atwood that when he arrived at the crash scene, Murray was no longer with her car. Between the time Atwood had left Murray and her vehicle to call for help and the time Smith arrived, Murray had vanished.

State police arrived and checked the woods in the immediate area to see if Murray had gone into the forest. There weren't any tracks.

Atwood said Murray didn't appear to be intoxicated, despite police having said a witness indicated she had appeared to be impaired due to alcohol.

He lamented the fact Murray had not accepted his offer for help. He noted school bus drivers have to go through extensive background checks.

Police Delay Search And Press Release

Family members and friends are upset because police did not issue a press release seeking people's help in locating Murray until two days after the accident.

They also are upset because a thorough search of the area wasn't conducted until two days after the accident.

On Feb. 11, a canine team tracked Murray from the crash site east for about 100 yards.

Troop F Commander Lt. John Scarinza this week said investigators are still treating Murray's disappearance as a missing person investigation.

Scarinza says there is absolutely no evidence foul play has been involved, and that people living in the area of the accident scene have been interviewed several times.

A search of nearby homes by a canine team as well as forensics experts would require a search warrant. And a search warrant would require probable cause.

Rausch said family members were told by at least one person living near the accident site a man was seen in Maura's car after the accident.

Scarinza said investigators are using all the tools they have available to them to locate Murray.

Rausch said despite the appearance of Murray's dorm room, she and family members don't believe that's the case.

She said Murray, on the day of the accident, had picked up insurance forms related to an accident she'd had on Feb. 7. Murray was going to call her father the night of Feb. 9 to have him help her fill out the insurance forms.

Those forms, according to Rausch, were found in Murray's car along with school books, clothing and expensive jewelry.

The insurance forms and school books indicated to Rausch that Murray was going to return to Massachusetts and the university and was planning to study while she was away.

Family members and friends also are upset with no information coming from someone who placed a calling card call to Bill Rausch's cell phone as he was waiting to fly out of Oklahoma Feb. 11 to come search for his girlfriend.

Calling Card Call

Bill Rausch said he heard what he believed to be whimpering and crying.

However, Scarinza said that angle has been eliminated because investigators traced the calling card to the American Red Cross officials who had been attempting to contact Bill Rausch.

There also is the mysterious phone call Murray received while working as a security person at a residence hall at the UMass Amherst campus Feb. 5.

The call reportedly reduced Murray to tears and her supervisor had to take her home because she was so distraught.

UMass Detective Davies said his department has been able to track the phone call.

"We know the location," Davies said. "We have not been able to identify to whom she was speaking. Her friends have no idea who called her."

Sharon Rausch said, "It's obvious to us something has happened to distress her."

She said Murray had called Bill Feb. 8 and was crying because of the previous Saturday accident, though he didn't feel that was it.

"He told her on a scale of 1 to 10, it was only a 3 or 4," she said. "He had to talk to her a long time to calm her down. We are convinced something happened at school and her Amherst friends know."

Rausch speculated that what happened at the college has nothing to do with what happened to Murray after the accident on Route 112 in New Hampshire.

Because family and friends have been frustrated with the way the investigation has been carried out, they have brought in a private investigator to help them find Murray.

R.C. Stevens of PSII Inc., a Northampton, Mass., private investigation agency, is digging into what has happened.

A retired state trooper of 22 years, Stevens' firm handles high profile cases.

"Hopefully, we are going to do something soon," he said.

Murray's family and friends have started a pledge for reward fund. Rausch said donations aren't being accepted. However, pledges for a reward are, in the event information is provided which leads to Murray's return.

People can make pledges to the fund by sending an e-mail to mauramissing@hotmail.com.

Rausch said Duke University Blue Devils basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and his family have pledged an unspecified amount of money to the reward fund.

Krzyzewski met Murray and Bill Rausch around Thanksgiving time and provided them with basketball tickets during the Christmas holiday basketball tourney.

Anyone who has seen Murray is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333 or 603-271-1170. People also can call the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.

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Boston Globe
February 15, 2004

A student vanishes, and none knows why - Woman who left crash had planned a getaway
By Peter DeMarco

Six days have passed since college student Maura Murray crashed her car on a rural highway in northern New Hampshire and disappeared without a trace. But as family, friends, and investigators continue their search for the 21-year-old Hanson native, two questions continue to baffle them: Where was Murray going, and what was she running from?

A junior in the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's nursing program, Murray was doing well in school. She had a dedicated boyfriend, a loving family, and close friends. Her father, Frederick, had just told her he wanted to buy her a new car.

But on Monday, Murray apparently decided she needed to get away from life for a while. In short order, she withdrew a few hundred dollars from an ATM machine, packed her cellphone wall charger and her favorite stuffed monkey into her Saturn, e-mailed her professors to tell them she wouldn't be in class all week, and headed north for the White Mountains.

Whatever her intended destination was, she never made it there in her car.

At about 7 that night, while taking a sharp turn on Wild Ammonoosuc Road in Woodsville, N.H., Murray lost control and slammed into a snow bank. Shaken by the accident, and apparently intoxicated, Murray told a witness she didn't need help, local police said. The witness went to call the police and by the time they arrived Murray was gone.

Using tracking dogs, helicopters, and trained searchers, local and state police, as well as state fish and game officials, covered nearly 20 miles along Route 112, but found no trace of Murray's footprints in the snow. The tracking dogs lost her scent within 100 feet of the accident, leading investigators and her loved ones to believe she either hitched a ride and continued on her way, or was abducted.

"We're all under the assumption that since the trail sort of falls off someone picked her up. We really hope she doesn't quite understand how many people have been looking for her," said high school friend Carly Muise. "Maybe if she doesn't realize that, the person who gave her a ride will and will come forward." Murray, a former top student and track star at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, is described by friends and family as a responsible, attractive young woman who is very close to her family, in particular her father, who spend yesterday checking bus stations in New Hampshire and Vermont for any signs of her.

A self-reliant woman, Murray toughed out three semesters as a chemical engineer at the US Military Academy at West Point before deciding the Army wasn't for her. Since transferring to the University of Massachusetts, she has been a successful student in the nursing program, said dean Eileen Breslin.

"Nursing students are very responsible. That's part of her character," said Breslin.

If Murray was troubled by something, family and friends said, it might have been a small car accident she got into last Saturday night, when she damaged her father's new Toyota.

The day after the accident, she called her boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Bill Rausch, who is stationed in Oklahoma, in tears. A day later, on Monday, she got into her Saturn and headed north.

Rausch, who got a leave of absence from the Army, arrived in New Hampshire on Thursday. Joined by his parents, who drove from Ohio, and by Murray's father and some of her siblings, Rausch has spent the past few days driving across both New Hampshire and Vermont, stopping at local gas stations, bus stations, and police headquarters, asking whether anyone has seen Murray.

Yesterday morning, Rausch and his father were told that Murray might have been at a McDonald's in St. Johnsbury, Vt. They drove there, but no one had seen her.

"Obviously, we're hoping for the best. If I just got some news, although I guess no news is good news," Rausch said.

Rausch said Murray fled with a backpack, but left many of the other items she'd packed, including the stuffed monkey he gave her and her favorite book, "Without Peril," behind in her car.

A witness told local police Murray appeared to have been intoxicated at the time of the crash, and Rausch said that there was an open bottle of alcohol in the car. However, he said he'd never known Murray to drink and drive, and guessed she might have fled out of fear she'd broken the law.

Breslin, UMass's nursing dean, said Murray had e-mailed a professor on Monday indicating she needed to take time off because of a "family problem" and will return to class this week.

Her family and friends, have since spend hours plastering missing posters and calling news agencies to get her picture and story out.

"I'm hoping someone will see her and call someone to let us know she's all right. We're just sitting on eggshells waiting for that," said Laurie Murray, Murray's mother, a nurse at the Samuel Marcus Nursing Home in Weymouth.

New Hampshire State Police have posted her photo on national missing persons databases, and have promised to follow any leads. So far, they have none.

"It's a difficult one," said Sgt. Robert Bruno, detective supervisor. "I wish I has more to tell you."

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Boston Globe
February 20, 2004

With no new leads, FBI joins search for missing student
By Peter DeMarco

The FBI has joined in the search for missing college student Maura Murray, but without a single lead in the nearly two-week old case, New Hampshire authorities said the additional investigators might not make a difference.

Murray, a 21-year-old Hanson native and nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, vanished the night of Feb. 9 after crashing her car into a snowbank on a rural road in Woodsville, N.H.

Police in helicopters and with their dogs searched the area for a second time yesterday, but with no evidence that Murray fled into the woods, her family and authorities believe she either hitched a ride and is on her own, or was abducted.

Missing persons cases are typically handled by local and state authorities unless a federal crime has been committed.

So far, investigators have found no evidence that Murray was kidnapped or taken across state lines.

Nevertheless, at the urging of Murray's father, Fred, New Hampshire State Police are now working with Boston-based FBI agents on the case, officials said.

Though police have questioned many of Murray's family members and friends, FBI agents will probably return to UMass-Amherst and Hanson for further interviews and background checks, said Lieutenant John Scarinza, commander of State Police Troop F.

"We're now at the phase where we need to learn more about the week before Maura headed north," he said. "If any friends or associates or classmates had any discussions with her about her wanting to come up north, or places she'd like to visit, or important destinations, we'd like to hear from them. Maybe that would help us understand where she went, or why."

Hours before she departed for New Hampshire on Feb. 9, Murray e-mailed a professor and her part-time campus job to say she was heading home for the week because of a death in the family, according to school officials and the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, a student newspaper.

Withdrawing $280 from an ATM, she loaded her Saturn with clothing, a book, and a stuffed toy monkey and headed to New Hampshire, where she had frequently hiked with her father. She told no one of her plans.

About 7 that evening, she lost control on a sharp bend on Route 112 in Woodsville. Unhurt, but appearing to be intoxicated, she refused help from a motorist who offered assistance and was gone when police reached her car about 10 minutes later, officials said.

Fearing that Murray may have been taken across state lines and unaware of any major issue she might have been struggling with, her family urged the FBI to get involved.

Woodsville is about 5 miles from the Vermont border and about a two-hour drive from New York, Maine, and Canada.

Fred Murray, who is scheduled to appear on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" today to discuss his daughter's disappearance, said the FBI involvement is a good start, but not enough.

"They're saying the FBI is in, but that's a very limited scale," he said. "I'd like to see the best case scenario -- agents crawling all over the place up here."

Scarinza said investigators, including detectives at UMass-Amherst, share Murray's concerns. At the same time, he cautioned that people sometimes escape to the White Mountains without telling their family or friends.

"She's an adult. If you want to go on vacation for a few weeks, you have a right to do that. But even the FBI is not going to go to California to see if she's on vacation there," he said.

"Hopefully, by the close of [today] we will have talked to everyone at least twice within a reasonable radius of the area. We're talking 5 miles, give or take," he continued. "There's no evidence of a struggle near or around the car. No witness says there was an altercation. No evidence that any criminal offense has happened to her. Yes, she's missing. It's frustrating for the family. And law enforcement officials are frustrated too. We have no idea where she is."

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The Patriot Ledger
February 28, 2004

A family waits and wonders: What happened to Maura?
Joe McGee

WELLS RIVER, Vt. - Kathleen Murray scatters the belongings on a motel room floor like pieces of a puzzle. The bag of stuff is what her sister, Maura Murray of Hanson, left behind when she was last seen Feb. 9 in Woodsville, N.H. - clothes, CDs, makeup and a copy of Not Without Peril," journalist Nicholas Howe's story about people who died hiking New Hampshire's Presidential Mountain Range.

For Kathleen Murray, the book is unnerving because it talks about the rural region of northern New Hampshire where Murray was last seen.

My father gave it to her. I don't know what it could mean," the Hanover resident said.

The conditions couldn't have been worse for 21-year-old Murray when she disappeared. It was dark and freezing on the stretch of Route 112 that runs along the Wild Ammonoosuc River near the Vermont border. Police believe Murray was on her own. Nobody knew she left the campus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she was a junior studying nursing.

Then she crashed. The only roadside help was a 350-pound man named Butch Atwood, an imposing figure whose presence wouldn't be that welcoming to a young woman in the dead of the night, according to his wife.

Murray's family has lived in a nearby motel ever since, trying to piece together the mystery of her disappearance. After two weeks, there are few good leads. All they have are the bag of items she didn't take with her, wherever she went.

I know she was up here on her own will, but something altered her plans along the way and it could've been foul play. Nothing else makes sense," said Fred Murray of Hanson, Maura's brother.

The scene of the accident in the Woodsville section of Haverhill, N.H., is at a sharp bend of Route 112, which is marked by an old red barn that at one time was a gift shop for summer travelers visiting the White Mountains. Police believe Murray left UMass that afternoon, possibly upset over cracking up her father's car days earlier, or for some other reason nobody knows about.

It's not certain if she was going west on Route 112 toward Vermont, or east into New Hampshire, but the car went off the road into some brush at about 7 p.m.

The accident couldn't have been that bad. One little nick on a tree is all that marks the scene other than the missing" posters family and friends stapled up. Damage to the Saturn sedan was minimal, but Murray's head cracked the windshield. The front of the car was pushed in.

Bus driver Butch Atwood was coming around the bend in his school bus after dropping off a group of skiers who had been in North Conway for the day. He stopped, offered Murray help, and kept going when she said she had called AAA. Atwood parked the bus at his home, about 100 yards up Route 112, walked inside and told his wife Barbara what happened.

Another neighbor called police, who arrived within minutes. They found the bag, some bottles of alcohol, and that was it. Maura Murray was gone.

Police searched the area for days but there were no obvious clues. There were no footprints and a bloodhound lost a scent on the road near the Atwoods house. Ever since, Fred and Kathleen Murray and other family members have been staying at a motel in Wells River, a town just over the border from New Hampshire.

Police are treating the disappearance as a missing persons case, and a stagnant one at that. The only significant lead turned up in Burlington, Vt., but it went nowhere. Authorities said Murray had downloaded Internet directions to Burlington. Fred and Kathleen Murray say they're growing frustrated but won't give up.

The chapter of Howe's book titled "A Question of Life or Death" is book-marked with a Hallmark card and a photograph of Maura's brother Kurtis in a Little League uniform. Kathleen Murray got emotional looking it.

"We have to find something just to get this going again. We need every lead followed up," she said.

For the family, trying to find the clue that will escalate the search is literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack in such an open, rural area. Every morning Murray family members search snowmobile trails, snowy fields, general stores and frozen ponds to look for footprints, and people to talk to. They're looking for anything.

It's all anyone's talking about these days around the area, and everybody has a theory.

"Without fail, everybody who comes in here asks, "Have they found her yet?' One kid came in telling me, "They found her in Berlin (N.H.).' I would've known that if they did," said Bill Matteson, owner of Swiftwater Stagestop, a general store on Route 112, close to the accident scene.

"Many people who live in this part of the state are immigrants" from Massachusetts, who came here to get away from stuff like this," said Jeannette Wrigley, a Dorchester native and manager of the McDonald's in Haverhill.

"Personally, I think somebody picked her up," Wrigley said.

Butch and Barbara Atwood are from Raynham and Taunton, respectively. They consider Haverhill much safer than where they grew up in Southeastern Massachusetts.

"I might be afraid if I saw Butch. He's 350 pounds and has this mustache," Barbara Atwood said.

But she said there would have been no reason for Murray to fear anyone in an area where people know and look out for each other.

Said ice fisherman R.O. Richards of Lisbon, N.H., in his ice shanty on French Pond in Haverhill, "We have some thieves that might steal the teeth off a billy goat, but maybe that's it."

Matteson said people know not to mess with each other" in this part of rural New Hampshire. Nearly everyone has a gun, he said. Matteson said he thinks that Murray walked away on her own, and got lost in the woods. It has happened before, according to locals.

An armed society is a safe society, that's why we have no crime," Matteson said.

In my opinion, it's a numbers game. On a Monday at 7 at night, maybe three cars went by here, at best. What are the odds that one is a predator?" he said.

Locals are conditioned to deal with the weather, but wandering off could be fatal for a tourist. This week it was considered mild, even though the temperatures were below freezing and even colder with fierce winds. Without a good jacket and supplies good luck," log cabin builder Mark Hesseltine said.

Not if you're not from around here, no way you're going to survive," Hesseltine said.

New Hampshire State Police and FBI agents in Massachusetts are now focusing on Murray's reason for leaving school. Nobody is thinking harder about Murray's state of mind than her sister Kathleen, one of her closest confidantes. The Saturday before Murray left school, she and her father, Frederick Murray of Weymouth, were shopping for a new car in Amherst because her Saturn was running on three cylinders.

It is also known that Murray got a phone call the Thursday before she left that disturbed her to the point that she needed to be escorted to her dormitory room by a supervisor. Friends in Amherst told the family they don't know what the call was about. Her father didn't think she seemed upset that weekend.

Looking at her sister's personal effects, Kathleen Murray wondered what went wrong.

She always told me everything. At school she had a few friends, but the people she was closest to was her boyfriend, or me, or my sister Julie. We would've known," Kathleen Murray said.

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Boston Globe
March 2, 2004

Where could Maura be?
By Brian McGrory

The mystery continues to deepen around Maura Murray, the nursing student who vanished in New Hampshire three weeks ago after she slammed her car into some trees on a dark, rural road.

Investigators have determined the origin of an unusual telephone call that Murray received a few nights before she fled the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The conversation upset her so much that she had to be escorted from her job to her dorm room.

The call, according to UMass police Lieutenant Robert Thrasher, came from one of Murray's two sisters. But Thrasher said police have yet to receive an explanation of what was so upsetting.

Yesterday, Fred Murray, the girls' father, said he was told that Maura's sister called her to talk about a "monstrous" fight with a boyfriend. "But I don't think that would upset her all that much," Murray said.

The more details are revealed, the more baffling the case becomes, police acknowledge. Yesterday, Thrasher said that Maura had fastidiously packed all her belongings into boxes before she left school, even removing the art from her dorm room walls. Meanwhile, one UMass friend has seemingly withheld information from police, saying she didn't want to get Maura "in trouble."

UMass investigators, who have interviewed dozens of potential witnesses and combed through Murray's computer, shared an in-depth time line that preceded the disappearance. Murray received the call on Thursday evening, Feb. 5. On Saturday, Feb. 7, Maura and a girlfriend had dinner with Fred Murray, who was visiting Amherst. Afterward, the father returned to his hotel, and the two young women attended a campus party.

At 3:30 a.m. Feb. 8, Maura crashed her father's new Toyota into a roadside post. She told her father about the accident later that morning. Just after midnight on Monday morning, Feb. 9, she conducted a Map Quest search of the Berkshires and Burlington, Vt., on her personal computer.

At 3:40 p.m. Monday, she withdrew $280 from an area ATM, then stopped at a liquor store. Surveillance cameras at the bank machine and in the store show that she was alone.

Maura was next seen at 7 p.m. in the White Mountains hamlet of Haverhill, N.H., an area where she had hiked and camped with her father. School bus driver Butch Atwood came across her car in an embankment, he said, and stopped to ask if she needed help.

When she declined, he drove the 100 yards to his cabin and summoned police. By the time authorities arrived seven to 10 minutes later, she was gone. Her bank card, credit cards, and cellphone have been dormant since.

Authorities are exploring four scenarios, all of which they say contain flaws.

Least likely is that she committed suicide. She left no note. Her grades were excellent. Her medical records showed no issues, and her relationships appeared sound. One investigator characterized her ongoing e-mail exchange with her boyfriend, an Army lieutenant in Oklahoma, as "sappy."

Second unlikeliest is that, intoxicated, she ventured into the woods and was overcome by the elements. But dogs couldn't trace her scent, there were no footprints in the fresh snow, and helicopters equipped with heat-seeking devices were no help.

Third is that in the brief window of time, she was picked up by someone who abducted or killed her. But authorities believe the odds of a violent criminal coincidentally coming across her on the rural road are as remote as the location itself.

Fourth is that she was picked up by a passerby, taken to a bus station, and fled the area, possibly with little idea of the anguish she has left behind.

This may have started innocently, with a confused young woman needing a break from the pressures of student life. But it isn't ending well. Maura, if you're alive, if you're able, come home.

And if she's not, there's someone, somewhere who has some idea of what happened that night.

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Massachusetts Daily Collegian
February 17, 2004

Missing student a mystery to police, classmates
Erica Lovley and Ferron Salneer

Police are investigating the disappearance of a University of Massachusetts student who was last seen at the site of a car crash on Monday, Feb. 9.

According to the Boston Globe, Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass. crashed her car into a snow bank last Monday in Haverhill, N.H. The accident was her second in three days; Murray had recently crashed her father’s car on Saturday of the previous weekend.

Murray disappeared from the site of the crash after a resident tried to help and who had called the police, despite Murray asking him not to, the Globe reported. Murray was gone upon arrival of police, her car left abandoned and undrivable, the Globe said.

Chief Jeff Williams of the Haverhill Police Department does not think foul play was involved.

“Our concern is that she’s upset or suicidal, something the family was concerned about,” he told the Globe on Friday.

The accident took place along Route 112, about five miles away from Wells River, Vt., and a mile away from Swift Water Village by the Connecticut River.

Police used dogs, a helicopter and Fish and Game Officers to perform an immediate search around the crash site area and found nothing. The search has since been called off.

Murray is a junior nursing major, a Dean’s List student who works in a local art gallery.

Two UMPD officers, Detectives Chris Thrasher and Brian Davies and two counselors from Mental Health Services visited a junior nursing class, Parent-Child Nursing, on Friday afternoon. Joan Cully, administrative director of the Office for the Advancement of Nursing Education and Eileen Breslin, dean of the school of Nursing were also present at the meeting.

In addition, an email was written by Breslin, and released to the UMass nursing community. According to the email, Murray sent an email to her faculty Monday afternoon at 1:24 p.m. indicating she was heading home for the week due to a death in the family and that she would contact everyone when she returned.

Lindsay Pemberton, a junior nursing major, has the same class schedule as Murray and was present for the meeting on Friday. Pemberton told The Massachusetts Daily Collegian that staff in the nursing department spoke to Murray’s family, and were told that there were no recent family deaths.

“Also, her dorm room was all packed up, like she was planning on moving out,” said Pemberton.

The email to the nursing community also stated that Murray called her boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Bill Rausch, Tuesday morning. At the Friday meeting police said that Rausch only heard someone breathing on the other line. The police were unable to trace the call.

According to Sharon Rausch, the boyfriend’s mother, Murray had e-mailed her boyfriend on Monday afternoon, saying she needed to speak with him.

Murray’s family, including Rausch, and his parents, have flown to New England and are passing out fliers along the New Hampshire-Vermont state boarder, hoping someone will recognize Murray.

“She was really quiet and didn’t hang out with any of us,” said Pemberton. “She was a sweet person, but she didn’t get personal with anyone.”

Murray and Rausch met at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As of yesterday afternoon, the Haverhill police have had no leads in the case and hope that Murray will try to contact a friend or family member.

“The case is under investigation and we are not discussing it at this time,” said the Haverhill Police Department.

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The Boston Channel
March 4, 2004

Family, Friends Pray For Woman's Safe Return
Maura Murray Last Seen Feb. 9

DUXBURY, Mass. -- Family and friends of a missing Hanson woman say they will not give up the search for the college student.

University of Massachusetts student Maura Murray, 21, disappeared in New Hampshire nearly one month ago.

NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross reported that Murray's family, frustrated by police efforts to find her, say they plan to search on their own in northern New Hampshire.

In Duxbury Thursday, a small group of Murray's mother's friends held a Mass to pray for her safe return.

The simple service, led by a priest, was small, prayerful and emotional. Murray's mother and grandmother sat in front.

Murray was last seen Feb. 9. After she left her UMass dorm, she had a car accident in Haverhill, N.H. But before police arrived to help, she disappeared, leaving her car behind.

With no evidence of foul play, authorities say it's a missing person case, but her family disagrees.

"She was abducted. She would have called. She would have called. She didn't run away. She was abducted," said Murray's mother, Laurie.

A week ago, Murray's sister found women's underwear a few miles from where Murray's car was left. The underwear is being tested for DNA. This weekend, Murray's brother and sister will search again.

"I don't like them taking the investigation in their own hands, that scares me, too. Because my daughter was out walking in the woods by herself," said Laurie Murray of her other children.

Friends say there is little they can do, except offer support to the family.

"We have no idea. We are not giving up hope. We hope Maura is found and we are praying for her safe return," said family friend Maureen Walsh.

Murray's mother feels strongly that her daughter has not stayed away of her own free will. But with few clues to go on, she said she found comfort and hope in Thursday's service.

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Boston Globe
May 7, 2004

New lead is reported in search for student - Woman was seen along N.H. road
By David Abel

A new witness recently came forward, providing a lead for investigators in the disappearance of a 22-year-old nursing student from Hanson, police have told the family.

New Hampshire State Police told the parents of Maura Murray, who disappeared in February after abruptly leaving her dorm at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, that a motorist recalled seeing a woman fitting their daughter's description jogging along Route 112 on the night she vanished.

The motorist, apparently a local contractor who commutes along the route every day, told police he saw the woman turn down a dirt road as he approached, said Laurie Murray, the missing student's mother.

"I hope this helps and at least keeps it in the news to help find my daughter," said Murray.

State Police Lieutenant John Scarinza said the man reported seeing someone fitting Maura Murray's description along the road in Haverhill, N.H., the Associated Press reported. The spot was 4 or 5 miles from where Murray had a minor car accident that disabled her vehicle just before her disappearance.

Police said they will search that area this weekend.

The witness said he saw Murray around 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, around the time she disappeared, police told the Murrays.

"I am encouraged by the lead," said Fred Murray, Maura's father, who added that he plans to hold a news conference tomorrow morning in Woodsville, N.H., to release more details. "All I can say now is we've got her alive and moving at a particular place at a particular time. I believe it's my daughter, based on the description."

Police told the family the man did not come forward earlier because he didn't connect reports of Murray's disappearance with the woman he saw.

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The Caldedonian-Record
Saturday February 28, 2004

Relatives May Have Found A Clue
By Gary E. Lindsley

Haverhill, New Hampshire -- Relatives of Maura Murray have found what may be a clue in her disappearance.

Kathleen Murray found a pair of white, women's underwear lying on the snow near French Pond Road in Haverhill, Thursday.

Murray said she does not know if they are connected to the disappearance of her sister, who has not been seen since the night of her car accident on Route 112, about a mile east of Swiftwater.

Maura was driving a black 1996 Saturn Feb. 9 when her car failed to negotiate a sharp, left curve past The Weathered Barn and went off the road. Maura is a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Kathleen and her brother, Freddy, have been scouring the area around the accident site every day.

"I have been making my way down (toward the French Pond Road area)," Kathleen said. "We have been tracking through quite a bit of snow."

She turned the underwear over to Haverhill Police and said it will be about two weeks before DNA results come back.

"Hopefully, they will turn out not to be hers," Kathleen said. "Maybe it was just teenagers having fun. The area is pretty secluded."

Kathleen does not believe Maura has just taken off and doesn't want to be found.

"I know my sister," she said. "We were really close. If she were in trouble, she would have called me. I am extremely worried."

Kathleen is hoping to hold some type of fund-raiser to help boost the pledge reward fund established to help find Maura. It currently stands at about $30,000. Family and friends have sought the assistance of a private investigator.

R.C. Stevens of PSII Inc., a Northampton, Mass., private investigation agency, is looking into the disappearance.

Anyone who has seen Maura or may have information, is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333 or 603-271-1170; or the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.

She is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a dark coat and jeans.

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The Caldedonian-Record
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Missing Woman Investigation
Potential Evidence Discounted
By Gary E. Lindsley

Maura Murray's friends and relatives were breathing a bit easier Tuesday after learning underwear found off a road in the town of Haverhill did not belong to her.

Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, turned up missing the evening of Feb. 9 after she was involved in a one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill. The accident scene was about one mile east of Swiftwater.

"The DNA (tests) came back yesterday ... negative," Sharon Rausch said. "We are very glad. We are very hopeful." Rausch is the mother of Billie Rausch, Murray's fiance-to-be.

Murray's sister, Kathleen, found a white pair of underpants lying on top of the snow on a secluded trail off of French Pond Road Feb. 26.

Kathleen turned them over to the Haverhill Police Department who in turn handed it over to the New Hampshire State Police.

Maura's hair brush and a toothbrush were provided to the state police crime lab in Concord along with the underwear for testing.

Although it turns out the underwear did not belong to Murray, and that provides a glimmer of hope, Rausch said the family is also realistic. "None of us believe she is willfully in hiding," she said. "But we are hopeful."

Rausch said Murray has money in her bank account. However, that money has not been touched. Her credit cards have not been used. Nor has her cell phone since the accident at around 7 p.m. Feb. 9.

Rausch said she will never give up hope. She said she was praying on her way home from work Tuesday that something would help lead them to Murray.

She recalled the miraculous story of how Elizabeth Smart had been found and returned safely to her family in Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 2003 after being held captive by a couple since June 5, 2002.

"I lost my father when I was 9," Rausch said. "My mother died when I was 31. Both of those events were very hard. But nothing has been as hard as this."

Although Murray and her son had not yet married, Rausch, with her voice quivering, said Murray's disappearance is even more difficult because she is like a daughter to her.

Whenever Murray enters a room, she said, her big, dazzling smile just brightens it up.

According to Butch Atwood, a First Student school bus driver who lives about 100 yards from where Murray lost control of her 1996 black Saturn after rounding a sharp left-hand curve near The Weathered Barn on Route 112, Murray refused help from him when he stopped.

In a renewed effort to get the word out about Murray's disappearance and jog people's memories, Rausch said 15,000 8- by 10-inch color posters of the 21-year-old have been made up.

Bethlehem Fire Chief Jack Anderson, who is also the president of the Twin State Mutual Aid Fire Association, tentatively has agreed to have firefighters throughout the twin states help distribute about 1,000 of the posters. "We will try and help through our 26 towns," Anderson said. "It's a good cause. We have to find that girl." He said he feels for Murray's family and friends.

Rausch said she also has enlisted the help of Beth Drewniak of Hanson, Mass., to help distribute the posters. She said Drewniak's daughter grew up with Murray. "We are hoping $40,000 will (jog) someone's memory," she said.

The posters show a picture of Murray with her classic big smile and dimples. It says $40,000 will be paid for any information leading to her safe return.

She is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds, has blue-green eyes and curly brown hair.

People with any information should call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636. Anyone who may have see Murray can also call the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.

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The Caldedonian-Record
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Missing Woman's Dad Urges Public's Help - Wants Aid Getting FBI Involved
By Gary E. Lindsley

Maura Murray's father wants people to become involved in his quest to have the FBI join the investigation into his daughter's disappearance.

Murray's father, Fred, and other relatives have long clamored for the FBI to play an expansive role in the search for Maura.

Maura disappeared after she was involved in a one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, about a mile east of Swiftwater, the night of Feb. 9.

She hasn't been seen since. And her ATM card, credit card, bank account and cell phone have not been used since her disappearance.

"I am asking for (people living in Vermont and New Hampshire) to contact the FBI and ask them to become involved," Murray said. "None of the young women in Vermont and New Hampshire are safe. This could happen again."

The discovery of a woman's body in a swampy area of Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Murray said, is even more reason to have the FBI involved.

Sgt. Nick Willard of the Manchester Police Department would not say Monday whether the woman has been identified.

Willard said the woman's identity will be released once the next of kin have been identified.

He said the New Hampshire State Attorney General's Office will be having a press conference today regarding the discovery of the woman. Members of the Attorney General's Office could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. Murray is concerned about a Vermont woman's disappearance as well.

Brianna Maitland is a 17-year-old who disappeared the night of March 19 after leaving her job at the Black Lantern in Montgomery.

Murray, like Brianna's father, Bruce, does not understand how state police in both states have ruled out any connection between the disappearance of their daughters.

"They said the victims did not know one another," Murray said. "I told them the connection isn't between the victims, but the perpetrator. I asked (New Hampshire State Police) why not let the FBI decide whether there is a connection. Also, there may be an Upper Valley murders connection." He was referring to a series of murders which occurred in the late 1980s.

"They said they have all the resources they need," Murray said, referring to state police. "I told them they are not getting the job done. They said they are. And I said they weren't because they have not found Maura." Murray has suggested the state police conduct a search of areas off of Route 112 on Route 116.

"I asked them to do a direct appeal to the public," he said. "They said they will wait until May." Murray told them that wasn't acceptable. Waiting another month will make it more than three months since Maura disappeared.

"I would think people other than the Maitlands and us would be screaming for the FBI," he said. "We don't want to wait for another body to disappear. There's an unidentified guy still out there. You have another potential horrendous situation."

Murray also is asking for help from residents living in the area where his daughter's accident happened to become involved because he believes a local person may have been involved in Maura's disappearance. "Like it takes a thief to catch a thief, it takes a local to catch a local," he said.

A $40,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to finding Maura. Maura's Web site is http://www.spbowers.com/mauramissing.

The Maitlands have announced they are offering a $10,000 reward for finding their daughter.

The Maitlands have created the Web site http://www.bringbrihome.org as a way to help find their daughter.

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The Caldedonian-Record
Thursday, May 6, 2004

Parents Of Missing Women To Meet
By Gary E. Lindsley

The parents of 17-year-old Brianna Maitland and 21-year-old Maura Murray are joining forces to increase pressure on law enforcement to call in the FBI to join the search for their loved ones.

Bruce and Kellie Maitland and Fred Murray have scheduled a press conference for 9 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion in Woodsville.

The Maitlands and Murray are frustrated with the respective police investigations into their daughters' disappearances.

Brianna has been missing since she clocked out at her job as a dishwasher at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt., at 11:20 p.m. March 19. She left the inn to return to Sheldon where she was living with a friend.

Her car was discovered partially ensconced in an abandoned building during the early morning hours of March 20 about a mile from the Black Lantern. She hasn't been seen since.

Maura was involved in a one-car accident on Route 112 in the town of Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9. She hasn't been seen since the night of the accident. Both women disappeared after being involved in accidents on rural roads.

The Maitlands and Murray believe there may be a connection between what has happened to their daughters. And they want that connection explored.

However, state police from Vermont and New Hampshire have discounted any connection between the disappearances of Brianna and Maura.

"We want to meet Fred and talk about what we are going through," Bruce Maitland said. "Also, we want to get out to people we need to have this looked at as a combined effort. There may be a connection."

He believes the FBI, which has more resources than the state police, should become involved in the search for Brianna and Maura.

Murray has been asking New Hampshire State Police right from the beginning to ask the FBI to become active participants in the search for his daughter.

And with Brianna missing, he believes it is imperative any possible connections be explored. "I believe there may be a connection," Murray said. "The people in Vermont and New Hampshire should be screaming to have the FBI become involved."

He said until Brianna and Maura are found, young women in Vermont and New Hampshire are not safe until whomever is involved is found.

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The Caldedonian-Record
Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Parent Accuses Police Of Character Assassination
Vermont, N.H. Officers Deny Link Between Missing Women
By Gary E. Lindsley

Law enforcement authorities from Vermont and New Hampshire, after a daylong meeting with the FBI Tuesday, say there is no connection between the disappearances of a 17-year-old Vermont woman and 22-year-old University of Massachusetts nursing student.

Vermont State Police and New Hampshire State Police met with Burlington, Vt. FBI agent D.J. Corbet in St. Albans.

In a press release issued after the meeting, state police from Vermont and New Hampshire emphatically said there is no connection between the disappearances of Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., and Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass.

Capt. Bruce W. Lang, chief of Vermont's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said there is no serial killer on the loose as has been speculated in the media.

In fact, they said Maitland had made several bad life choices before she disappeared, and at one point, had been a runaway.

Investigators also said Murray had nearly cleaned out her bank account, packed up her belongings in her dorm room at UMass Amherst, and made off for destinations unknown.

"How can you say there is not a connection?" asked Bruce Maitland, Brianna's father. "They don't have any evidence saying they aren't connected. It's a flat-out lie.

"I think it's almost character assassination of the victims. They said Maura wanted to disappear. Brianna, they said she chose an unhealthy life choice."

He believes state police in both states have spent less time on the two cases than trying to shut up the parents and others. "I am disheartened," Maitland said.

Talking to some of the investigators after the meeting and a press conference, he said he had the distinct impression the investigations are done.

"They said they were tired of wasting their time on leads (which lead to nowhere)," Maitland said. "They want to say it's the girls' own fault."

Brianna has not been seen since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery at 11:20 p.m. March 19.

Her car was found early the next morning partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the inn.

Murray has not been seen since she disappeared after being involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9.

According to Lt. Thomas M. Nelson, Vermont BCI commander for Troop A North, Brianna had previously been reported as missing by her father in 2003.

In the joint press release, Nelson also said a VSP investigation had revealed Brianna had made unhealthy lifestyle choices in her life prior to her disappearance.

"Specifically, she had become involved in the world of illegal drugs in the area where she lived," he said. "Her association with people involved in this activity is an area of focus for the investigators." She was living with a friend in Sheldon at the time of her disappearance.

New Hampshire State Police Troop F Commander Lt. John Scarinza described Maura as having had a difficult long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, Billy Rausch, who is stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Scarinza also said the day before she disappeared, she had had an accident with her father's brand-new car in Hadley, Mass. The accident, he said, caused $10,000 worth of damage to Fred Murray's car.

The next day she packed up all her belongings in her dorm room and headed off to a destination unknown. Later that day, she had a second car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., and disappeared before police arrived.

"She withdrew most of her money from her personal bank account," Scarinza said in the press release. "She sent e-mails to her supervisor at work as well as a college professor saying she would be absent from work and school for a week due to a death in the family."

"There was no death in the family," he continued. "She did not tell her family, her friends or her classmates that she was planning to leave for the week. Investigators believe that Maura was headed for an unknown destination and may have accepted a ride in order to continue to that location."

Maura's father, in reaction to Scarinza's statements, said, "As far as Scarinza's amateur psychology goes, it does not matter why Maura left. Something happened.

"They do not want the FBI (fully involved) because it would be like calling the police on itself. They botched the case from the start."

Murray said Troop F first treated his daughter as a missing runaway. Then, they said she had frozen to death.

Their next theory, according to Murray, was Maura had committed suicide. "Again, if it was suicide, they would have to look for her," he said.

If it was a suicide, then the state police would not have to look for a bad guy, Murray said. "If there is a bad guy, then the state police have not been able to do the job and catch the bad guy," he said.

Regarding his daughter's relationship with Rausch, Murray said it was a strong, loving, very, very good relationship.

"The accident with my car? It was not a big deal," he said. "My insurance covered it. They are saying anything to avoid searching for a bad guy. It's just a smokescreen.

"They have to get the job done. They should be made to accept (the FBI's help). If you blame the victims, it doesn't matter. Something still happened to these girls. Someone harmed them. It's a crime."

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The Caledonian-Record
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Lieutenant Says Major Crimes Involved Since Beginning
Police Secure Murray Items For Evidence

By Gary E. Lindsley

State police say they have secured items from a missing 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student as possible evidence.

Lt. John Scarinza, commander of New Hampshire State Police Troop F, says the items are being held, possibly for further investigation.

However, Scarinza also says it's not true the state police Major Crimes Unit is only now getting involved in the Maura Murray case.

Murray has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car crash on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., about a mile east of Swiftwater Feb. 9. She has not been seen since the night of the accident.

He said the Major Crimes Unit, and specifically, Sgt. Charles West, has been involved in the Murray disappearance since three days after she disappeared.

Scarinza also said detectives from Troop F and the Major Crimes Unit have been used during the missing person's investigation.

He was emphatic that the items from Murray's car are not only now being looked at. "The items have already been gone through once," Scarinza said.

When asked whether any of the items, including clothing and books, had been analyzed for forensic evidence in the beginning of the investigation, he said, "You don't just send a bag of stuff down there."

However, he did say the items in Murray's black 1996 Saturn were inventoried by Haverhill police officers during the first week of the investigation back in February. In addition to diamond jewelry, books, clothing and some alcohol found in the vehicle after the accident, some items were missing.

"She had a (black) backpack when she left Massachusetts," Scarinza said. "We have not been able to locate the backpack in the car or her (dorm) room. That was the pack she used at school."

Scarinza also said when Murray left the Amherst campus, she had with her a box of wine, and bottles of vodka, Kahluha and Bailey's Irish Cream. The box of wine, of which most had been spilled, was found in the car. But some of the other bottles were not found.

Also found in the car, specifically on the back seat, was a book written by Nicholas Howe, titled, "Not Without Peril." Scarinza said the book is about tragedies regarding search and rescues in the White Mountains.

"Mrs. (Sharon) Rausch tells me that is Maura's favorite book," he said. "What does that mean? I don't know." Haverhill police, in a press release issued two days after Murray's disappearance, said she possibly was suicidal.

Because it has been nearly five months since the night Murray disappeared, and because state police believe there is not a lot to look for, Scarinza said it's appropriate to have the items in the car at the time of the accident returned to investigators so they can be held as possible evidence.

"I don't know what we will do with them," he said. "We want to have all the items if we need them. At this point, we are holding them for evidence." That includes Nicholas Howe's book.

"For instance," Scarinza said, "is there something significant about that book? I don't know."

If there is something highlighted in the book which may help with the investigation, they will have the book readily available.

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WCAX
July 13, 2004

Search for Missing Girl Intensifies
Woodsville, New Hampshire

College student Maura Murray was last seen along Route 112 in February. Murray had just crashed her car on this corner in Haverhill, New Hampshire.

"What is clear it was her intention to leave school at the time she drove and ended up in Haverhill, New Hampshire. She had packed all her belongings, put them in boxes," said Lt. John Scarinza who is heading up the investigation for the New Hampshire State Police. The rest is a real mystery.

Authorities are searching for any clues that may lead to Murray's whereabouts. Ninety people in five teams fanned out over a one mile radius from the crash site on Tuesday.

"We have them going through drainages..anything that encompasses within that one mile radius," said Lt. Todd Bogardus of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Authorities say there is no one thing that led them to search the area again, but they are looking for items Murray had with her when she left Massachusetts that wintry night. One was a backpack.

"They were smaller type items that maybe if they got dropped on the side of the road or thrown over a snow bank, you could have missed them at the time of the searches when there was snow on the ground," Lt. Scarinza told reporters.

Murray's car was searched at the time of the crash. Police say they found alcohol inside and outside the vehicle.

"There were indications inside the vehicle, specifically we found what we believe to be red wine, spilt on the driver's door, on the headliner and front seat of the vehicle and we found a container that we believe was holding red wine immediately outside the vehicle on the ground," said Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams.

Relations between the Murray family and authorities have been tense at times. Relatives have questioned whether police have done enough to find her.

"I understand that it has to be very frustrating for the family and we are doing everything we can to bring this to a conclusion for them," said Lt. Scarinza.

Tuesday's search did not turn up anything substantial. For now there is no closure, just a mystery.

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The Caldeonian-Record
Saturday, July 24, 2004

Father Denied Access
State, Haverhill Police Won't Release Murray Information
By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL NEW HAMPSHIRE - New Hampshire State Police and Haverhill police are refusing to release information regarding a February accident involving a Massachusetts woman and her subsequent disappearance.

Maura Murray, a 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student, was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9.

Her father, Fred, filed Freedom of Information Act requests with state police and Haverhill police to obtain information about the accident and the investigation into Maura's disappearance. His requests were denied by both state police and Haverhill police.

Murray received a letter dated June 29 from Brian Hester, a lieutenant with the state police Special Investigation Unit.

In the letter, Hester said, "A determination has been made these files are investigative in nature, the release of requested reports, logs and data information would be a disclosure constituting an unwarranted invasion of privacy under RSA 91-A:5 IV."

"The release and disclosure at this time could interfere with an ongoing investigation," Hester continued in his letter. "See Lodge v. Knowlton, 118 NH 574 (1978). Therefore, your request at this time is denied."

Gary J. Wood, an attorney representing the Haverhill Police Department, used the same reasoning and court case to decline providing Murray with the information surrounding his daughter's accident and subsequent disappearance.

The Lodge vs. Knowlton case involved a case filed in New Hampshire Supreme Court by Bruce Lodge against Col. Harold Knowlton of the New Hampshire State Police.

Lodge had attempted to obtain an accident report regarding an accident involving a police chief while operating his cruiser.

In conclusion, the court determined the six-prong test of 5 U.S.C. 552 (B) (7) provided a good standard to effectuate the balance of interests required by RSA CH. 91-A with regard to police investigatory files.

One of the elements of the six-prong test involves invasion of privacy. The court also suggested a new hearing be held.

Hester, when contacted Friday morning, declined to comment and referred questions to David Ruhoff of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

Ruhoff at first said he could not make any comments in any official capacity.

He then relented when told state police said he would be the one to discuss the freedom of information act request refusal.

Ruhoff did say because it's an ongoing investigation, even the accident report cannot be released. Wood was not available for comment.

As for Murray, he does not understand why authorities won't release any information about his daughter, if her case is not being investigated as a criminal case.

State police have continually stated they consider it a missing person's case.

So, Murray does not understand why they won't release information about her case as well as the police reports regarding her accident.

He wonders whose privacy state police and police are worried about violating.

"What's so criminal about an accident report, if it's (being classified as) a missing person's case?" Murray asked. "They are denying me information which may help me."

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The Patriot Ledger
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Leads fruitless, police stalled in Murray probe
By Joe McGee

Police investigating the disappearance of Hanson native Maura Murray have discovered that the disturbing phone conversation Murray had four days before leaving the University of Massachusetts at Amherst was with her sister.

According to her family, Murray called her sister, Kathleen Murray of Hanover, at about 10 p.m. Feb. 5, four days before she packed her belongings and headed north to New Hampshire. But what was said should not have upset the 21-year-old, Kathleen Murray said.

We didn't really talk about much. I had been fighting with my fiance', and we talked about that, but I don't know why she would be upset about that, Kathleen said.

Maura Murray's Saturn sedan crashed on Route 112 near Haverhill in northern New Hampshire at about 7 p.m. Feb. 9, hours after Murray left campus. She was gone when police arrived about 10 minutes later.

There were no footprints in the snow, and search dogs could not pick up her scent.

With the investigation well past the search-and-rescue phase, police are at a standstill trying to determine why Murray, a promising student and athlete, appears to have walked away from her college life.

A number of fresh leads have developed during the past three weeks, but none have proved fruitful, according to New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Bret Beausoleil. Nobody knows if Murray wandered into the woods and perished or if she was kidnapped.

The more time that goes by, the more concerned you get, but there is nothing we have found to point one way or the other, Beausoleil said.

Murray left UMass on the afternoon of Feb. 9. She cleaned out her dorm room as if she were leaving for good; did a MapQuest search for directions to Burlington, Vt.; took $280 in cash out of her bank account; and E-mailed her bosses and professors to say she would be away for personal reasons.

Kathleen Murray said she talked to her sister regularly to chat. Like all of their phone conversations, the one on Feb. 5 was about regular stuff, just-trying-to-get-through-the-day' kinds of things, she said.

When I heard she was crying after that, I couldn't understand why, especially because it's not like her to cry, she said.

Last week, Kathleen Murray and her brother Fred found a pair of women's underwear on a roadside in Haverhill. DNA testing had not been completed as of yesterday.

Sgt. Beausoleil said another tip, from a woman who was walking on Route 112 in Bath, N.H., on Feb. 9, also could not help investigators develop a criminal case.

The woman reported a suspicious man in a red pickup truck with Massachusetts plates eyeing her near the Stage Stop general store in Bath at about 7 that night.

According to the woman, the man left when she went into the store and headed east toward the accident scene. Ten minutes later, the woman saw Haverhill police go by in the same direction, responding to the accident.

She didn't have a license plate number, so that doesn't give us anything, Beausoleil said. We don't feel confident it's connected.

Joe McGee may be reached at jmcgee@ledger.com.

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Massachusetts Daily Collegian
September 9, 2004

UMass student still missing since winter
By Dan O'Brien, Collegian Staff

For the parents of many University of Massachusetts students, the start of the school year marks the beginning of a separation period, at least until the holidays. But while some parents are lingering on their child's last goodbye hug, the family of one UMass student is still trying to piece together the disappearance of their daughter from the University campus last winter.

22-year-old Maura Murray, a nursing student, is still missing after 7 months. It was February 9, 2004 when the Hanson, Mass. resident packed up her belongings from her Kennedy Hall dorm room, drove her car to New Hampshire and got into a minor car accident. After the accident, she vanished without a trace. She has not been seen or heard from since that cold February evening.

Maura's parents, Laurie and Fred Murray, have said all along that her daughter had excellent grades. Murray was a Dean's list student a track star in high school, and a close friend to many.

Murray has described her daughter's relationship with her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rauch of Oklahoma as "a very, very good relationship." However, Maura's family and friends suspect foul play was involved in the young woman's disappearance.

Events leading up to her disappearance

There are clues indicating that Maura Murray may have had some personal troubles just before she left UMass.

Maura allegedly left her campus job the Thursday before she disappeared and co-workers described her state as upset and troubled, according to WCVB-TV.

In an interview with WCVB-TV, Maura's older sister, Kathleen Murray of Hanover, Mass., admitted that she had a phone conversation with Maura that evening.

"It was just a regular phone call. It made no difference to me. It was just Maura calling me, that was that. I told her about my day and quarreling with my fiance'," Murray said. "I don't know what I could have done to upset her... Seriously, I think she just wanted to get out of work."

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza is one of the lead investigators on the Murray case. He disputes Kathleen Murray's statement about her sister trying to leave work early.

"It wasn't a case where she called the supervisor and said, 'Listen, I've had a bad phone call...' The supervisor on her own initiative said, 'Why don't you take the rest of the night off? I'll walk you to your dorm.' So clearly she was upset," Scarinza told WCVB-TV.

It was less than four days later when Maura decided to leave UMass. She apparently had some type of plan before for her departure.

In the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 9th Maura performed an Internet search for directions to Burlington, VT and the Berkshires.

"Sometime between Sunday and Monday morning, she packed up all her belongings in her dorm room, to include taking all her pictures off the walls, taking everything out of her bureaus, [and] put them all in boxes [and] left [them] on her bed," Scarinza told WCVB-TV, "[She] left a personal note to her boyfriend on top of the boxes."

Maura Murray's vehicle was then found in the town of Haverhill, N.H. crashed and abandoned on the side of the road. Her doors were reportedly locked and a few items had been removed from her car.

Authorities did not begin their search for Murray until Feb. 11, to the dismay of her parents.

A possible link

It was only about one month after Maura's disappearance when another disappearance of a young woman shocked the northern New England region where Maura was last seen.

17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Montgomery, VT disappeared March 19th after leaving her restaurant job.

About one hour after she left work, her car was found backed into an abandoned barn about 1 1/2 miles away. Her disappearance took place only 90 miles from where Maura was last seen.

The Murray family has publicly said they are not disregarding the idea that there may be a link between the two disappearances.

"If you think about it, both of them had minor accidents and they both disappeared without a trace," Laurie Murray told the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Both the families of Murray and Maitland have publicly said they want their respective law enforcement agencies to investigate further if there is a missing link between the two disappearances. Police are not dismissing the link theory, but have said it is unlikely.

"It's hard to believe you'd have that bad of luck," said Scarinza, "We are open minded to anything, but there is no evidence to suggest the cases are related."

No new leads

On July 13th, a search of the woods was conducted, which involved about 90 people. It covered a one-mile radius from where Maura was last seen. Officials recovered several articles of clothing, but none of the items found were linked to Murray.

"As of this date, none of the clothing items recovered appears to have belonged to Maura or appear to be linked to her disappearance. Of the miscellaneous items that were located by the searchers to include several bottles and other products, they do not appear to have any relevance to Maura's disappearance," said Scarinza.

Laurie Murray recently reiterated that no new information has been found. "We continue to never give up hope and we pray," Murray said.

Scarinza said he is hoping someone from UMass might come forward with new information regarding Maura's disappearance. His hope is that Maura did confide in someone as to why she decided to leave school.

"We don't know why Maura left school... Clearly it was her intention to leave school. Clearly she had a destination in mind when she came up north. What clearly did not make sense was that she didn't confide in anyone," Scarinza said.

He went on to say that he is not worried about finding alcohol or drugs if someone were to speak up. "I'm just worried about finding Maura," he said.

Anyone who has any information about the disappearance of Maura Murray is urged to call New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Robert Bruno. His phone number is 603-846-3333. All calls can remain confidential.

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The Caledonian-Record
February 18, 2004

Missing Woman
Police Chasing Regionwide Leads
By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL NEW HAMPSHIRE - Haverhill police officers and detectives from New Hampshire State Police Troop F are receiving leads from all points in New England regarding a missing 21-year-old Massachusetts woman.

"This search has gone nationwide," Haverhill Police Chief Jeffery Williams said in a phone conversation late Tuesday afternoon.

Williams' four-person police department, which includes himself, has been investigating the disappearance of Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass. They, along with detectives from Troop F, have been receiving leads from all over New England.

Murray is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds and has long dark brown hair and blue eyes, She was involved in a one-car accident about 7 p.m. Feb. 9.

Her car failed to negotiate a sharp curve and went off the road. Her father, Fred Murray, said it was a minor accident.

A resident who lives near the accident scene told police Murray was asked if she wanted police or emergency medical services called. She reportedly said no. That was the last time anyone has seen the young woman, who reportedly crashed her father's vehicle two days before she crashed her own car, a black 1996 Saturn bearing Massachusetts plates.

According to police, Murray was not injured in the accident. However, she was reportedly impaired due to alcohol consumption when she was seen by her car after her accident.

Williams said his department has received a number of calls in connection with Murray's disappearance, but he will not comment on them because of the ongoing investigation.

The person who saw Murray after the accident also was at the scene when officers arrived.

Williams wouldn't comment concerning what the witness had said about Murray's disappearance between the time of the accident and the time officers arrived.

"We don't know if someone picked her up," Williams said. "We are certainly concerned about that (possibility). We are getting leads from all over New England. It's a national investigation at this point."

Maura's father and her fiance, Bill Rausch, who is a second lieutenant with C Battery, 119th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla., have been joined by relatives and friends in their search for the 21-year-old woman. She is a student in the University of Massachusetts nursing program at Amherst.

They have been scouring areas on both sides of the Connecticut River, hoping to find someone who may have seen Maura or have information as to what happened to her after the accident.

Williams said although a search for her was called off last week, the investigation is continuing. He said New Hampshire Fish and Game is in charge of searches. "I don't see a need for a search until we have a (solid) lead," Williams said.

In addition to officers from his department, and detectives, including Sgt. Bob Bruno from Troop F, Vermont State Police also are playing a part in the investigation.

Williams said information about Murray as been entered into the National Crime Information Center computer systems.

Anyone who has seen Murray is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333 or 603-271-1170. People also can call the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.

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WCAX
February 19, 2004

Police Suspend Search for Missing Woman

Haverhill, New Hampshire - Police used a helicopter and scent dogs to search two square miles of the wooded area where 21-year-old Maura Murray was last seen. But still, no sign of the missing college student.

"We were not able to come up with any conclusive clues for us to continue,"said Lt. Todd Bogardus of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Police say Murray told her employer she'd be gone for a week to deal with some family issues. She drove to New Hampshire and crashed her car on this sharp curve on Route 112 in Haverhill. She told witnesses she did not want help and took off before police arrived, leaving her car behind.

"This is unprecedented. She's not irresponsible. For her not to call, means to me she is not able to call, and that frightens me," says Fred Murray, Maura's father.

Maura's family and friends have plastered her picture on 1,500 posters all over New Hampshire and Vermont, hoping someone has seen her.

"The way we're getting through is the same way we want Maura to get through, just not giving up. We're not giving up and we don't want her to give up," says Bill Rausch, Maura's boyfriend.

The search party has taken over a Wells River motel, looking for leads, waiting and hoping. They say they're frustrated Maura was last seen on February 9th, but police didn't start looking for her until February 11th, 36 hours later.

"This is a rural area, not many people, not much crime, so when something big comes up, it's a strain on the capabilities of the local police," says Fred Murray.

Police stress that even though their formal search has ended, this case is still very much open. They want to hear from anyone who may have seen Maura Murray.

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Massachusetts Daily Collegian
January 31, 2006

New developments in search for missing UMass student

Almost two years after her disappearance, University of Massachusetts Amherst students can still see flyers posted around town, the word “Missing” printed above Maura Murray’s now-familiar face.

Her story remains at a grisly stand-still as her family voices disappointment with New Hampshire authorities.

The 21-year-old nursing student disappeared on Feb. 9, 2004 after leaving her dorm room in Kennedy Hall at UMass and heading through New Hampshire. Maura’s parents suspected foul play from the beginning, yet many investigators still say Maura ran away, or took her own life.

Prior to her disappearance, Maura withdrew $280 from an ATM and e-mailed her professors to tell them she was going home for the week because of a death in the family, although there had been no death.

Around 7 p.m. that evening, she crashed her car into a snow bank on Route 112 in New Hampshire, several miles from the Vermont border. Police say a witness offered help, but Maura refused and told the witness not to call police. The witness also told officials that she seemed to be intoxicated, but uninjured. When emergency workers arrived, Maura had vanished, and most of her belongings were left behind in the car.

Police said they see no evidence of foul play after searching the scene of Maura’s minor car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. However Maura’s parents feel that investigators should take a fresh look in efforts to recover their daughter. The Murray family feels police do not take seriously the possibility that Maura may have been abducted.

Maura’s father, Fred Murray, met with Gov. John Lynch last year to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation. Since then, Murray has sued Lynch, state police and other law enforcement agencies in the hope of obtaining information from the investigation, such as accident reports, an inventory of items taken from her car, a copy of her computer hard drive, and a surveillance tape from a liquor store where she made a purchase.

The lawsuit claims that Murray was denied this information because the records are confidential, and their release would constitute an invasion of privacy. On Thursday, a New Hampshire judge ruled against Murray in the lawsuit.

“Release of the records could jeopardize the investigation and lead to, among other things, destruction of evidence, intimidation of witnesses and loss of communications with entities providing confidential information,” wrote Grafton Superior Judge Timothy Vaughn in his ruling.

Police have said that they talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear. However, Murray says that he hasn’t gotten any feedback from the governmental investigators in several months. This leads the family to wonder if the investigation into Maura’s disappearance is ongoing.

The idea that Maura could still be in danger is the most compelling reason for disclosing the information because it could aid in locating her, according to the suit.

Though investigators might write off this notion because it is based on a “gut feeling,” Murray insists that he knew his daughter too well to believe that she would go missing on her own accord. He believes it more likely that she was the victim of foul play.

Skepticism of the New Hampshire authorities’ fortitude in finding their daughter has led the family to take the investigation under their wings as best they can. Along with continually searching the wooded area where Murray disappeared, Fred Murray has gone in search of clues in the area’s local bars, hoping to overhear any information that could lead him in the right direction.

Additionally, licensed private detectives took on the case, thanks to the Molly Bish Foundation, which has partnered with the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts. Since last year, the program has offered free investigative services to the unsolved cases of missing women, some of which date back to 1984.

The new private investigations intend to re-examine the angles of Maura’s case, and re-interview everyone involved.

There is also new publicity being focused on Maura’s disappearance, which might lead to a greater public outreach and efforts to help her safe recovery. ABC newsmagazine “20/20” will feature Maura’s case next month.

A Web site being maintained for Maura at www.mauramurray.com says that a $40,000 reward is being offered for any information that might help Maura’s safe return.

Maura had transferred to UMass from the U.S. Military Academy after spending three semesters at West Point. She was on the roster of the UMass women’s track and field team and worked in a local art gallery. Friends and family described her as a quiet woman who didn’t mingle much with classmates.

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The Caledonian Record
Friday, April 2, 2004

K-9 Teams To Search For Murray
By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL NEW HAMPSHIRE - Family and friends say they have not given up hope that 21-year-old Maura Murray, of Hanson, Mass., will be found.

Although an official air and ground search was declared concluded by New Hampshire Fish and Game and Troop F State Police officials in February, K-9 teams from the Adirondack Rescue Dog Association will resume their search of the Haverhill area this weekend.

Sharon Rausch, whose son, Billy, is Murray's fiance-to-be, said she, her son and Murray's family have not given up hope she will be found and safely returned.

However, Rausch said they also know a lot of time has elapsed since Murray's black 1996 Saturn was found off the road near The Weathered Barn along Route 112, about a mile east of the hamlet of Swiftwater, Feb. 9.

This weekend, like last weekend, K-9 teams from the Adirondack Rescue Dog Association will conduct a search of the area surrounding the accident site.

Rausch said one of the teams is Marilyn Greene, a team trainer and private investigator, and her K-9, Buddy, from Guilderland, N.Y.

Fred Murray, Maura's father, said he was impressed by the teams when they searched the area last weekend. He will be returning to the accident scene this weekend to search areas not being searched by the K-9 teams.

On another front, Rausch is enlisting the help of University of Massachusetts at Amherst officials. Maura was a junior nursing student there.

Rausch is asking them to send an e-mail message to the university's 40,000 students through a blind e-mailer between April 15 and 20.

The e-mail will read, "Please help us find Maura. Please forward this to all the contacts in your address book."

The e-mail will contain information about what Maura looks like as well as information about the accident which she was involved in the night of Feb. 9.

"It will literally (reach) hundreds of thousands of people," Rausch said.

She is holding off sending out the e-mail right now because about 15,000 posters are being distributed in Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as at UMass.

Rausch also wants to do something special for Maura's 22nd birthday May 4. Initially, she wanted to have balloons released.

However, she said the family and friends will ask people to tie blue ribbons around trees as well as to their car antennas.

The following message also will be released May 4: "Maura's family prays for her safe return on her birthday."

Maura is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds, has blue-green eyes and curly brown hair.

She is soft-spoken and is an avid runner, logging between five and six miles daily.

People with any information should call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636, or the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.

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CNN - American Morning
February 17, 2004
Mystery Disappearance

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The disappearance of a Massachusetts nursing student has her family, her friends and police now searching for answers. Twenty-one-year-old Maura Murray was last seen a week ago, after her car crashed on a rural highway in northern New Hampshire. Despite a frantic search, Maura's trail seems to have vanished.

Joining us this morning from a motel in Wells River, Vermont, which has now become a home base for the searchers, Maura's father, Fred Murray, and her boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Bill Rausch.

Thank you for joining us, gentlemen, both of you. I appreciate it. I know this is such a strained and difficult story.

Lieutenant Rausch, I'd like to start with you. The details are bizarre. Maura disappeared on Monday under very strange circumstances. Why don't you describe what you know about what happened?

LT. BILL RAUSCH, U.S. ARMY, MISSING WOMAN'S BOYFRIEND: Well, as far as we know, we are not exactly sure what did happen. However, I did receive a phone call from Maura as well as an e-mail Monday afternoon that said that she wanted to talk with me and for me to call her back.

I received Tuesday morning last week right after the accident another voice mail, a chilling voice mail that was what I believed to be Maura whimpering and crying in the background.

O'BRIEN: Did she say anything in that message, anything specific? Or was it only what you can hear was crying?

RAUSCH: I could only hear breathing, and then towards the end of the voice mail I heard what was apparent to be crying and then a whimper, which I'm certain was Maura.

O'BRIEN: Mr. Murray, let's back up a little bit. Maura had taken some money out of the ATM, had e-mailed her professor saying that she was going to miss some classes because of a family situation, and gotten in her car and headed north. Does anyone have any idea where she was headed, where she was going?

FRED MURRAY, FATHER OF MISSING STUDENT: We think because of the general direction she was traveling that she was going to an area that she's familiar with, which would be up in the White Mountains where we used to camp and hike. But the whole thing came on so suddenly that I know the night before she had no such plans. I spoke to her, and she was due to talk to me Monday night, but I don't think she was able to.

O'BRIEN: Was it typical at all for her to throw stuff in a car and say, hey, you know, I'm going to get out of town for a couple of days and just, you know, make a snap decision like that overnight? Or would that be very unusual for her?

MURRAY: She had never done it before, and no one that knows her can explain it. She's a very dependable kid, and she follows through on what she says she's going to do. And, again, I don't think that she was able to in this case.

O'BRIEN: She called you on a voice mail, Lieutenant Rausch, after this accident, and a local person stopped to help her, and she kind of waved them off. They say maybe she had been drinking even, but waved them off and said, no, no, no, I'm fine, I'm fine. She had sort of plowed into a little bit of a snow bank. Give me a sense of what the locals have been able to tell you about what happened after that, the last person who saw her, because other people saw her around the car, isn't that right?

RAUSCH: Yes. In fact, according to the local authorities, as well as eyewitnesses, Maura was seen at the vehicle not more than a minute before the authorities arrived at the scene, which leads us to believe that she was either picked up by an individual immediately after eyewitnesses saw her, or she walked up the road and was picked up then. The police themselves conducted a very thorough search with the Fish and Game folks here in the area, and with a dog scent leading only a few hundred feet from the accident and abruptly stopping, which again suggests that someone did, in fact, pick her up.

O'BRIEN: So, with her professor saying that nursing students are notoriously reliable young people, what do you think has happened? Do you think that there has been foul play at all? Do you think, especially in light of this phone message that you have of crying and whimpering, do you have any theories on what might have happened to Maura?

RAUSCH: Well, we're uncertain obviously of exactly did happen. But as Fred said, this is completely out of character in regard to her not being able to contact us. She had planned to call Fred that evening, her father. She had planned on calling me, wanted me to return her phone call. And if she were able to do so, we are 100 percent certain that she would have done exactly that.

O'BRIEN: Well, we're showing her picture, and we're certainly hopeful that if anybody has seen her or anyone has any information about Maura Murray that they will get in touch with you immediately. Obviously lots of people are worried about the status of this young woman.

Thank you for talking with us this morning. We certainly we wish you the best of luck in your search.

RAUSCH: Thank you.

MURRAY: Thank you.

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Boston Globe
January 29, 2006

Father seeks data on a lost daughter - After two years, an appeal is filed
By Russell Nichols

The father of Maura Murray, the Massachusetts woman who vanished on a rural New Hampshire roadside almost two years ago, will file an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court in an effort to get case records that could help him find his daughter, his lawyer said.

Last week, a Superior Court judge denied Frederick Murray access to the records, saying releasing them may impede the probe.

But the lawyer, Timothy Ervin of Chelmsford, argued that the information falls under the state's right-to-know law and should be disclosed.

''They can't just, with a broad stroke, say everything's exempt," Ervin said. ''This is a missing-person's case. It's not a criminal investigation."

Murray had sued a number of agencies, including the attorney general's office and the State Police, after he was denied accident reports, an inventory of items taken from her car, and a copy of his daughter's computer hard drive, among other records.

Grafton County Judge Timothy J. Vaughan wrote that ''review of the records is not warranted because the evidence proffered confirms that Maura's case is an on-going criminal investigation and because disclosure of the records could interfere with law enforcement proceedings."

But Murray knows his daughter better than anyone, Ervin said, and somewhere in the stacks of 2,500 pages of records may be a phone number, an e-mail address, or a name that gives him a clue.

''We want to add to what the police have done and see if we find something new," Ervin said.

Right now, he said, Murray doesn't even have a complete timeline of events for Feb. 9, 2004, the day Maura Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, disappeared after a minor car accident on Route 112. With the appeal, he said, Murray hopes that the court will release at least some of the documents so Murray and the private investigators he hired can try to figure something out.

Maura Murray's boyfriend does not understand the decision either. ''I really don't see why such a request would not be granted," said Army Captain Bill Rausch, 25, now stationed in Lawton, Okla. ''If nothing else, we're just asking to be put on the same playing field."

The day Murray disappeared, officials and family members had said she lied to a professor and the campus art gallery where she worked, informing them through e-mails that she needed to return to her hometown of Hanson because of a death in the family.

Driving on the rural highway, she crashed into a snowbank. A witness offered to help Murray, but she declined, and the witness alerted the police. When police arrived, she was gone. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Murray, a former top student and track standout at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, was described by friends and family as a responsible young woman who was very close to her family, particularly her father. She spent three semesters studying chemical engineering at the US Military Academy at West Point before transferring to UMass.

Family and friends have a website with news about the inquiry, and with data to remember her, at www.mauramurray.com.

Russell Nichols can be reached at rnichols@globe.com.

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Boston Globe/Valley News
August 7, 2007

Group helps search for missing student
By Associated Press

HAVERHILL, N.H. - A missing persons' group is getting involved in the search for a University of Massachusetts nursing student who went missing in New Hampshire over three years ago. Arkansas-based Let's Bring Them Home is offering a $75,000 reward for information that could solve the mystery of Maura Murray, who disappeared Feb. 9, 2004. Her car left the road on Route 112 in Haverhill but she was gone when police arrived. The group's toll-free tip line is 866-479-5284.

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New Hampshire Sunday News / New Hampshire Union Leader
October 28, 2007

Missing Maura Murray - Four years and countless questions - What happened? Theories abound
By Nancy West

During the nearly four years since Maura Murray vanished, dozens of questions have been posed and theories weighed on Web sites and in various accounts of what may have happened in Haverhill on the night of Feb. 9, 2004.

There have been hundreds of pages of Web chatter in which amateur sleuths try to solve Maura's mystery.

Why did Maura, 21, pack her room at University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., before heading for New Hampshire that night?

Did she call on a calling card sobbing and shivering to her boyfriend, Billy Rausch, 36 hours after she disappeared?

Why was a rag stuffed in the tailpipe of her crashed car?

Was Maura upset because of a hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a fellow student on campus days before she left?

Chatroom investigators have tried to dredge up fresh leads while the people holding the best information have remained tight-lipped because Maura Murray's case is now being treated as a potential homicide.

"It's an open, ongoing case, which limits our ability to say anything substantial," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin.

"Part of the difficulty is people try to ascribe importance to different facts, and, realistically, the true importance won't be known until the case is solved. We may think a piece of information is not important and not know its impact until down the road, when it turns out it's done damage to the case."

If you know something

State Police are actively investigating every lead into the disappearance of Maura Murry and make an appeal to the public for any information by contacting New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333 or 800-525-5555.

Rag in the tailpipe

Some have speculated the rag found stuffed in the tailpipe of the black 1996 Saturn Maura crashed in Haverhill indicated either a suicide try by carbon monoxide or a predator's ploy to make the car stall.

But Mike Lavoie of Lavoie's Auto Care Center in Haverhill, who towed the Saturn that night, said he later spoke with Maura's father, Fred Murray, about the rag. Lavoie said it couldn't have been used in that manner as part of a suicide attempt.

"Her father said he told her to put it in, that it would keep the car from smoking. It didn't run that well," Lavoie said.

Dorm room packed

Although police believe the belongings packed in Maura's dorm room were another indication she had no intention to return, the mother of Maura's then-boyfriend has another explanation.

Sharon Rausch thinks Maura hadn't yet unpacked her things after a long Christmas break. During one of Maura's visits to the Rausch home, Mrs. Rausch tried to loan her an extra suitcase, only to discover it hadn't been unpacked.

That made Maura laugh, Sharon Rausch said.

"Maura said, You're just like me. I unpack as I use my things.' That's out of her own mouth. Maybe she just never unpacked."

Trembling message

After finally getting emergency leave to head north to search for Maura, Billy Rausch -- at the time an Army lieutenant stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. -- was going through airport security early Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004, and had to shut off his cell phone.

When he turned the phone back on, he discovered someone had left a voice-mail, he later told his mother.

"He said, Mom, it's Maura. She didn't say anything. She's shivering and cold,'" Mrs. Rausch said.

Billy tried to return the call but found its source to be a prepaid calling card.

Since that time, police say, they have tracked that call to a Red Cross assigned to working on Billy's emergency leave. And the troubling sounds in the recorded message, they say, were merely the result of a bad connection.

That explanation doesn't make sense to Mrs. Rausch, who said she was working with the Red Cross on Billy's leave, and therefore any calls from the organization would have gone to her, rather than to her son.

Distraught on the job

Mrs. Rausch said Maura worked security late Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, into Friday morning checking students in and out of a UMass dormitory. Maura's supervisor that night said she found her sobbing at about 1:20 a.m. and had to help her back to Murray's room.

The source of her distress, Maura told the supervisor, was a phone conversation with Murray's sister.

Since married, Kathleen Carpenter remembers finishing a phone call with Maura at about 10:20 the night of Feb. 5, but doesn't recall talking with her sister in the early-morning hours.

Kathleen, who said she had talked about troubles with her husband-to-be during the nighttime conversation with Maura, said her sister didn't seem upset.

But, she added, Maura and Billy were having relationship troubles at the time. Kathleen said she takes sleeping pills at night and didn't remember a later call.

"We'd always talk about boy troubles. She was with Billy Rausch and every time they got into a fight or if had a fight with my (now) husband, I'd call her. It was girl talk, always late at night," Carpenter said.

She believes her sister went to the White Mountains to sort out her troubles with Billy.

"I think it was stress. I don't know what her and her boyfriend were going through," Carpenter said. "I kind of think that might have triggered it. They weren't getting along at that time.

"She wanted to go to a place that made her happy and look at the mountains, and something went terribly wrong."

Campus hit-and-run

A series of reports in Murray's hometown newspaper, the Hanson (Mass.) Express, raised the question of whether Maura could have been involved late that same Thursday night or early Friday morning when fellow student Petrit Vasi of Dorchester was injured in an apparent hit-and-run accident about 112 miles from the dorm where Maura worked.

Vasi's mother, Aprhodite Vasi, said her son has recovered but still doesn't remember what happened to him that night at about 12:20 a.m. Mrs. Vasi was told at the emergency room her son was involved in a hit-an-run accident, but there was never a follow-up investigation, Mrs. Vasi said.

Mrs. Vasi said Petrit remained in a coma for two months and remained hospitalized for a month after that. He had to cut short rehabilitation therapy, she said, because his insurance ran out.

"He doesn't know what happened, and nobody investigated for him," Mrs. Vasi said.

Sharon Rausch doesn't believe Maura was involved in the accident that injured Petrit. Murray couldn't have left her job long enough to be at the accident scene and return to the dorm, Rausch said.

Police also don't appear to be pursuing a Vasi-Murray link.

New Hamsphire State Police have stated that Maura was involved in only two recent accidents: the one in which she crashed her father's new Toyota in Hadley, Mass., and another that occurred about 40 hours later, when she hit a stand of trees in Haverhill with the black Saturn.

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Massachusetts Daily Collegian
January 26, 2005

Missing student’s parents angry over police investigation

It has been almost one year since University of Massachusetts junior Maura Murray vanished without a trace. As her family and friends continue to hope and pray for her safe return, they have also expressed anger with the New Hampshire State Police who allegedly botched the investigation.

The 21-year-old nursing student from Hanson, Mass. packed up her belongings in her Kennedy Hall dorm room on February 9, 2004. In recent months, the Murray family has discovered that police have made several critical errors in the investigation, and allegedly lied to the news media.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 9th, Maura was driving on route 112 in Haverhill, NH, police said. As she was trying to negotiate a curve, her car slid off the road.

According to witnesses, after the crash Maura appeared to be frightened, but physically unharmed. A passing school bus driver stopped and asked Maura if she needed help, but she refused saying she had already called “Triple A” from her cell phone. However, there was no cell phone service in that area. The bus driver said he drove a short distance to his home and called police, but Maura had left the scene before they arrived. It appeared as if she had disappeared into the cold night.

Neither the New Hampshire State Police nor Haverhill, NH Police questioned anybody who lived in the vicinity of where Maura was last seen until 36 hours after her disappearance. This is just one in a series of critical errors that that has angered the Murray family.

In a June interview with WCVB-TV, the police officer in charge of the investigation, Lt. John Scarinza of the New Hampshire State Police, Troop F, claimed that authorities had found a note in Maura’s dorm room that she had wrote to her boyfriend, Army Lt. Billy Rausch of Ohio, indicating troubles in their relationship.

“Sometime between Sunday and Monday morning, she packed up all her belongings in her dorm room, to include taking all her pictures off the walls, taking everything out of her bureaus, [and] put them all in boxes [and] left [them] on her bed,” Scarinza told WCVB-TV, “[She] left a personal note to her boyfriend on top of the boxes.”

Maura’s mother, Laurie Murray, told the Daily Collegian in August that the relationship between her daughter and Rausch was a “very, very good relationship.”

Raush’s mother, Sharon Rausch, reiterated that statement in a recent interview. She said there was a point where the couple’s relationship was rocky in the spring of 2002, but they had resolved their problems by summer and had a good relationship since then.

Her son arrived at Maura’s dorm room with police just two days after she went missing. He said there was no recent letters to him from Maura that were found. “There is no note,” Sharon Raush said.

Maura’s father, Fred Murray, sent a letter to New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson on May 21, 2004 asking him to persuade State Police to receive assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the search for his daughter. Murray never received a response.

Since then, Murray has applied for a Freedom of Information Act in order to receive more information about the investigation.

“After writing to the governor, I appealed again to the attorney general and the district attorney of Grafton County, but I don’t expect anything,” Murray said.

Murray has been traveling to New Hampshire to search for his daughter almost every weekend since her disappearance.

“This place is like the old west,” Murray said as he described the atmosphere of Northern New Hampshire.

Murray said part of his search has included hanging out in local bars in hopes to overhear a conversation in which someone mentions something about Maura. Murray said he has been actively investigating his daughter’s disappearance himself because he does not trust the police to conduct a proper investigation. “These guys can’t catch a cold,” he said.

Murray said his main frustration is that police refuse to investigate “scenario number 4.” Lt. Scarniza told the Daily Collegian in August that the police investigation has led them to believe Maura “left on her own volition.” This would lead one to believe Maura either ran away, committed suicide, or suffered from hypothermia. The Murrays disagreed and believe she was abducted.

Fred Murray believes the police do not want to admit there is a predator in their small, rural community.

“There’s a bad guy on their turf in their backyard,” Murray said. “The skunk is on their doorstep.”

While the Murray family has been disputing facts about the police investigation, yet another troubling piece of information came to light in October 2004 when Sharon Rausch was reviewing Maura’s cell phone records. The cell phone was given to Maura by her boyfriend, which was purchased in his mother’s name. Rausch came across the last two numbers Maura called three hours before she disappeared.

The first number was to a UMass Amherst dormitory. The number appeared to be a dead end for investigators because the person who lived there likely moved on.

Rausch decided to call the second number, which was to Dominic and Linda Salamone of Wakefield, Mass. In the course of Raush’s conversation with Linda Salamone, she claims that she realized the Salamones own a condo in Bartlett, NH — the same condo association the Murray family vacationed in years past.

Although the phone call was one of the last Maura made before she went missing, the Salamones said police never once contacted them. The couple did not learn of their part of the story until being contacted by Rausch, eight months after Maura vanished.

“I was speechless,” Rausch recalled, “and that doesn’t happen to me very often.”

Fred Murray explained that this new information is another piece of evidence that points to Maura being abducted.

“She had a destination,” Murray said. “She was on route 112, which goes right to Bartlett… [The police] will do anything to avoid saying ‘number 4.'”

This new information does not back up the NH State Police theory that Maura ran away or committed suicide because it would be unlikely for her to rent a condo if she was planning on running away. Before she left UMass, she contacted her professors stating there was a death in the family, when there was no such death.

Many people believe she was taking time off from school to deal with the stress of a recent car crash in which she caused $10,000 worth of damage to her father’s vehicle. In addition, Maura’s school textbooks were found in the vehicle.

Sharon Rausch and Fred Murray have both said they could not be unhappier with the police investigation.

“It’s clear they have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with the truth or finding Maura,” said Rausch.

More bad news hit the Murray family this past October. Maura’s mother, Laurie Murray was diagnosed with throat cancer. According to Rausch, she has already undergone 30 days of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and has been doing better. Rausch said Murray has told people she is going to beat the cancer so she can see Maura come home.

The Daily Collegian has made several attempts to contact New Hampshire State Police for information regarding this article, but calls were not returned.

Rausch asks anyone who would like to help keep hope for Maura to pray, wear a blue ribbon, or light an electric- or battery-operated candle until she comes home.

On their official Web site, New Hampshire State Police have asked anyone with information regarding Maura’s disappearance to call Sgt. Robert Bruno at 603-846-3333. The Murray family asks those with information to either call police or contact them through their “Maura’s Missing” Web site at http://www.mauramurray.com

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North Country News
January 13, 2006

Private Investigators Work For Free To Find Maura Murray

In early January, members of The NHLI, and other investigators, began working on the Maura Murray case.

In Feb. 2004 college student Maura Murray disappeared while traveling through New Hampshire. Despite extensive efforts by the State and Local Police and Dept. of Fish and Game, she has not been found.

The Board of Directors of The New Hampshire League of Investigators, Inc. voted, unanimously, to take on the task of helping the family. NHLI is the only Professional Association of licensed investigators in the State.

The volunteers come from the NHLI and three surrounding states and are working with the support of the Molly Bish Foundation and other entities, such as S.T.A.L.K, Inc,.

Team members will follow the path set down by their colleagues in Mass. during their recent investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Fay over 15 years ago. That investigation has led to several recent K-9 searches.

Some of the volunteers have met with members of the family to review the case and have reviewed all of the press coverage associated with the case. The volunteers then held a team meeting in New Hampshire, on Jan. 3, 2006, to further review the case and determine future action.

The team consists of several Investigators from New Hampshire, one from Vermont, two from Massachusetts and one from Maine. Some are retired from law enforcement, some are career private investigators and one is a retired Fire Chief from New Hampshire. All have offered their services pro bono.

The team has gathered all of the media coverage for study as well as topographical maps of the area and are in communication, regularly with the family. They also hope to serve as an interface between the family and law enforcement.

"There are many things that law enforcement does that they can not reveal, even to the family", said NHLI President John Healy, "We will try to help the family understand these things and the whole process, while letting them know this is still being actively investigated by the volunteers as well as law enforcement."

Members of the team will visit the area in early February to begin the familiarization process.

To learn more about the case visit: Mauramurray.com and to learn more about the Association visit: WWW.NHLI.Net.

It is well known that Maura Murray’s family has stated on several occasions that police have not done enough to find the missing woman. Murray was 21 when she disappeared on the evening of February 9, 2004.

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Northcountry News
Around July 28, 2006

Maura Murray, 2 1/2 Years After Her Disappearance
A Letter From Her Family

A Northcountry News Exsclusive

Our thanks to the Northcountry News and its Publisher Bryan Flagg for allowing the family of Maura Murray to 'speak' to its readers. As many of you know, Maura disappeared on February 9, 2004. She was last seen on Route 112 after a single car crash. Much has been said about Maura in the media and local coffee shops over the last two and a half years. Many of you have formed opinions of what happened and of Maura and her family based on what has been presented in the media and sometimes based on inaccurate rumors.

Maura is so much more than what has been presented in most of the papers. She is more than a missing person. Maura is a Missed Person, she is a daughter, a sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend. My favorite quote about Maura is by one of her friends: "If you wanted to make a person, you would make her just like her." said Katie Jones a close friend of Maura's since grade school."

She is an accomplished athlete, a very intelligent young woman who was attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a scholarship while working two part-time jobs to help pay her expenses. She had scored 1420 on her SAT (740 in Math) and had been majoring in Chemical Engineering at West Point when she transferred to UMass in late January 2002. Maura continued her pursuit of Chemical Engineering Degree through her first two semesters at UMass until she decided she would rather be in the medical field.

Maura had been recruited by many schools to run track and cross country. She competed in Track and Cross Country for both West Point and UMass Amherst until the fall of 2003. As a high school freshman, she played point guard on the girls' varsity basketball team and was a good softball pitcher.

Maura also loved to camp and hike, and her favorite camping and vacation spot is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Her father had been taking the family there since she was a small child. Fred, Maura and Billy had spent a vacation together in the White Mountains in July of 2003. We know that Maura loved your area.

Was Maura perfect--no. Did she have alcohol in the car--it appears so. Was she drinking--quite possibly. Does it matter??? Maura has been missing for almost two and a half years. Our family will continue to look for her as long as we have the ability to do so. There are those who speculate that Maura took off to start a new life. Our family does not discount anything, but believes this to be the least likely scenario for many reasons. We have no idea why Maura left Amherst, or how she came to be in your area. We know that she had hand written directions to Burlington in her car, and we know she made a call to a person who rents a condo in Bartlett that afternoon. We also know that she placed a call to a Stowe, VT information line. The car she was driving had had some mechanical problems. We're not sure whether she had not yet decided which area to head to or whether she had car trouble. Because of the way her car was found with the front end facing west, but in the east bound lane, we don't even know for sure whether at the time of the accident she was headed east or west.

Though there was apparently something bothering Maura, we believe that based on the fact that she only took a couple of outfits and things like tooth whitener and text books she was going away for a couple of days to think things through. Despite some of what was in the newspapers, she was not having difficulty in her relationship with her boyfriend, Billy Rausch. In fact had sent him an email that day telling him I love you more--". Although Billy had not yet given Maura her diamond, they were openly making plans to be married after she graduated in 2005. Maura had made arrangements in January 2004 to be employed for the summer of 2004 at a hospital near Billy in Lawton OK.

We have been so focused on finding out what happened to Maura, we don't always take the time to voice our appreciation for those who have helped us in our search, those who have had the courage to tell us about rumors, those who have given so freely of their time and energy. Because we have made friends in the area, we are aware of a particularly ugly rumor being spread very effectively. I won't discuss it except to say that it is false and may hamper our ability to find out what happened--and I for one have to ask why someone would spread such malicious rumors? Why does someone feel it is necessary to add to a family's pain? Why would anyone want to put down a family searching for a missing loved one?? To me it appears that someone sees some benefit from refocusing the attention away from the essential fact--Maura Murray hasn't been seen or heard from since February 9, 2004. Her credit cards have not been used, her cell phone was never used again, and it is our understanding that there has been no activity on her social security number.

Maura wasn't perfect and yet her disappearance has touched more people than we could have imagined. Originally, our family put up a website in the hopes of providing her friends a place to talk about her. What we found is that most of her family and friends found it too painful. Instead, we have drawn many wonderful people from Haverhill and the surrounding areas. We have people posting from all over the country and Canada. We have attracted others who have lost loved ones or had painful experiences such as being abducted. Sometimes what is said on the website is controversial and sometimes there is a post that makes us realize that there is more than the controversy--such as this post by the daughter of Audrey Groat who has been missing for 13 years: thank you all for your support, this has been a good place for me to let out some of the feelings I have been carrying for so long. It means a lot to me that so many people care, and are supportive. I really appreciate it as an adult and really wish something like this could have helped us years ago, as kids."

As with Maura, Audrey Groat is more than a missing person--she was a mother whose six young daughters were left without a mom. Though there is much more information on Maura's site, I hope you will read the info presented by the Vermont State Police at http://www.dps.state...ssing/groat.htm . As with Maura--somebody knows something, not only about Audrey Groat, but others who are missing or whose murderers have not been apprehended--Tina and Bethany Sinclair, Brianna Maitland, Laura MacKenzie and so many more. It is time to come forward, even if it has to be anonymously, our families need answers.

We would like to thank the Molly Bish Foundation for their efforts on behalf of Maura and our family and those private detectives, who through the Molly Bish foundation have volunteered their time and expertise to help find out what happened to Maura; those who have spent so much time and effort trying to figure out what happened to Maura; those who have taken the time to speak with Fred or others helping us. As Maura's dad, Fred, has said, So many people have selflessly and enthusiastically given of themselves and their time, that if force of will were enough by itself, then Maura would have been back with us many months ago. When people ask me if there is anything that they can do, I tell them that I know they would already have done it if there were.

Your universally overwhelming support is a striking demonstration, yet again, of the inherent goodness of people. You can sense my gratitude, but I want your thank you" to come to you when you look in the mirror and see reflected a person who, by choice, interrupted his or her life to try to help another human being in trouble. If there is any worthier motivation than that, we'd all be hard pressed to name what it is.

In Deep Appreciation,
Fred Murray"

If you know anything or saw anything no matter how insignificant you might believe it to be, it might be the one piece of the puzzle that we are looking for. Please contact us. We can be reached at two email addresses MauraMissing@hotmail.com or MissingMaura@comcast.net. We can also be reached at MauraMurray.com, P.O. Box 466, Humarock, MA 02047. If you have a significant piece of information, you can also contact Lt. Mark Mudgett of the New Hampshire State Police, Major Crimes Unit at (603) 271-2663 and NH State Police Headquarters (603) 271-3636.

(A note from the publisher - I would like to thank the family of Maura Murray for contacting the Northcountry News and allowing us the opportunity to help in their continued efforts of finding out just what happened to Maura. The loss of a friend, a loved one, a family member is never easy for any of us, but to lose one under such bizarre circumstances is surely difficult -and the continued void of the unknown for friends and family is something that most of us will hopefully never have to come to know. It is our hope that someday soon, the family and friends of Maura Murray can at the very least have a closure to this very long and undaunted chapter in their lives.)

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The Caledonian-Record
Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Fred Murray Appeals To Governor Benson Says Police Failed His Daughter
By Gary E. Lindsley

The father of a missing 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student is appealing to Gov. Craig Benson to urge New Hampshire State Police to call in the FBI for help in finding his daughter.

Maura Murray has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car accident the evening of Feb. 9 after her black 1996 Saturn failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand curve on Route 112 in Haverhill.

"The finest resource in the world is available and you, sir, should direct Lieutenant John Scarinza and Troop F to accept its offer," Fred Murray said in his letter. "There are corollary cases in Vermont also and this entire situation begs for central coordination and investigation by an agency which is not bound by the confines of configuration of Grafton County and the Connecticut River." Scarinza is the commander of Troop F, which is based in Twin Mountain.

Murray also was referring to Brianna Maitland, 17, of Sheldon, Vt., who disappeared after she left work late the night of March 19. Her car was found partially ensconced in an abandoned building about one mile from the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery where she worked.

Murray noted the FBI offered its assistance during the week of his daughter's disappearance. However, state police declined the offer. Scarinza said the FBI was involved in background searches and gathering information in Massachusetts. He has said the state police have enough resources to conduct an investigation into Maura's disappearance.

Besides asking Benson to direct the state police to call in the FBI, Murray also has claimed state police and Haverhill police had been grossly negligent because a cruiser was not dispatched east along Route 112 to help find his daughter after her accident.

He said police arrived within minutes after Maura was last seen by an eyewitness. "This means that when the police reached the scene, Maura could have been no further than a couple of hundred yards up the road around the first corner walking away," Murray said in his letter.

Police, including Sgt. Cecil Smith of the Haverhill Police Department, were told the driver of the car was a young woman about 20 years old. "There was an empty beer bottle found in the car and in addition, there was a spider hole in the driver's side of the windshield indicating that she had struck her head at impact," Murray's letter reads.

Murray said police should have called ahead to the Woodstock Police Department so officers from that community could have driven west to intercept Maura on the dark, desolate highway.

"She was figuratively and nearly literally right there readily available to be rescued and saved from whatever fate has befallen her," Murray said in his letter. "All that the police had to do was to expend minimal mental and physical effort."

If they had done so, Murray said, Maura would be safe with him today. "Unfortunately, the police neglected to make even the most basic effort to find her and I remain without her now, and perhaps, forever," Murray's letter continued. "The onus of this irresponsible and possibly fatal lack of action lies not only with the North Haverhill force, but also with the New Hampshire State Police who responded to the 911 calls from the neighbors as well."

Another witness is believed to have spotted Maura, who is a track star and runner, about four to five miles east of the accident scene running toward Woodstock. "I get nearly physically sick when I wake up each morning and the thought of how really little effort it would have taken to rescue my daughter automatically flashes through my mind," Murray said in his letter.

In addition to sending the letter to Benson, Murray also sent copies of it to New Hampshire Attorney General Peter Heed, state police Col. Frederick Booth, and U.S. Sen. John Sununu and Judd Gregg. Alicia Preston, Benson's press secretary, said Benson had not received the letter as of late Tuesday afternoon.

However, Murray said according to tracking records on the U.S. Postal Service Web site, Benson, Heed, Booth, Sununu and Gregg's offices received the letters Monday morning. "The young women in the northern region of your state are not safe and it is clearly imperative that you act decisively before you lose another," Murray stated in his letter. "Deep within themselves, your citizens are nervously apprehensive and anxiously awaiting your response to this threat." Booth could not be reached for comment Tuesday. And Simon Brown, chief of the attorney general's criminal bureau, said he was not aware of Murray's letter.

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The Caledonian-Record
April 14, 2004

Family, Friends Warned About Trespassing - Missing Woman
By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL, NH - The investigation into the disappearance of 21-year-old University of Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray has encountered an odd twist.

Fred Murray, Maura's father, has been warned that he, other family members, friends and canine search teams face possible arrest if they trespass on private property in an area surrounding the site of Maura's accident.

Maura, a Hanson, Mass., resident and junior at the UMass Amherst campus, disappeared after she was involved in a one-car accident the night of Feb. 9 on Route 112 in Haverhill, about a mile east of Swiftwater. Fred Murray received a letter, dated April 2, from Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams warning against trespassing.

Williams states in his letter his department has received a written request from area residents complaining about repeated trespassing and parking problems on their properties.

"While they are sympathetic with the cause to find Maura, the right to quiet enjoyment of their personal property has been repeatedly and blatantly disregarded to the point that they now must insist that absolutely no one has permission to trespass on their properties," Williams wrote Murray.

The property owners, according to Williams, are specifically excluding the following from their parking lots and properties: Murray family members, friends and relatives of Maura Murray; volunteer searchers and canine handlers; private investigators; members of the press; and anyone else seeking clues or searching for Maura Murray.

"The Haverhill Police Department will honor their wishes to remove unwanted vehicles and/or ask trespassers to leave immediately," Williams wrote in his letter. "Repeat offenders will be arrested." Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter." Sharon Rausch, whose son, Billy, is Maura's boyfriend, was flabbergasted when she learned about the letter.

"I am amazed!" Rausch exclaimed. "He gets a written note, not a phone call, that he will be arrested. It's callous. I think it's callous to put something like this in writing."

Murray said if residents living in the area of Maura's accident have been offended by people searching for his daughter, he is certainly sorry. "I have not tried to cause any problems," he said.

However, Murray believes the true intent of Williams' letter is police are trying to discourage any independent searches for Maura. He also believes it is an attempt to reduce the amount of publicity Maura's disappearance has been receiving. "We have all the interviews we have wanted to do," he said. "I think it's an overreaction on the part of the police department."

If people are upset because of the search for his daughter, though, Murray said he will personally apologize to them. It's much to do about nothing," he said. "We are not worried. We will continue to act responsibly and look for my daughter."

Williams, when contacted Tuesday, would not say when the complaints were filed nor would he divulge how many were submitted to the police department.

The past several weeks of police reports from his department have not indicated there were any trespassing complaints in the area of Maura's accident. Williams said none were noted because he didn't want the people's names known.

"They have been through enough," he said, referring to property owners. "If people are caught on people's properties they will be asked to leave. We will follow the law."

In addition to trespassing, he said people have been blocking vehicles in private driveways. As law enforcers, Williams said police are forced to protect property owners.

"If my daughter was missing, I wouldn't be happy until she was found," he said. "I understand their frustration. Hopefully, we will get to a successful conclusion where Maura is alive."

When asked if he would contact Los Angeles, Calif., psychic profiler Carla Baron regarding any information she may have regarding the case, Williams said, "We don't deal directly with psychics. We deal in evidence."

He did say, though, if she has information regarding Maura, his department will follow up on it.

Baron has claimed she believes Maura "is no longer with us" and may have fallen victim to someone who has killed other women. She also has information about the person's description, vehicle he drives and area where she may be found.

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The Caledonian-Record
April 20, 2004

Residents Dispute Claims They Want Trespassers Arrested
By Gary E. Lindsley

Haverhill, NH -- People living in the area near where a 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst student went missing dispute police claims they filed complaints regarding the woman's father, relatives and searchers.

Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams sent a letter recently to Maura Murray's father, Fred, notifying him that anyone, including Fred, his family, friends, searchers and reporters, would face arrest if they continued trespassing on Haverhill residents' properties.

Maura was traveling east along Route 112 when her black 1996 Saturn failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand curve near The Weathered Barn the night of Feb. 9. She disappeared before police arrived and hasn't been seen since.

Steve Loud lives on Maguire Road, just west of The Weathered Barn. Claims the neighbors living near the accident site had gathered together to file complaints with Haverhill Police were not true, he said.

Chief Williams has refused to say when the complaints were filed as well as how many have been filed.

"The one neighbor wrote the letter saying it was all the neighbors," Loud said Monday. "It's just the people down by the barn."

He said he has told people at the Stage Coach Stop, a convenience store about a mile west of the accident site, to tell anyone wanting to look for Maura they could search his property.

"I said they can park on my land," Loud said. "I will do anything I can to help. We have been all around this hill. We didn't see any tracks."

Another neighbor, John Boutilier, also said he will do anything he can to help find Maura.

"I don't care if they come on our land," Boutilier said. "I don't have any problem with that. I think it's a most stressful situation for (Fred Murray)."

Searching people's properties, he said, certainly isn't going to hurt anyone. "It makes you wonder if someone has something to hide."

Ann Loud of Woodsville, who was visiting Steve Loud on Monday, said if she lived in the area, she would not complain about people searching for Maura.

"That's not how our community is," she said.

Faith Westman, who owns The Weathered Barn and lives across the road from it in a white house, did file a complaint with Haverhill Police about people parking their cars in the parking lot next to The Weathered Barn.

Westman said she also complained about people traipsing on her property.

"After two months, what are they looking for?" she asked. "Have we not covered enough? We really debated about saying something. We really can sympathize with the family."

Every time the police have parked near her barn or searched her property, she said, they have asked permission first to do so.

"The family has never consulted us," Westman said.

In talking about the night of the accident, she said she called it in to police.

Westman said she saw Butch Atwood, a school bus driver who lives about 100 yards east of the accident scene, stop and check on Maura.

She said she saw Maura get out of her vehicle and talk to Atwood. However, once she saw Atwood talking to Maura, she did not continue watching what was going on.

"We never suspected she would disappear," Westman said. "When the police came to our door and asked if she had come in, we were dumbfounded. I can't even imagine losing someone like that. There isn't any closure."

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The Patriot Ledger / The Enterprise
February 8, 2014

Search for Hanson woman missing since 2004 continues - Still Missing Maura
By Christian Schiavone

Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of 21-year-old Hanson native Maura Murray. Her father is still trying to answer the question that has stumped police and a team of private investigators: What happened to Maura?

HANSON – Not long ago, Fred Murray replaced the bright blue bow on a tree next to a sharp turn on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H.

It's a spot he's visited hundreds of times in the decade since one of his daughters, Maura Murray, was last seen there before vanishing into a snowy night in Haverhill, a mountainside community of about 4,800 people near the Vermont border. Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of the Hanson native, who was 21 when she went missing. Her father is still trying to answer the question that has stumped police and a team of private investigators: What happened to Maura Murray?

"You never give up hope," Fred Murray, formerly of Weymouth, said. "I have to uncover every possible chance I can and attempt to find her. I can't stop looking for my daughter."

On Feb. 9, 2004, Maura Murray packed up belongings in her dorm at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and headed north in her car. She lied to her professors in an email, saying she would be gone for a week because of a death in the family. She told neither her friends nor family members that she was leaving or where she was going.

At about 7:30 that night, Maura's car was going east on Route 112, a rural highway, when it went off the road, hit some trees and came to rest back on the road, facing west. A neighbor asked if she needed help, but she declined and asked him not to call the police.

He called them anyway, as did several other neighbors. When the first officer arrived, about 10 minutes later, he found the car locked. The windshield was cracked on the driver's side, and there was a spilled box of wine inside. There was no sign of Maura.

"Whatever happened happened in a very short time," said John Healy, who heads a team of private investigators volunteering on the case. "It was the wrong person, the wrong time. It's a weird set of circumstances where everything comes together."

Searches were conducted on the ground and by helicopter. Members of Maura's family took part in searches. Maura's boyfriend, an Army lieutenant whom she'd met while attending West Point before transferring to UMass, flew in from Oklahoma to help.

Fred Murray, who now lives on Cape Cod, believes his daughter was heading to Bartlett, N.H., a spot in the White Mountains they had frequently visited during her childhood. Why she left no longer matters, he said, and he believes she was abducted after her car crashed. "Somebody grabbed her," Murray said.

Today, Maura's disappearance is considered a missing-person case and is being investigated by the cold case unit in the New Hampshire attorney general's office.

Jeff Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general and the lead prosecutor for the case, said it's still an active investigation. But he declined to discuss specifics, including whether investigators think Maura may be alive. "It's technically a missing-person case. We can't assume someone is dead unless we have evidence to draw that conclusion," he said. "Every credible lead is followed up on. Unfortunately, we just don't have definitive answers to what happened to Maura or where she is."

Healy, the private investigator, was blunt: He believes there is "zero" chance Maura is alive. He thinks she was abducted and murdered, and he's confident that one day the case will be solved.

"Everything is pretty much on hold and at a standstill. When we get a tip or idea, we will still be on it," Healy said. "Really, the next step is we're hoping somebody somewhere knows something and will come forward."

Fred Murray has long been critical of the New Hampshire State Police, the attorney general's office and Healy's group, saying they have botched the investigation – claims they deny. Murray unsuccessfully sued in an effort to get access to police records on the case.

The FBI has helped New Hampshire investigators follow leads around the country, and with forensic testing, a bureau spokesman said.

Murray wants the FBI more heavily involved. He is also continuing his own investigation, following tips he receives.

Family members maintain a website, mauramurraymissing.com, with information about the case.

Maura's mother, Laurie Murray, died in 2009.

Fred Murray believes Maura would have contacted the family if she were alive. Until the mystery is solved, he says he'll keep putting up the blue bows in Maura's memory at the site where she was last seen and hope for a break.

"You might get lucky and somebody will get mad at somebody else and use what they know about my daughter's case to hang over somebody's head. Or someone might get loaded in a barroom and let something slip," he said. "I'm just hoping to get lucky."

PHOTO/ Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger

Fred Murray outside the Hanson home where daughter Maura grew up. He is frustrated that the New Hampshire State Police will not release reports about its investigation into Maura's disappearance. The photo was taken on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.

Christian Schiavone may be reached a cschiavone@ledger.com.

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The Boston Channel
February 19, 2004

Police, Family Search For Missing Woman
Woman Disappears After Car Crash

HAVERHILL, N.H. -- Police and relatives in Grafton County are searching for a Massachusetts woman who disappeared after a car crash.

Maura Murray, 21, hasn't been seen since Monday night, when she crashed her 1996 black Saturn on Route 112 in the Woodsville neighborhood of Haverhill. Police arrived at the scene to find her care but no sign of the University of Massachusetts student. A witness reported seeing Murray looking impaired the night of the accident.

"She might be afraid she might get in trouble, but we just want to let her know it is fine," said her sister, Kathleen Murray. "We just want her to come home." Police said they were able to find few clues at the scene of the accident.

"We did an intense search of the crash scene area for evidence that she may have walked into the woods, but nothing like that was uncovered," Police Chief Jeff Williams said.

Haverhill police have been working with state police and the Fish and Game Department to find Murray while her family and friends have been driving around the region posting signs hoping someone may give them a clue to where she is. "I feel badly for the family and hope that she is OK," resident Winnie Matteson said.

Searchers are canvassing an area from Haverhill along the Kancamangus Highway to North Conway. The area is like a second home to Murray. She has come to the region with her family since she was a child. Relatives said they believe Murray may have been upset about something.

"We love her. She is the best," Kathleen Murray said. "She has a lot of family and friends. We love her. We just want to see her come home safe."

Maura Murray is described as 5 feet, 7 inches, weighing 120 pounds, with shoulder-length, brown hair. She was last seen wearing jeans and a dark coat.

Anyone with any information on the case is asked to contact police at (603) 787-2222.

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The Boston Channel
February 14, 2004

Missing Woman Mystery

HAVERHILL, NH -- There still is no sign of the young Massachusetts woman last seen in northern New Hampshire on Monday.

Friends and relatives of 21-year-old Maura Murray of Hanson, Massachusetts, have plastered the Haverhill area with posters, hoping for a tip to lead them to the woman.

The woman was last seen Monday evening after being involved in a minor car crash. Police say they have no reason to suspect foul play.

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WCAX
February 16, 2004

Search Continues For Missing Woman
Family, Friends Find No Sign Of Woman Missing For Week

Bath, N.H. -- Family and friends continued to search Monday for a Massachusetts woman missing for one week after a car accident.

Maura Murray, 21, was last seen following a car accident in Woodsville, N.H. Police said there is no evidence of foul play, but they are treating it as a missing-person investigation and said they have no new information.

Murray was last seen on Route 112, and as her father searched the roadway Monday, he said that he needs to stay focused on finding her.

"I don't want to go back without her," Fred Murray said. "I can't face the ride going back in an empty car."

Maura Murray's boyfriend, Bill Rausch, was also searching again Monday. Her family and friends said they don't know what else to do. They've covered a 50-mile radius from Woodsville with posters, but police said there is still no sign of her. Her father believes she's no longer in the area.

"I think she accepted a ride at the scene of the accident, which would enable her to get closer to public transportation, and she got out by bus," Fred Murray said.

Family members can't say why Murray would have wandered away. She left her University of Massachusetts dorm last Monday, e-mailing her professors that she'd be gone for a week. She didn't tell her parents or boyfriend what she planned.

"If she could've, she would've contacted me, so I think she's being held against her will," Fred Murray said. "I'm afraid to think of what could've happened."

Murray's relatives said they are not giving up hope and plan to stay in the area as long as it takes to find her. Police urged anyone who might have seen her to call them at (603) 846-3333.

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The Providence Journal
April 22, 2004

State police to resume ground search for missing girl

HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) - Another ground search is planned soon for a Massachusetts college student missing since Feb. 9 after she crashed her car.

State police Lt. John Scarinza said searchers will be out in the accident area in a few weeks before the leaves come out on trees, which makes sightings more difficult.

State police searched the area in a helicopter Monday for any sign of Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass., a University of Massachusetts student, who had packed up all her belongings at school before she disappeared.

Murray, who didn't tell her family or anyone at school where she was going, was driving east along Route 112 when she failed to make a sharp left hand curve. She was unhurt, but disappeared before police arrived and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Scarinza said the area leads into rugged, mountainous terrain that covers many miles.

Scarinza said state police have talked to Vermont State Police about a girl missing in Vermont to see if there might be a connection, but "based on what we know, there does not seem to be any correlation whatever."

Murray's family has spent considerable time searching the area and asking people in New Hampshire and bordering Vermont if they had seen her.

The woman's father, Fred Murray, still searches every weekend. "I'm happy the police are doing what they can," he said. He said the pledged reward money for information leading to her safe return has reached $40,000. He said he thinks she might have been abducted by someone who lives in the area. Scarinza said it is a possibility.

"Until we know the answer, I would never say that that's not possible, but ... there's no evidence to suggest that," he said.

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Boston Globe
April 11, 2004

Missing student's kin skeptical of psychic
By Peter DeMarco

Maura Murray's parents have reacted with skepticism to a nationally known psychic profiler who believes the missing college student was abducted and murdered after vanishing from a rural New Hampshire road on Feb. 9.

"I don't believe her," said Laurie Murray, of Hanson, whose daughter disappeared without a trace after crashing her car into a snowbank in Woodsville, N.H. "I don't believe in [psychics] at all."

Murray's father, Fred Murray, of Weymouth, said he was not sure whether to believe California profiler Carla Baron, who said she has had psychic visions of his daughter's abduction and death.

But with law enforcement officials at a loss to explain his 21-year-old daughter's disappearance, Fred Murray said he is willing to listen to anyone offering help.

"About five or six psychics have contacted me. I have no idea whether they know what they're talking about or not," he said. "If they're wrong, they're wrong. It's worth a try, [as] the police seem to be out of ideas and there's no information coming forward."

Murray, who believes his daughter was abducted, said he contacted Baron a few weeks ago after being told of her strong track record with missing persons cases. The California psychic said she has helped dozens of police departments with homicide and missing persons cases over the past 20 years.

Baron said yesterday that after speaking with Fred Murray on the phone, she saw visions of Maura Murray and received messages from her in the form of thoughts.

Baron said she believes Murray hitched a ride with "a clean-cut looking man" in a truck following her car accident the night of Feb. 9. The man then sexually assaulted her and buried her body in a sparsely wooded area that may be a construction site, Baron said.

Her assailant, Baron added, has killed at least one other woman whose body is buried close to Murray's. "He happened to be driving by her. It was an opportunity. That's the thrill for him -- he never knows where the thrill will be," Baron said.

Baron equated her visions to snippets of a movie film, in which she perceives some details but not others. She could not say where Murray was picked up by her assailant, or whether Murray had hitched previous rides.

The psychic said she also was not sure why Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and former college track star, abruptly packed her belongings the day she disappeared and drove to New Hampshire without telling any friends or family members of her plans.

Fred Murray said he met with New Hampshire State Police on Friday to inform them about Baron's psychic reading. At his urging, Baron said, she left her contact information with investigators.

Baron, who was featured with psychic John Edwards on the 2003 Court TV program "Psychic Detectives," and has made several television and radio appearances, acknowledged that her readings are often met with skepticism.

While in some instances she has led invesigators directly to victims, she said, on other occasions her input is merely a starting point for an investigation.

"Hopefully we can start talking," she said. "Even if there is one little piece of information I have that can assist them in finding where she is, it's [worth it]."

New Hampshire State Police have said they have yet to find evidence of foul play in Murray's disappearance. The lead investigator on the case, John Scarinza, could not be reached yesterday.

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The Caledonian-Record
Monday May 10, 2004

Families Issue Emotional Plea For FBI Help
By Gary E. Lindsley

WOODSVILLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- When Fred Murray and Kellie Maitland met for the first time Saturday morning, it was a very emotional moment for the parents of two missing young women.

Maitland went up to Murray and they tenderly embraced, both knowing one another's pain of not knowing what has happened to their daughters.

Murray's daughter, Maura, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill the night of Feb. 9.

Maitland's daughter, 17-year-old Brianna, has been missing since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt., the night of March 19.

Maitland, her husband, Bruce, and Murray were joined by Charlotte and Michael Riley of Chester, N.H., in a press conference at the American Legion, Ross-Wood Post 20, in Woodsville Saturday morning.

The Rileys were told their daughter, Amie, who had been missing since August, was found in April in a swamp in Manchester. She had been brutally murdered.

Murray and the Maitlands clamored for public support in having the FBI brought in to investigate not only the disappearances of Maura and Brianna, but also the murder of Amie.

Murray has been beseeching New Hampshire State Police officials at Troop F to call in the FBI to join the investigation since learning his daughter was missing.

The FBI will not join an investigation until asked by the police agency handling a case.

And after learning about the disappearance of Brianna, Murray and the Maitlands called for state police in both New Hampshire and Vermont to call in the FBI.

State police officials in both New Hampshire and Vermont have said there isn't any connection between Maura and Brianna's disappearances, other than they both were involved in car accidents.

However, they also have not said how they have ruled out any connection.

"Something has to be done," Charlotte Riley said. "It's important. No one knows where to turn. I don't want (the media) to portray my grief. I want them to portray something has to be changed."

She spoke about how the police in Manchester did not place her daughter's information into the National Crime Information Center until three months after she had disappeared.

Riley said until a case gets an NCIC number, parents of missing children do not receive any help with searches or posters or from support groups.

Kellie Maitland said her daughter had been at a party a week before she disappeared. She had been assaulted at that party. "Maybe she knew something," she said. "We are hoping someone out there knows something."

Murray said, "We need help. All three families need help. None of us have our daughters. If these three cases are connected, and they very well could be, it's horrendous. You could have a killer locally in your midst." He said there is ample reason for the FBI to become involved.

"We are asking for your help," Murray said, pleading to the public through the media. "People should be screaming for the FBI. We want this to be brought to a close. You owe it to yourselves, folks."

Bruce Maitland said although he has been told the cases aren't related, he believes no one has really looked into whether they are connected.

"I am going to practically beg the governor (Jim Douglas) to step up to the plate," he said. "Let's give (state police) some help."

Kellie Maitland said she felt as if they are up against the wall.

She spoke about a drug bust at a crack house in Vermont in which those busted were let back out on the street the very next day.

"We can't keep having a revolving door for criminals," Kellie Maitland said. "They are back out there. We don't have our daughter."

"Not one more girl!" she continued, her voice quivering. "Not one more beautiful girl! They are bright. They are talented. Not one more. It's a pretty bad Mother's Day."

With that, she walked away from the microphones and went over to Murray, tears streaming down her face. He hugged her, trying to console her.

Her husband joined her and laid his head on top of hers, encircling his arms around her as they listened to Charlotte Riley speak. Riley said until people are in such a situation, they have no idea what it is like.

She spoke about the lack of media coverage after it was determined her daughter was missing. "She was at a bar," Riley said. "Does that make her less of a person?" The Maitlands and Murray responded with a resounding no.

She also emphasized the importance of pressing police to enter the information into the NCIC system. "The system is not working," Riley said. "Three months! It was three long months before she was considered missing!"

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The Caledonian-Record
Thursday, August 5, 2004

Family, Friends No Closer To Finding Maura Murray
By Gary E. Lindsley

Maura Murray's friends and family are no closer to finding out what has happened to the 22-year-old nursing student than they were six months ago after learning she disappeared the frigid night of Feb. 9.

Murray, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst student, has not been seen since she was involved in a minor car accident after failing to negotiate a sharp left-hand curve on very rural Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H.

Her father, Fred, still travels to New Hampshire every weekend to search for his daughter.

Maura left her dorm room the afternoon of Feb. 9.

She had researched destinations in Vermont and New Hampshire on her computer before leaving in her father's black 1996 Saturn.

Maura had some of her semester's books with her as well as expensive diamond jewelry and other items. She also had alcohol in the vehicle.

An area contractor, months after the accident, told investigators with New Hampshire State Police he may have seen her running along Route 112 toward the North Woodstock area, about four to five miles from the accident scene.

Maura has not been heard from or seen since - except for a reported sighting in a bar in Rochester in early July.

Although two women have stated they believed the woman was Maura, state police have discounted the alleged sighting without saying why.

Since Maura disappeared, she has not accessed her bank accounts nor used her ATM card.

State police are treating Maura's disappearance as a missing person case and have not brought the FBI into the case.

Fred Murray has spent nearly every weekend searching for her.

Monday marks six months since Maura disappeared and family and friends are asking people around the nation to pray for her.

Sharon Rausch, whose son, Billy, is Maura's boyfriend, said Maura's friends, family and loved ones have been praying for Maura's safe return.

Now, they are asking for others to join with them in the hopes Maura will be safely returned to them.

"I am also asking that you request your church to have a moment of prayer for Maura in your worship service on Sunday, Aug. 8, and to request that each member make it a priority to pray throughout the week that God will comfort, strengthen and provide answers to all of the people that love Maura as they deal with her being missing for six months," Rausch said. "Most importantly, please pray that God will bring Maura home.

"We fear that Maura is no longer with us, but we need her home," she continued. "Please help us."

Rausch said she has sent out 350 e-mails to churches in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and across the country.

She said she has received between 75 and 100 responses, including two from churches in Haverhill, Mass., stating people will be praying for Maura as Monday marks the sixth month since she was last seen.

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The Hanson Express
November 24, 2004

Missing Phone Call
By Justin Graeber

Hanson - In what is becoming a long list of frustrations for the family and friends of Maura Murray, it appears that the New Hampshire State Police did not even investigate the final phone call Murray made from her cell phone the day she disappeared.

On February 9, Hanson native and Whitman-Hanson high school graduate Maura Murray slid off the road on a remote highway in New Hampshire near the Vermont border. An eye witness watched her get out of the car and went to call the police, but when he returned Murray was gone. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Members of her family have long been frustrated with the investigation into her disappearance, feeling that the police did not act quickly enough in the hours following her disappearance. The police still maintain that the most likely scenario is that Murray left of her own volition, while the family has always felt she was abducted.

According to Sharon Rausch, the mother of Maura's fiance' Billy Rausch, the last two calls made from Maura's cell phone were to a UMass number and to a couple who is part of a condo association in the area of New Hampshire where Murray appeared headed.

The UMass number is pretty much a dead end for investigators, since the person who lived in the room Maura called in February has most likely moved on.

But the other number is more troubling in its omission from the investigation. The number Maura called belonged to a Wakefield couple, Linda and Domenic Salamone. When Rausch called them, she learned that they rent a condo in the same New Hampshire complex where Murray and her family had often stayed.

Although the call to the Salamones was one of the last Maura Murray made before she went missing, the Salamones only learned of their part in the story when they were contacted by Rausch, nearly eight months later. According to Rausch, they were appalled" by the lack of action by the police and were willing to talk to the press to get the word out that they were never contacted.

Rausch came upon the Salamones' phone number while looking over Maura's phone bills for the month of Feburary. The phone was a gift from Billy Rausch to Maura and was still listed under Sharon Rausch's name.

The reason this recent revelation is so explosive is that it shoots a hole in the State Police's theory that Maura committed suicide or ran away. If Maura was running away for good, it is unlikely that she would be looking to rent a condo in New Hampshire. Before she left the UMass campus, where she was a nursing student, Murray sent a letter to her professors stating that there had been a death in the family and she would need some time off from school. It was later determined that there was no death, and many believe that Murray was simply seeking to get away for a few days to deal with the stress of a recent car crash. But if she was simply seeking a few days' respite, the car crash on that snowy road may have changed the plans.

The Express attempted to contact the state police for this story, but the detective working on the case could not be reached by press time. In the past, the spokesperson for the police has only said that that case was ongoing.

Maura's family has also released a website, www.mauramurray.com. Interested persons can read the latest news, view pictures of Maura, or share information.

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The Republican
Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Parents still seek missing daughter
By Holly Angelo
hangelo@repub.com

A year ago today, University of Massachusetts-Amherst nursing student Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass., crashed her car into a tree on a rural road in Haverhill, N.H. and disappeared.

Her family will mark the sad anniversary with a vigil at the accident site on Route 112 and a Mass later in the day. Murray's father, Fred J. Murray of Weymouth, Mass., will start the day in Concord, N.H., asking Gov. John Lynch to assist in releasing to him state police records regarding the investigation. The state police say those records should remain in their hands so the investigation is not jeopardized.

"If the police aren't looking for my daughter and I'm the only one looking for her I need that information," Murray said yesterday during a phone interview from Haverhill. "I'm asking the governor to either release the records to me or have the state police declare it a criminal investigation. Or, I'd like the governor to ask the attorney general to accept the help the FBI offered."

Lt. John K. Scarinza, commander of State Police Troop F in Twin Mountain, N.H., said the case is very much open and the FBI has been used during the investigation.

"I certainly understand the family's frustrations, but it's not for any lack of effort on our part," Scarinza said yesterday. "It is absolutely an open investigation. We work on it every day."

Scarinza said there are no new leads on where Murray might be. He said it is technically a missing person case because police have not been able to develop leads that point to a criminal case. However, the case is being investigated like a criminal case, he said.

Murray was 21 when she disappeared. A witness to the car accident, which left Murray's 1996 Saturn undrivable, said Murray was unharmed. The witness left the accident scene to call police. When the witness returned, Murray was gone.

Before leaving UMass, Murray e-mailed her professors to tell them she was heading home for the week because of a death in the family, but there was no death in the family. She also packed up her dorm room.

"What is hard to understand at this point in time is why Maura left UMass essentially without telling anyone why she was leaving," Scarinza said. "That is sometimes to me the bigger mystery. No one seems to understand what was going on in her life that she decided to pick up, pack up and leave."

Scarinza asks anyone with any type of information about Murray to call (603) 846-5517.

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The Boston Channel
November 18/19, 2004

Father Keeps Hope Alive In Search For Missing Daughter
Maura Murray Last Seen Feb. 9, 2004

BOSTON -- It's a parent's nightmare come true for a South Shore father.

NewsCenter 5's Liz Brunner reported that Fred Murray's daughter, Maura, has been missing since February. The college student disappeared after making a car trip to rural New Hampshire.

Murray said the police are now treating the case as if it's cold, so he's taken it upon himself to keep hope alive.

Every other weekend for nine months Fred Murray has made the trip from Connecticut to a New Hampshire motel that has become the home base in his search for his missing daughter.

"No one else is looking and the case would just die and be forgotten. I've got to do it. I owe it to my daughter," said Murray.

Maura Murray, 22, an athlete and honors student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was last seen the evening of Feb. 9, 2004, after her car crashed in Haverhill, N.H. Neighbors called the police. One offered the young woman help, but she refused. Within minutes she vanished.

"The people who called in to the police said my daughter was sitting one to two minutes before the cops came, which means all the police had to do was go down the street and grab her," said Murray.

Alcohol was found in the car. Murray said if his daughter was drinking, she probably panicked, afraid she'd get in trouble.

"So she starts walking away," said Murray.

Murray believes his daughter became a victim of foul play.

"They know it was a young girl, they don't call ahead. They let her walk into the national forest. They let a young girl in 12-degree temperatures walk away," he said.

With that, Fred Murray's anger grows. He accused police of waiting too long when they were just minutes away from finding his daughter.

In their search for Maura Murray, New Hampshire State police say the immediate area was searched the night of the accident and neighbors were interviewed. But a ground and air search wasn't conducted until a day and a half later. Murray says that was too late.

"They can't answer why they didn't drive two minutes down the road. It took 38 hours to start the investigation," Murray said.

No footprints were ever found in the woods. Search dogs tracked the woman's scent from the scene of the accident to the next corner.

"Which is right in front of the last guy who spoke to my daughter, and also right in front of the house of the last person to have actually seen my daughter," said Murray.

That person initially told police he didn't see anything the night of Maura Murray's disappearance. Three months later he came forward with different information: He'd seen someone who fit Maura Murray's description walking about five miles away. Murray wonders if the man knows more.

Murray said the police have already made up their minds.

"Suicide, hypothermia or runaway. Back and forth, one to three, nothing about number four -- a bad guy," said Murray.

The day Maura Murray left UMass, she e-mailed her professors that she had a family problem and would be gone for about a week. Rumors flew that she wanted to disappear. Murray thinks she came to New Hampshire, a frequent family destination, to sort something out.

"If she was upset and wanted to get away to find peace, it would be here. It doesn't matter what brought her here to this point. Once she got here, something happened," he said. "My daughter is right there on that poster. If that person came out of the poster, she'd walk right out of it smiling. We were like buddies. I want my buddy back. That's what I'm doing here."

New Hampshire State Police told NewsCenter 5 that they've logged thousands of hours investigating Maura Murray's disappearance, including a number of ground and air searches. The case is active, but at this point, they say there's no reason to believe a crime was committed.

Anyone who has seen Maura or has information about her disappearance is asked to contact either the New Hampshire State Police at (603) 271-3636, or visit www.spbowers.com/mauramissing.html.

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WHDH
February 9, 2005

Missing Woman's Father Meets With Governor - Murray Last Seen In Haverhill, N.H.

BOSTON -- One year ago Wednesday, University of Massachusetts student Maura Murray disappeared in the woods of New Hampshire.

NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu reported that it has been a painful year for her family, and her father, Fred Murray, is demanding answers from the governor.

Fred Murray said that he couldn't believe that his daughter ran away or committed suicide, as New Hampshire police contend. He came to the Statehouse in New Hampshire to ask the governor to intervene.

"I don't want the police just to sit on it. They have evidence that they are not using that I need. If they are not going to part of the solution, I don't want them to be part of the problem," he said.

He said that police have refused to give him copies of investigators' notes. His daughter disappeared after her car crashed into a tree in Haverhill, N.H. He said that witnesses spoke with her a few minutes before police arrived at the scene.

"When police got there, she was no more than 100 yards down the street. She is heading off into the national forest. There is no body to help, nowhere to hide, nowhere to run," he said.

Fred Murray said that police failed to look for her in any meaningful way until days later.

"Mr. Murray, it is the first time I met with (him), and as I said, I told Mr. Murray that I will look into it, and I will get back to him just as soon as I possibly can," New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said.

"We will see if he is able to do anything. If he is, great. If he is not, then I am kind of back to where I was when I came up the front steps," Murray said. "At least I have more hope then I had before."

A service for Maura Murray will be held in her hometown of Hanson, Mass., Wednesday.

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WCAX
February 9, 2005

Father Of Missing Woman Meets With Lynch - Police Don't Believe Foul Play Involved

CONCORD, N.H. -- The father of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared a year ago met with Gov. John Lynch on Wednesday to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation.

Fred Murray, whose daughter Maura vanished after a minor car accident in Haverhill, wants state police to release their records so he can pursue leads himself.

"I asked, failing that, to have it declared a criminal investigation rather than a missing person investigation, and, if he didn't want to do that, I asked him to accept the offer of the FBI to come in," Murray said after the meeting with Lynch.

Lynch made no commitments on the specific requests.

"I told Mr. Murray that I will look into the situation, and I promised to get back to him as soon as I possibly can and that's how we left it," he said.

Maura, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, was last seen on Feb. 9, 2004, walking away from her car on Route 112 in Haverhill. Police said they have no evidence of foul play and have searched the area repeatedly.

"Literally thousand and thousands of hours have been invested in the search for Maura Murray," said state police Lt. John Scarinza of Troop F, which is handling the investigation.

Murray was highly critical of state police and said he's heard nothing from the investigators in six months.

"I am the investigation. That's why I want the information," he said.

Scarinza said his troopers talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear. Murray's claim he hadn't heard from them in six months is "absolutely inaccurate," he said.

Scarinza said the investigation continues. "We work on it, we talk about it every day as miscellaneous leads come in."

Murray's family believes someone picked her up on the road. They have searched the area many times and called in a psychic who said she believes Murray was murdered by a serial killer.

Murray said he and some supporters would return to the site of Maura's disappearance after leaving the Statehouse.

Murray said he planned to tie a new ribbon on a tree near the accident site and a clergyman would say a prayer. He said the hardest part of marking the anniversary would be listening to a song composed by a friend of Maura's.

But he was optimistic after his meeting with Lynch.

"At least I have more hope than I had before and that's why I came," he said.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader
December 28, 2005

Father suing for records in 'missing' case
By Lorna Colquhoun

Haverhill -- The father of a woman who disappeared nearly two years ago after a minor car accident is suing several police agencies, as well as the governor, seeking the release of information tied to the investigation, according to court documents filed last week.

Fred Murray, father of Maura Murray, filed the papers last Wednesday in Grafton County Superior Court, charging that state police, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, Gov. John Lynch, the state Fish and Game Department, Grafton County Attorney Ricardo St. Hillaire, the Grafton County Sheriff's Department and the Hanover Police Department, where the initial 911 call went after the report of the accident in February 2004, have violated the state's Right to Know Law and the federal Freedom of Information Act in not releasing investigative information he has requested in the years since his daughter's disappearance.

Not mentioned in the suit was the Haverhill Police Department, which initially investigated the accident before it was turned over to the state police.

Murray requested an expedited hearing on the lawsuits and it has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 18 at the Grafton County Superior Court. The documents were filed by the Chelmsford, Mass., law office of Gallant and Ervin.

The puzzling case of Maura Murray began on the night of Feb. 9, 2004, when the 21-year-old Massachusetts student crashed her vehicle on Route 112 in Swiftwater. Between the time a neighbor reported the accident and the arrival of the first officer on the scene a few minutes later, Murray vanished and has not been seen or heard from since then.

In the months that followed, according to the court papers, Fred Murray has requested the records pertaining to the investigation and was denied. Murray, in the court papers, contends that investigators have treated the case as a missing persons case.

Authorities have repeatedly maintained that they do not believe Maura was a victim of foul play," according to the court papers.

Yet, Murray maintains, his requests for the records were denied on the grounds that production called for confidential records created . . . or would constitute an invasion of privacy."

The documents contend that Murray has been assured" that the investigation into his daughter's disappearance is ongoing, but that he has not been made aware of any specific efforts the governmental authorities have taken in pursuing this matter within the past several months."

And, the court papers continue, If the investigation has concluded, (Murray) should be made aware of that fact" and the investigation turned over to him so he can continue to look for information in hopes of finding his daughter."

From the outset, Fred Murray has believed his daughter met with foul play.

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," according to the court papers. 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."

Murray is requesting items such as accident reports, the inventory of items taken from her car, a copy of her computer hard drive left behind at her University of Massachusetts/Amherst dorm room, documents pertaining to searches, witness statements and the surveillance tape from a liquor store where she made a purchase.

On the first anniversary of his daughter's disappearance, Murray sent a letter to Lynch requesting his help in obtaining information.

The investigative body . . . has followed its astonishing careless go-through-the-motions response with an unnaturally steadfast refusal to communicate on the matter," Murray wrote.

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 www.mauramurray.com.

The ABC news magazine 20/20 is preparing a segment on the case to be aired Jan. 6, according to the mother of Maura Murray's fiance. According to published reports, Sharon Rausch said she and her son were flown to New York earlier this month to be interviewed for the segment.

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WCAX
February 20, 2004

Search For Missing Woman Leads To Burlington
UMass Student Last Seen In Woodville, N.H.

Police are expanding their search for a missing woman to the Champlain Valley.

New Hampshire State Police say that before Maura Murray, 21, disappeared a week and a half ago, the missing University of Massachusetts student had been on her computer looking up directions to Burlington.

Murray was last seen in Woodsville, where she was involved in a minor car accident.

Thursday afternoon police scoured the area, as Murray's family kept their fingers crossed that they would come up empty.

"I hope they don't find anything," said Fred Murray, Maura's father. "I want them there, but I hope they're unsuccessful. I appreciate their efforts."

The search turned up nothing, and has been put on hold while investigators look into the map of Burlington found on Murray's computer.

Police say Murray also withdrew $300 from an ATM, and emailed professors saying she had to take a week off to deal with a family problem.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader
May 9, 2004

Skeletal remains found are too old to be missing Mass. woman
By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
Union Leader Staff

A hiker out on a scavenger hunt Friday discovered human skeletal remains in a rugged and remote region of Mount Kancamagus east of Lincoln, state police said last night.

Police quickly ruled out that the remains belonged to Maura Murray, the Massachusetts woman who disappeared from Haverhill on Feb. 9. The remains are believed to be at least several years old.

We're looking into any missing persons/hikers reported missing from that area, and I'm aware of one and maybe two from the last decade who were in fact missing and not found," State Police Lt. John Scarinza told the Sunday News last night.

Authorities hadn't determined whether the remains were of a man or woman.

We're going to send the remains to the medical examiner for identification and cause of death," he said.

A jacket and sneaker were found at the site. Scarinza said the items appeared to have been out in the elements for quite a long time." No further details were available.

The hiker reported his discovery to State Police Friday and authorities waited for sufficient light before heading out with the hiker yesterday to find and recover the remains in an area more than 3,000 feet in elevation, he said.

It's certainly safe to say he was bushwacking off the trail, which is probably why he had located the remains and others have not through some pretty rugged terrain up there," Scarinza said.

He said the hiker, whose name wasn't available, was participating in a treasure hunt.

Hikers frequently compete in such games using global position satellite equipment to find items hidden in water-tight containers left in challenging locations.

Members from State Police, the New Hampshire Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service removed the remains from the mountain, which is located south of Route 112 in the town of Livermore, about 8 miles from the center of Lincoln. Authorities took approximately nine hours to reach the site and return with the remains.

The skeletal remains were found about 25 miles east from where Murray was last seen.

The discovery isn't unprecedented.

In my career in the past 25 years, I know of at least several occasions where skeletal remains have been found in northern New Hampshire," Scarinza said.

Meanwhile, the families of two missing women came together in Haverhill yesterday to plead for help from the public and federal authorities.

Fred Murray's daughter, Maura, 21, disappeared on Feb. 9 in Haverhill after a car accident.

The Weymouth, Mass., man was joined by Bruce and Kellie Maitland of East Franklin, Vt., whose daughter, Brianna, 17, was last seen on March 19.

Also lending their support were Charlotte and Michael Riley of Chester, parents of 20-year-old Amie Riley, who was last seen leaving a Manchester bar in August. Her body was found last month in a marsh.

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The Boston Channel
(INCOMPLETE?)
January 4, 2006

Private Investigators Renew Search For Missing Woman 21-Year-Old Disappears After Car Accident In New Hampshire

BOSTON -- A group of private investigators agreed Wednesday to join the search for a missing Massachusetts woman who disappeared last year after a car accident in New Hampshire.

NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that Maura Murray disappeared in February 2004 after walking away from an accident that she had in Haverhill, N.H. The mystery of what happened to the 21-year-old University of Massachusetts nursing student still lingers.

"It's a real mystery. A young lady, seemingly with everything going for her, just vanishes off the face of the Earth," private investigator Thomas Shamshak said.

Shamshak said that Murray's family has reached out to the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts, and the group decided to respond for free.

"They're in the throes of a crisis. I could not imagine something like that happening to me. When I look into these peoples' eyes they want some closure, they need some help. That's what we're offering. That's all we can offer is some hope and bring some peace to this crisis," he said.

Murray's father, Fred, has battled with New Hampshire authorities. He said officials have not done enough to find his daughter. The Murray family is suing the state for access to evidence gathered during the investigation.

Shamshak said that he does not expect that dispute to get in the way of his investigation. He said that his group, which is made up of retired law enforcement officials, hopes to bring a fresh set of eyes to the case.

"The investigative firepower that we're bringing to this is considerable. I mean, we're talking about a small department up there that had to rely on state police, and they could only go so far. It's a missing persons case," he said.

Shamshak said that 12 retired law enforcement professionals from throughout New England have already had a strategy meeting. He said that they would stay with the Murray case as long as it takes to solve it.

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The Republican
Thursday, January 5, 2006

Missing student search revived
By Holly Angelo

Northampton - A dozen private detectives from four states have teamed up with the Molly Bish Foundation in an attempt to help solve the case of Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts-Amherst nursing student who disappeared nearly two years ago in Haverhill, N.H.

About a year ago, the Molly Bish Foundation and the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts Inc. partnered to offer free investigative services to families dealing with unsolved crimes. The Murray family, who live in various places in Massachusetts, is the latest to be helped.

"We'll be developing an investigative plan," Thomas P. Shamshak, an investigator with Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts and the public safety consultant for the Molly Bish Foundation, said yesterday. "We're going to reinterview everybody."

Shamshak said that means going back to the UMass-Amherst campus, where Murray, 21, of Hanson, was a junior nursing student. Before she disappeared on Feb. 9, 2004, she packed up her dorm room and e-mailed her professors to tell them she was going home for the week because of a death in the family, but there was no death in the family.

She disappeared on Route 112 in Haverhill after crashing her car into a tree. A witness told police Murray was unharmed after the accident, but when police arrived on the scene minutes later she was gone. Her car was undrivable.

"It really is a mystery. This young lady is seen, and in a matter of minutes she vanishes from the roadway," Shamshak said. "It's right up there with the Molly Bish case."

The foundation is named after Molly Bish, who disappeared from her lifeguard post in Warren in June 2000. Her remains were found in Palmer three years later, and her death remains unsolved.

The Murray family has been critical of the police investigation. Last week, Fred J. Murray, Maura's father, sued several state offices and law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire seeking the release of police reports and other information and items tied to his daughter's case. The family could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Lt. John K. Scarinza, commander of State Police Troop F in Twin Mountain, N.H., said several detectives continue to investigate Murray's disappearance daily. The investigation is technically titled a missing person case, but has been investigated like a criminal case.

"Certainly if anyone, whether it be a private citizen or anyone else, develops legitimate information that will help find Maura Murray, I welcome that," Scarinza said yesterday. "I think it's important people realize she left school voluntarily. She had a destination in mind. What we don't know was what that destination was."

Scarinza added, "It is also crystal clear the family's initial impression was she was in distress and was maybe considering suicide.

"May she be a victim of a crime? That's absolutely possible," he said.

Shamshak, who is the former police chief in Spencer, said he has spoken to Murray's friends, family, acquaintances and boyfriend. He said detectives from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine will use all public records associated with the case. He said the New Hampshire state police have done a "considerable amount of work" on the case, but the volunteer detectives have the time to re-examine leads.

"When things go cold, that's where we step in," Shamshak said. "Anything that is generated from us will certainly be passed along to law enforcement."

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The New Hampshire Union Leader
February 13, 2004

Family searches northern NH for woman
By Lorna Colquhoun

Haverhill, NH -- A worried family fanned out across northern New Hampshire yesterday in search of a young woman who vanished after a minor car accident Monday night.

Maura Murray, 21, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has not been seen since her car went off Route 112 Monday in the Wild Ammonoosuc area of Woodsville. Witnesses called police after the accident, but she disappeared before an officer arrived. A search followed that night, but there was no sign of Murray.

On Wednesday, local and state police, including the state police helicopter and Fish and Game conservation officers, searched the remote area of Route 112, but found no sign of her.

“This is very unusual" said Fred Murray, her father. “It's not like her to just take off."

Family members, including her brothers and sister, as well as her boyfriend, Bill Rausch, who flew in from Oklahoma when she was reported missing, fanned out from Haverhill to Lincoln, across the Kancamagus Highway to Conway and Bartlett, putting up flyers along the way, in the hope that someone may have seen her in the days since Monday.

Their search has been concentrated in the White Mountains, since Murray and her family have vacationed in the Lincoln and Conway areas for years.

"We went to every spot we thought she might go to hotels and motels and put up flyers," Bill Rausch said.

But so far, their efforts have come up empty.

The only thing they do have to go on is a call Bill Rausch received on cell phone after he flew back to Massachusetts late Tuesday.

There was just someone breathing on the other end, and the number was unknown, said Bill Rausch, who is planning to ask Murray to marry him. “I tried calling the number back, but it turned out to be a (number for a) phone card."

Police were attempting to track down from where the card may have come, he said.

Haverhill police Chief Jeff Williams said Wednesday that there doesn't appear to be foul play involved. Her family surmises that since there was a lack of footprints near her car, she may have taken a ride with someone.

Fred Murray said he wants to tell his daughter that whatever is troubling her, it's nothing that can't be worked out.

"I don't know what the matter is, or the trouble you think you might be in,he said, but it isn't anything we can't solve. It's me you can tell me. We will work it out until we solve it."

The family hopes that the hundreds of flyers they've put up in the past two days will provide some leads for them to pursue.

"We just want to spread the word around and ask anyone who may have seen her to please call us," Fred Murray said.

Murray is described as being 5-feet, 7 inches tall, 120 pounds, with shoulder length brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing jeans and a dark jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to call Haverhill police at 787-2222.

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The Caledonian-Record
(INCOMPLETE?)
Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Housing, Food And Water Needed
Canine Teams To Search For Maura Murray
By Gary E. Lindsley

Housing, gas cards, food and water are being sought for canine teams that will be searching for Maura Murray. Murray disappeared after a Feb. 9, 2004, car crash in Haverhill, N.H. About five or six canine teams will be searching a large area around the crash site Oct. 21-22, said John M. Healy of Warner, N.H. Warner and other volunteer investigators began working on Murray's disappearance in late 2005.

The canine teams will concentrate on a few sites, including several areas around French Pond Road. Healy said one of the areas the teams will search is a very large sand pit at the Morrill Construction site. "I could bury 3,000 bodies in there," he said.

If you wish to help this effort contact:

John M. Healy
603-746-4994

Benjamin S. McDonald
603-759-2340

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Boston Globe
(INCOMPLETE?)
October 4, 2006

Dog teams to search where Maura Murray last seen

HAVERHILL, N.H. --Volunteer investigators with dogs hope to search the area where college student Maura Murray disappeared after crashing her car into a snowbank more than two years ago.

Murray, who was 21 and a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst when she got into a minor accident on Route 112, has not been seen since the night of Feb. 9, 2004, when a man who lived nearby offered to get her help. He has said she declined.

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Boston Globe
October 23, 2006

Dog teams hunt for missing student

Specially trained dogs searched over the weekend for a student from University of Massachusetts at Amherst who disappeared in February 2004 after crashing her car on Route 112. But the cadaver-sniffing dogs failed to find Maura Murray. Donations helped pay for the search by volunteer dog handlers in the Woodsville area. Private investigators also have been working on the case of the 22-year-old Hanson, Mass., woman. Don Nason of the New Hampshire League of Investigators said the dogs picked up some scents, but nothing conclusive.

Unknown Publication, cited as the Boston Globe, with variations

Search dogs fail to find Maura Murray, missing 2 years

HAVERHILL, N.H. --Specially trained dogs searched over the weekend for a college student in the area where she disappeared after crashing her car in Haverhill (New Hampshire).

But the cadaver-sniffing dogs failed to find Maura Murray, who was last seen near the crash site on Route 112 two-and-a-half years ago.

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The Caledonian-Record
Monday, October 23, 2006

K-9 Teams Search For Student Who Disappeared In 2004 - Family Of Maura Murray Want Closure
By Gary E. Lindsley

Haverhill, N.H. -- Nearly 2 1/2 years ago, the family and friends of a missing Massachusetts woman released blue balloons and tacked a big blue bow to a tree in hopes she would be found.

As police K-9 teams searched for Maura Murray on Saturday, that blue bow was still tacked to the tree her car struck on Route 112 the night of Feb. 9, 2004, a stark reminder that she is still missing.

The hope that Murray is still alive is waning, and family and friends now want closure.

Murray was a 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student driving west on Route 112 in Haverhill when she lost control of her black 1996 Saturn as it rounded a sharp left-hand curve near The Weathered Barn and crashed.

Butch Atwood, a school bus driver who lived just up the road from the crash scene, was on his way home in his bus when he found the Saturn off the road.

Atwood said he spoke with Murray and offered to call for help, but she declined. He went to his house to call EMS anyway. When Haverhill Police Sgt. Cecil Smith arrived about 10 minutes later, according to Atwood, Murray was gone.

She has not been seen nor heard from since.

As five K-9 teams searched six areas of interest within 5 miles of the crash scene on Saturday, Maura's sister, Kathleen Carpenter of Hanover, Mass., waited anxiously at a lodge at Mountain Lakes off of French Pond Road.

"I want closure," Carpenter said. "It's every day ... you wake up and wonder. My Mom keeps saying she is going to come home. I know in my heart she won't. Something went wrong."

Carpenter spoke about how she and Maura shared a bedroom together while growing up and used to have the normal sisterly fights, like over clothing.

"She was just like me, very trusting," Carpenter said. "She would go up to a total stranger. That's how I believe she was taken advantage of. She was too trusting."

Police dog teams, including Connecticut Canine Search and Dukes County Search & Rescue from Martha's Vineyard, along with the New Hampshire League of Investigators, volunteered to search for Murray Saturday and Sunday.

"I don't want this to become a cold case," Carpenter said.

Patty Davidson, who is Maura's third cousin and is from Weymouth, Mass., also does not want to give up hope Maura will be found. Yet, she is realistic.

"I think she met up with foul play that night," Davidson said. "She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone picked her up and did her harm."

When Maura's father, Fred Murray, arrived Saturday, he spent some time with the investigators being updated on the searches so far.

Getting a chance to sit down, Fred Murray said he was very impressed with the scope and thoroughness of the search efforts.

"It's coherent and they have a plan and they are marching with it," he said. "It's methodical. I am deeply appreciative of the time and effort of everyone. I think they are motivated by kindness."

Murray was hopeful the weekend's search would rule out some possible sites, including area gravel pits and the Mountain Lakes area.

Don Nason, a member of the New Hampshire League of Investigators, said six areas were chosen, including a wooded area near the search site, because of information Fred Murray and other people have provided. He declined to reveal the areas.

Nason did talk about why they were searching a sand pit. He said it is not far from where Maura had her accident and went missing.

"We are not necessarily looking for Maura's remains, but something that belongs to her," he said. "The important thing is to keep [the investigation] going. If someone knows something but is afraid to open his mouth, give [state police] a call. Or contact [Maura's] Web site."

Murray said he will not stop until he finds out what happened to his daughter on Feb. 9, 2004.

"It just doesn't end [for the families]," he said. "So many people go missing every day all around the country."

A brother-and-sister team, Al and Marian Beland, along with their canines Taz and Tracer, were part of the search teams during the weekend.

The Belands have about 18 years experience in search and rescue between them.

"I think we all have strengths and weaknesses and can use them to help people," Marian Beland said. "I am pretty much like a volunteer fire department. I cannot fight fires, but I can search. I want to put our training to good use."

Al Beland said helping find people is part of his personality.

"It is ingrained," he said. "We just want to help. We train hard and we hopefully can bring closure to some of these cold cases. Hopefully, we can find clues that will lead to the successful termination of the investigation."

Back at the lodge, Carpenter said she, Maura and her family used to camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

"I would like to be able to do that again," she said.

Late Sunday afternoon, Nason said the K-9 teams had several hits, but nothing that would warrant forwarding to state police. An area near a dam and a snowmobile corridor in Warren also was searched, he said, but nothing was found and it did not look promising.

Anyone who may have information about Murray is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police major crimes unit at 603-271-2663 or 800-852-3411.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / The Concord Monitor
December 21, 2006

Court to rehear Murray suit - Justices: Police must justify secretiveness
By Katharine Webster

CONCORD -- The state Supreme Court says state police must give more detailed descriptions and reasons for refusing to disclose their investigative records in the disappearance of Massachusetts college student Maura Murray.

The ruling came Wednesday, only a week after oral arguments. The justices sent the case back to a lower court for a new hearing.

State police "have not met their burden to demonstrate how disclosure of the requested documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with any investigation or enforcement proceedings," the court said in a unanimous decision.

Murray was 21 years old when she was last seen on the night of Feb. 9, 2004, shortly after crashing her car into a snowbank next to Route 112 in Haverhill.

Her father, Fred Murray, of Weymouth, Mass., sued to obtain the investigative files under the state Right-to-Know Law.

"We didn't get what we asked for yet," Murray said in a statement. "We were proven correct in our assessment that the state has not met its burden to show that the records should be withheld."

His lawyer, Timothy Ervin, said yesterday the ruling was "fair and balanced," although the court did not require the release of any records.

"We've said all along that the state has not met its burden to show that all the records they have fall within the exemption" to the Right-to-Know Law, he said. "In fairness, (the justices) couldn't order a release of records without knowing the nature of the records."

Fred Murray has said the information could aid private investigators trying to determine his daughter's fate. However, the volunteer private investigators disagreed.

"Even if the court decided that some or all of those records should be released, we don't want them," John Healy, a former state trooper who is coordinating the volunteer effort, said Wednesday. "We understand the damage it could do if certain investigative theories or avenues that led to dead ends were made public."

A superior court judge had agreed, ruling in favor of state police after he reviewed a list outlining 20 categories of records that were being withheld, such as "photographs," "correspondence," "maps and diagrams" and "tax records."

The high court said those categories were too vague for anyone to determine whether disclosure would compromise the police investigation or future criminal prosecution. They said the law clearly puts the burden on government agencies to justify withholding documents from public scrutiny.

"If the respondents continue to resist disclosure, they must make a presentation that will allow the superior court to determine how disclosure of the requested information could interfere with an ongoing investigation or enforcement proceedings," Associate Justice Richard Galway wrote for the court.

However, the ruling stopped well short of giving Fred Murray what he sought: either an index describing every record being withheld and the reason for keeping it confidential, so he could challenge the nondisclosure; or a requirement that a judge review the records and rule on each one.

The state Attorney General's Office had argued that would impose an overwhelming burden on police and the courts: The file in Murray's disappearance contains more than 2,500 records. Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith also argued the records, including witness interviews and police reports, could become critical evidence in a criminal prosecution.

Smith said yesterday that state police will be able to show their records should remain confidential.

On the Net: The ruling: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2006/murra152.pdf

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The Caledonian-Record
Friday, February 9, 2007

Notes: A variation appearing in an unknown publication italics

Mass. Woman Disappeared 3 Years Ago
No Lack Of Of Theories About Disappearance
Investigators Not Giving Up Search For Maura Murray
By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Three years since a Massachusetts college student disappeared after a car accident, theories abound as to what may have happened to her. It was three years ago today that Massachusetts college student Maura Murray disappeared in northern New Hampshire. There has been no sign of her since, but there also has been no lack of theories as to what happened to her.

It was reported three years ago, on Feb. 9, 2004, that Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass., then 21 years old, lost control of her black 1996 Saturn on a curve on Route 112 near the Weathered Barn and crashed into a stand of trees. It was February 9, 2004, that word came that Murray of Hanson, Massachusetts, lost control of her car on Route 112 in Haverhill and crashed into trees. A resident said Murray declined his offer of help, and when he returned, she was gone.

John Healy, who is a member of the team of investigators working on the Murray case in concert with the Molly Bish Foundation, said the team has come up with other theories about what happened that dark February night. John Healy, a private investigator, said a team of investigators working with the family isn't ruling out that scenario, but they also have other theories. For instance, he said he and other investigators believe the woman the neighbor saw may not have been Murray and that the accident scene may have been staged.

Healy said although police have said Murray crashed her car into the trees, he and the other investigators do not believe it to be true.

He said, based on the damage to the Saturn, that it appears as if the car was traveling at a slow speed when it may have struck the underside of another vehicle; the actual crash site may have taken place somewhere else. Not only that, they believe Murray may not have been the young woman then-First Student school bus driver Butch Atwood saw. They believe the scene where the Saturn was found by Atwood may have been staged.

This does not mean investigators have absolutely ruled out that Murray was at the Route 112 site and simply fled. And they are not ruling out that she may have have committed suicide, or was abducted and killed.

It was originally thought that Atwood came upon Murray's Saturn when he was returning home aboard his bus after taking students on a ski trip.

Atwood said he offered to help Murray, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student, but she refused his assistance, saying she had already called AAA.

Atwood said he drove to his nearby home, parked his school bus and went into his house to phone police and emergency workers. It was the last anyone saw of her.

Healy is hoping someone will come forward with information about what really happened that Monday night, Feb. 9, 2004.

"Someone up there must know something," he said. "We are talking to several people and following up on leads that have not been done by state police."

Healy and the others of the investigative team are coming back in the spring with dog teams to follow up on some information they gleaned from their two-day search with dog teams in October.

Regarding Atwood, Healy said he tracked him down to Homossa, Fla., where he is living in a "nice" home and has a 19-foot boat. Healy said Atwood would not talk to him about what he may have seen that February night.

Maura Murray Web Site

Helena Murray, who is related to Maura and runs a Web site (Home) dedicated to Maura and finding out what happened to her, cannot believe it is three years later and family and friends are no closer today to learning what happened to Maura than they were right after she disappeared.

"I don't think we can rule out anything until we learn something," Murray said. "Do I think Maura took off over that mountain (Mount Kancanmagus)? No I don't."

She said a lot has happened during the time Maura has been missing. Maura's sister, Kathleen, got married and Maura's boyfriend and unofficial fiance, Billy Rausch of Fort Sill, Okla., was promoted to captain and sent to Iraq.

Also during those three years, the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes unit has reportedly been working on Maura's case. However, the unit and the state's Attorney General's Office are fighting Maura's father, Fred, in court about having any of the records released, including the accident report.

While he may believe police are not doing anything to find his daughter, Murray has not stopped making the trek north to New Hampshire on the weekends to look for her.

What has really frustrated Fred Murray is that he says he has turned over potential evidence to state police with nothing resulting.

One example is that a man came forward and told him that the man's relative may have been involved. The man also turned over a possible weapon.

Murray drove to state police headquarters in Concord, N.H., to turn it over to state police, but he said they refused to accept it. So, he mailed the potential evidence to them and said he has not received any response or acknowledgement.

From the time Murray first talked to the media in Bethlehem, N.H., just a couple days after his daughter's disappearance, he definitely believed something had gone very wrong.

"I had an uneasy feeling at that time some local dirt bag grabbed her," he said Thursday night. "She was supposed to call me. That is what gave me the uneasy feeling. She always called when she said she would. I am still struggling to find out what everyone saw that night."

Anyone with information about the Maura Murray case should contact the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit at 603-271-2520.

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New Hampshire Union Leader / New Hampshire Sunday News
October 28, 2007
(1 of 2)

Missing Maura Murray - [Four years] 45 Months and countless questions
By Nancy West

The longer Maura Murray is gone, the more it looks like the worst may have happened to the then-21-year-old nursing student after she crashed her car the evening of Feb. 9, 2004, on the edge of wilderness in northern New Hampshire.

Nearly four years after she disappeared from Haverhill without a trace, leaving not even a footprint in falling snow, police again are asking the public to search memories of that night for something overlooked -- anything that could be a possible clue.

Why did Maura withdraw $280 from an ATM, lie to professors that she would be gone a week because of a death in the family, buy her favorite liquor, pack all of her school books, a few clothes, a book about dying in the White Mountains, and head north with no word to any of the many people who love her?

Did Maura, a dean's list student at University of Massachusetts, travel to the White Mountains to commit suicide?

Did she drink too much during the first leg of her secret getaway and fall prey to the elements with 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground?

Was Maura upset because she had crashed her father's new Toyota Corolla about 40 hours earlier, causing $10,000 in damage?

Or did something even more sinister happen, something her family and friends have feared since soon after they received word Maura was missing: that she trusted someone to help her and then died at the hands of a stranger.

Adding to the mystery, her then-boyfriend, Billy Rausch insisted a sobbing, shivering Maura placed a calling-card call to him 36 hours after her disappearance, then hung up.

"We don't know if Maura is a victim, but the state is treating it as a potential homicide," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin. "It may be a missing-persons case, but it's being handled as a criminal investigation."

Strelzin said adults have the right to leave and not let family and friends know their whereabouts. But the longer she is gone with no trace, the higher the level of concern for Maura.

Maura's dad

Her father, Fred Murray of Weymouth, Mass., wants the FBI to take over the case. He believes the searches came too little, too late to save Maura, that more should have been done the night she crashed the Saturn.

"The police in New Hampshire can't do it. They've had three and a half years of nothing happening; that proves it," said Murray, a persistent critic of New Hampshire State Police Troop F and Haverhill police. "It's similar to a situation with a fire burning out of control. If the locals can't handle it, they call for help, and 'F Troop' is overmatched."

Murray said police waited 11 days to interview some of the people who lived near the accident site and then did so only after they were prompted. And, he said, police waited months before heeding pleas to call Dominic and Linda Salamone, who rent a condominium in Bartlett, even though Maura's phone records indicated she called their number at 1 p.m. the day she disappeared.

"Why would anybody have a reasonable belief (the police) were going to investigate at all?" Murray said.

It took at least 40 hours before a police brought a dog to track Maura's scent, he said. And then, Maura's scent ended in the road 100 yards from the crash with no hint of foul play, leading police to believe she took a ride away from the scene.

"I can't get it out of my mind that something stinks. I want to know what state trooper John Monahan was doing after the (dispatcher's) call when my daughter was walking down the street in pitch black with no one to ask for help, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide," Murray said.

The accident scene

Butch Atwood, a school bus driver who lived near the accident site, told police he drove past and stopped to help Maura after she crashed the Saturn into a stand of trees. She declined help, saying she had called AAA on her mobile phone, even though there was no cell reception in that location.

Maura pleaded with Atwood not to call police, according to one police news release. According to another release, Maura appeared impaired by alcohol.

Atwood, whose home was near the crash, called police anyway, as did another neighbor. But by the time police arrived about 10 minutes later, Maura was gone, leading authorities to believe at first the driver of the crashed car had fled the scene to avoid a drunken driving arrest.

The Bailey's Irish Creme, Kahlua and vodka Maura reportedly bought for the trip had been removed from the car, as had her black backpack and cell phone. A box of wine was still in the car.

Route 112 is a 56-mile stretch that connects Bath and Conway, winding through the scenic -- but largely remote and at times harsh -- White Mountain National Forest. Police believe she left Amherst, Mass., that day and traveled north on Interstate 91 in Vermont.

Maura knew the other end of Route 112 -- the Kancamagus Highway, east of Interstate 93 -- well, having hiked and camped there with her family since she was a child, even after her parents, Fred and Laurie Murray divorced when she was 6.

Maura's loved ones and police have disagreed on many issues regarding what happened just before and after the crash. Her father insists Maura would be alive today if not for what he sees as a botched investigation.

To date, there is one verifiable fact at the heart of her story: Maura Murray vanished on Route 112 in Haverhill on Feb. 9, 2004, as snow fell in pitch darkness on a cold winter's night.

The boyfriend

Sharon Rausch of Marengo, Ohio, loved Maura like a daughter. She said her son, Billy Rausch, was planning to become engaged to Maura. Though the young couple's relationship had been rocky at times, in early 2004 it was headed toward wedding plans, Mrs. Rausch said.

Billy was an Army lieutenant stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., when Maura disappeared. They had met as cadets at the U.S. Military Academy and continued a long-distance relationship after Maura left West Point and transferred to UMass.

(Billy graduated with Maura's older sister, Julie. Maura has another sister, Kathleen, and two brothers, Fred and Kurt.)

Billy Rausch spent time last week with his parents at their Ohio home, having recently returned from a year and a half in Iraq with a promotion to captain, Mrs. Rausch said. He was also awarded the Bronze Star, she said. He is scheduled to leave the Army in December.

Sharon Rausch had been very active in the search for Maura, reaching out to many media outlets and anyone who might be of help. The story has been told with talk-show hosts Montel Williams and Greta Van Susteren and on the TV news magazine "20/20."

Mrs. Rausch responded to an e-mail request to interview her son saying: "Billy is out of town on a job interview. However, even upon his return, he has decided that he does not want to comment. I agree with Fred (Murray) about Billy "getting on with his life.' I know that each time (Billy) becomes actively involved with the media that it truly re-opens his intense heartache from Maura's missing.

"If Fred ever wants/needs Billy's input, he will be glad to participate, but until then, he wants to remain out of the picture."

Police initially pointed to difficulties in Maura and Billy's relationship to support the theory of a possible suicide, but Mrs. Rausch said the couple was very happy together.

Maura's mother

Laurie Murray believes her daughter is alive. A former nurse, she has battled throat cancer and a bladder tumor during more than three and a half years of fear and hope, waiting for word from Maura.

"I won't give up hope," Mrs. Murray said. "My gut feeling is she was abducted and she is being held against her will. If she gets a chance, she will get away."

Or maybe Maura suffers from amnesia from hitting her head in the accident, her mother theorized.

Either way, "She had to get into a vehicle, in my mind," Mrs. Murray said.

Laurie Murray said Maura's survival skills were honed at West Point before she transferred to UMass. The Murray home is filled with trophies and awards Maura earned in cross-country and track, in high school and college. She ran at least five miles a day and enjoyed long, grueling mountain hikes with her dad.

Asked about suggestions Maura may have had a drinking problem, Mrs. Murray said she didn't believe Maura drank a lot.

"She had just turned 21; sure, she liked to party. It's like a big deal when they turn 21. I don't put too much weight on it," she said.

Mrs. Murray also doesn't believe Maura could have committed suicide.

"She was doing great; she was getting high honors in nursing," Mrs. Murray said.

Since Maura's disappearance, her sister Kathleen has married and her sister Julie, a West Point graduate, has started a new government job in Washington, D.C.

"I'm most proud of Maura for everything, not one thing. She's young, beautiful, with brains, personality -- everything -- and a million friends," Laurie Murray said.

As for the work done by police, Mrs. Murray said: "I think they did what they could. They were limited. It's a very small police department in Haverhill.

"They went out . . . Maybe if they searched more that particular night, it would have been a different outcome. I don't know," she said.

Maura had often camped with the family at Jigger Johnson campground on Route 112.

"Maybe she was heading to Woodstock. I know her cell couldn't work. She knew the area like the back of her hand. She certainly knew how to survive in wilderness," Mrs. Murray said.

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New Hampshire Sunday News
October 28, 2007
(2 of 2)

Missing Maura Murray - Four years and countless questions
By Nancy West

Not forgotten

Many of Maura's friends who had kept in touch with her have stopped calling over the years, Mrs. Murray said, but the churches in Hanson, Mass., Maura's hometown, have not forgotten.

"Maura is mentioned at every Mass at St. Joseph the Worker Church," the family's parish, Laurie Murray said.

And the coming holidays, she said, will be marked by a close family supporting each other in a time of trouble.

"Julie just came home last week for three days, and she'll be home for Thanksgiving. Maura has a very good, supportive grandmother who is 87 and here with me now," she said.

Maura's mother's hope: "That she will come home, call home. I just pray."

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The New Hampshire Union Leader
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dad won't give up on the search
By Nancy West

Fred Murray of Weymouth, Mass., is a man on a sad mission.

Since his daughter, Maura Murray, 21, disappeared after crashing the 1996 black Saturn she was driving Feb. 9, 2004, in Haverhill, he has spent many weekends scouring northern New Hampshire for any hint of her fate.

"I think a dirt bag grabbed her. I said that right off the bat," Murray said.

A few weeks ago, he tracked down tips that Maura had been murdered and her body parts buried in a sand pit.

"It makes me pretty mad. This involves the same people who are my chief suspects and the cops say, 'We looked into that,' but I don't know what that means," Murray said.

Murray talks with people on the street, private investigators and psychics and goes to local bars to find any tidbit of information to lead him to a new search. Many have led nowhere -- like a stained knife someone turned over to Murray, and a search volunteer private investigators conducted of a vacant A-frame.

"That's been debunked," he said.

Murray has been to most surrounding towns on the prowl for "dirt bags" and "renowned dirt bags" in Littleton, Lisbon, Landaff, Bethlehem and Whitefield. He cruises rural roads, looking for turnoffs and secluded areas a killer might seek out.

Critical of police
Murray is critical of New Hampshire police, ridiculing state police Troop F as "F Troop bunglers." Murray is also blunt in his disdain for New Hampshire authorities and angry because he believes Maura would be alive if police had done their job properly.

A more thorough search on the dark, winter night she disappeared, leaving her car locked behind her and no solid clues to her whereabouts, may have meant the difference between life and death, he said.

Murray also heaped criticism on several newspapers, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, and accused them of conspiring to cover up mistakes he says were made by law enforcement.

But despite all of his suspects and tips, Murray is no closer to solving the case. That's why he wants access to police files.

"I don't know who grabbed her. All possibilities exist," he said.

He doesn't know why Maura left the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., without a word to anyone. He said the family spoke on the phone often and got together regularly on weekends; he and Maura especially liked to hike in the White Mountains.

"There must have been a series of nearly simultaneous things built up that bothered her, no one thing, maybe a handful of things taken together produced an effect of temporary desperation. I don't think there was one major thing, but a combination of events. It was so unlike her to do something like this," Murray said.

The fateful weekend
One thing that bothered Maura a lot was that she crashed Murray's new Toyota in Hadley, Mass., when her father was visiting her at school just 40 hours before she crashed the Saturn in Haverhill.

"On Sunday, she was hurting. She let dad down. I was over that by Sunday night in my phone call to her," Murray said.

Over the weekend, he had been helping Maura find a used car, because the 1996 Saturn was running so poorly. He was staying at a motel in Hadley, Mass., near the campus.

After dinner with her father and a friend at a local brewpub in Amherst, Mass., Maura dropped her father at the motel, took his new Toyota Corolla and partied in a dorm room.

Maura crashed his new Toyota into some guardrails Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004, at 3:30 a.m. on Route 9 in Hadley, causing about $10,000 damage. The accident report cited driver inattention.

After the crash, she got a ride from police to her father's motel.

"We handled the disposition of car repair. She was upset because she let her father down, in her view. My reaction is in 21 years, if this is the only trouble my kid caused me was a car accident, how lucky am I," Murray said.

Maura picked up the accident report forms from the Hadley crash and was going to go over them with her father the night she disappeared. Two copies were left behind in the Saturn.

"She was supposed to call me at 8 that night so I could help her go over them on the phone. She did pick up the accident reports. She had every intention of calling me," Murray said.

Murray doesn't believe his daughter could have been pregnant. "No, she was on birth control pills," he said.

And he doesn't think there were any big problems in her life.

Murray has re-filed his right-to-know appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, after losing his first fight to get access to police files on his daughter's disappearance. No briefs have been filed yet, and that will likely take months.

Murray has also appealed to Gov. John Lynch and his predecessor, Craig Benson, for help.

When Maura disappeared, Murray reportedly worked in radiology in Bridgeport, Conn., but he refuses to say what he does now, although he did say he has held his current job for 2 1/2 years. He said he splits his time between Weymouth and Cape Cod, and doesn't tell coworkers Maura is missing.

"People feel it's an awkward situation. They feel they have to say something like good luck. It's easier on people and myself," Murray said.

Still, every morning when he wakes up, it takes about five seconds before Maura comes to mind.

"I wake up. I know I've got to go to work, but wham," Murray said.

Sharon Rausch, the mother of Billy Rausch, Maura's boyfriend at the time she disappeared, praised Murray's dedication in searching for Maura.

She said she hasn't been as active in the search this year because of family commitments at home in Marengo, Ohio.

"Fred, he is still up there searching. God love him, he's just hurting.

"We've always been here for him," Mrs. Rausch said.

FBI help
Murray wants the FBI to take over the investigation. The FBI conducted some interviews with Maura's friends early on, but nothing substantial, he said, adding authorities should invite them to participate now in the full investigation.

"We need an organization to take a fresh look with an unjaundiced eye," Murray said.

Murray enjoyed spending time with Billy Rausch, who was dating Maura in a long-distance relationship when she disappeared. Rausch, now a U.S. Army captain, has been serving in Iraq for a year and a half and just recently returned to the states. He was stationed in Oklahoma when Maura disappeared.

Rausch and Maura met at West Point before she transferred to UMass.

"I want the kid to be able to get on with the rest of his life without carrying this as an obligation," Murray said.

If by some chance Maura is alive, Murray would want to say to her: "Miss you, kid. Get back home. You're not in trouble. We'll pick up from where you are ... I want my buddy back.

"She was my buddy; we hung around together," Murray said. After his divorce, when Maura was six, he was determined to see his children every day when they were growing up.

Murray has many fine memories of runs and hikes with Maura, but one of the best was the autumn before she disappeared.

"We were concluding our collection of 4,000-footers. I was doing the last three I hadn't done." One day, they hiked to Owl's Head; the next day 23 miles on three 4,000-foot peaks.

"Then she whipped out of her knapsack for finishing my 48th, a Long Trail Ale, and handed it to me on the summit of West Bond.

"It was typical Maura," Murray said.

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Investigation Discovery
Miles to Nowhere : Maura Murray
September 27, 2012

Missing since February 9, 2004

It's Sunday evening, 7 PM on February 8, 2004. The 21-year-old nursing student, Maura Murray, is dropped off by her father at her dorm at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Little does he know just 24 hours later, his daughter will disappear.

Earlier that weekend, everything seemed normal. Saturday starts off as a father-daughter weekend where they spend the day used car shopping and eating out at their favorite local brew house. But late Saturday night, after borrowing his car, Maura gets into a wreck. She's apologetic and he is understanding. They agree to talk Monday night to go over insurance forms.

It's Monday evening on February 9, 2004. After driving 144 miles North to a destination unknown, Maura gets into a second one-car accident. A nearby resident offers Maura help, but she declines asking him not to call 911. Police arrive less than 10 minutes later, but Maura is gone. The car doors are locked and her cell phone and credit cards are missing, but the rest of her belongings are left in the car.

The 24-hour time line before Maura's disappearance is filled with contradictions. One minute she's emailing her long distance boyfriend, while also picking up the insurance forms to go over with her father. But the next minute she's emailing teachers stating there is a death in the family and she is going away for a while. There was no death in the family.

Immediately after the crash, theories surrounding her disappearance abound. Initially, police speculate that Maura is a runaway or suicidal. But her family is resolute -- something criminal happened to their daughter that mysterious night.

There have been several possible sightings of Maura. Moments after and nearby the crash site, a local resident says he sees a young person run onto a side dirt road. Another supposed sighting involves a voice mail left on Murray's boyfriend's cell phone 36 hours after the disappearance. The boyfriend is convinced it's Maura sobbing and shivering on the other end. Yet another was at a store in Hillsboro, New Hampshire where a young woman fitting her description is seen with an older man silently mouthing the words, "Help me."

NOTE: Maura Murray is currently classified as an Endangered Missing Adult, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin states, "We don't know if Maura is a victim, but state is treating it as a potential homicide ... it may be a missing person's case, but it's being handled as a criminal investigation."

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New York Daily News / Concord Monitor
Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mystery 2004 New Hampshire disappearance of college student continues to torment family, baffle authorities - The disappearance of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst student is one of the most intriguing among scores of New Hampshire cold cases.
The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. -- Ten years ago, Maura Murray packed her car, lied to professors about a death in the family and left Massachusetts. That night, on a rural road in the northern part of New Hampshire, the 21-year-old nursing student crashed her car.

Then she vanished, leaving a tormented family, vexed investigators and a case rife with rumor and innuendo. Lead investigators say there hasn't been a single, credible sighting of her since minutes after her car spun into trees and a snowbank along Route 112 in North Haverhill just before 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2004.

The disappearance of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst student is one of the most intriguing among scores of New Hampshire cold cases.

"No one knows for sure where Maura is or what happened to her," said Jeffery Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general.

Fred Murray believes his daughter is dead, the victim of a crime. But he wants to keep her case in the public eye in hopes of finally knowing what really happened that night on the threshold of the White Mountain National Forest.

"There's no letting go," said Murray, a medical technician in Bridgeport, Conn. "My daughter wouldn't want me to quit on her. She'd want me to keep trying to find out who grabbed her."

Her father and some investigators believe she just wanted to get away for a few days. It had been a rough stretch for the standout student who had attended - and quickly left - the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She had recently resolved a criminal matter involving use of a stolen credit card and caused extensive damage to her father's car during a late night crash.

Then there was a mysterious and traumatizing call four days before she disappeared. She was working her security job at UMass-Amherst when the phone rang, and she burst into tears. A supervisor ended up walking her home. The caller - and the subject of the call - remain unknown.

But two days before she vanished, Maura was in good spirits as she and her father shopped for a used car for her and then went out to dinner.

Before she left that Monday, she had already called several lodgings, including one in Bartlett, N.H., that her family regularly visited. In her car were directions to Burlington, Vt., said retired state police Lt. John Healy, who has continued to investigate the disappearance.

Headed east on 112, she lost control of the 1996 Saturn, tagged a tree and spun around so the car was facing west.

A couple who live within sight of the scene called police. Butch Atwood, a school bus driver who lived nearby, told police he stopped by and asked Murray if she wanted him to call police. She said no. Atwood, who has since died, called anyway and appears to be the last person known to have spoken to Maura.

A police report says the windshield was cracked on the driver's side, both air bags deployed and the car was locked. There was a box of wine on the back seat and a strong odor of alcohol.

Healy, one of many investigators who have volunteered countless hours on the case, thinks Maura was the victim of a "crime of opportunity."

"She got into the wrong car. She went to the wrong house," Healy said last week. "One minute she's there, 10 minutes later she's not."

"In Maura's case, we're one step away from thinking alien abduction, it happened so fast," Healy said.

Theories abound that Maura fled, possibly to Canada.

Strelzin said it's unlikely - but not impossible - that the young woman had gone off to start a new life, but he and Healy agree that kind of disappearing takes careful planning, help and resources.

Her father doesn't believe it.

"I don't think she'd put us through this," he said. "She would have called me. I can't imagine her not calling. We were close, you know?"

Murray is frustrated and angry, convinced New Hampshire state police didn't call in the FBI 10 years ago and still won't for fear of exposing their own foibles.

"She was out there helpless," her father said. "Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. No one to ask for help. I think some local dirt bag grabbed her."

He fought in vain all the way to the New Hampshire Supreme Court to get the investigation's records.

"If I saw the case records, I would know what I have to chase myself," Murray said. "You get frustrated and it gnaws at you. You can't get rid of it."

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WPTZ NBC 5 Burlington, Vermont
June 28, 2004

Police After Meeting: Murray, Maitland Cases Not Connected - Maitland Family Canoes Down River Searching For Body - Police crossed state lines to meet about a pair of missing women.

Investigators were looking for connections between the disappearances of Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray, and in the end, they said they found none.

The Maitlands took a canoe ride down the Mississquoi River.

"The last time we did this river, she was along with us in a kayak," Brianna's father Bruce Maitland said.

This time, they're searching for her body.

"If we come across something here it's not going to be good, but you just have to keep searching like that," Maitland said.

Police continue to search for leads, but to no avail.

Murray and Maitland disappeared this winter after separate but similar car accidents.

Investigators from both states met for four hours with the FBI.

Their conclusion is that there is no connection whatsoever between these cases.

In fact, they still find no evidence of foul play in either case, but offer a plea from both police and parents for any information that can help.

They said there are probably some people reluctant to bring information to them because of drug activity or criminal past.

"We don't care about that," one officer said. "We're trying to locate both of these women."

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WCAX
About December 2005
Father sues for records in case of missing woman

HAVERHILL, N.H. The father of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared nearly two years ago in northern New Hampshire is suing to try to get investigative files.

Fred Murray of Hanson (Massachusetts) argues several police departments, the attorney general and the governor have violated the state Right to Know Law and federal Freedom of Information Act by not releasing files he has requested in the disappearance of his daughter, Maura Murray.

A hearing has been scheduled for January 18th in Grafton County Superior Court.

Murray disappeared on February ninth, 2004, after a minor crash in Haverhill. Fred Murray believes his daughter was a victim of foul play. He says authorities are treating her disappearance as a missing person's case.

On the Web: http://www.mauramurray.com.

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The New Hampshire Union Leader / Seacoast Online
January 6/7, 2006

"20/20" report on missing N.H. women to air late Jan., early Feb.
'20/20' report on Murray is delayed
By Associated Press

A national television report on the case of a mysterious disappearance in northern New Hampshire won't air until late January or early February, the network said Friday. yesterday.

Reports last month indicated that a "20/20" report on Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray would air last night. Friday But Alyssa Apple, spokeswoman for the ABC news magazine in New York, said the program is still being worked on.

Murray was 21 when she vanished after a minor car accident the night of Feb. 9, 2004, in Haverhill, N. H. Fred Murray, her father, believes she was the victim of foul play, but police say repeated searches turned up no evidence to support that.

Fred Murray is suing for access to records of the investigation.

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WPRI
January 19, 2006

Judge denies father's records request in case of missing daughter

Haverhill, N.H. A New Hampshire judge has denied a request from the father of a missing woman to review confidential police files in the case.

Maura Murray disappeared after a minor car accident in northern New Hampshire in February 2004.

Fred Murray of Hanson believes his daughter was a victim of foul play and sued to gain access to investigatory files. His suit claimed that police, the attorney general and the governor violated state and federal public information laws by not releasing the investigative files.

Judge Timothy Vaughn wrote in his decision yesterday that release of the records could compromise the case and lead to the destruction of evidence.

Maura Murray was a 21-year-old nursing student at U-Mass-Amherst when she went missing. Her father has hired private detectives to investigate the case.

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Montell William Show
October 29, 2004

Vanished...Without a Trace

They were going about their daily lives when in a flash - they disappeared. Fred's daughter Maura was also his close friend. When she had gotten into a car accident, he readily lent her his own vehicle. Twenty-four hours later, while driving to New Hampshire, the car slid out of control on a patch of ice and Maura hit a tree. Nearby witnesses to the accident called the police and saw Maura in the car up until 2 minutes before the police cars arrived on the scene. By the time they got there, Maura had mysteriously disappeared. Meghan's mom, Janis, disappeared after a family dinner she had with her daughter and her ex-husband. She drove home with her boyfriend from the meal and was never heard from again. We'll also speak with 3 siblings who miss their charismatic sister, Brooke, who disappeared late one morning while she was outside her sister's apartment complex. Plus we'll talk to Kelly and Jim whose son was last seen taking in the garbage cans from his parents' home.

Fred: His daughter, Maura, disappeared in February of this year after she got into a car accident. If anyone has information on the disappearance of Maura Murray, please contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636

Sharon: A friend of the family, whose son was dating Maura

Meghan: Her mother, Janis, disappeared 4 years ago after having dinner with her family. If you have any information on the disappearance of Janis Stavros, please contact The Salt Lake County Sheriff at 801-743-7000

Shannon, Spencer, Jessica: Their sister, Brooke, disappeared May of this year while she was working outside at her sister's apartment complex. If you have any information on the disappearance of Brooke Wilberger please contact the National Center for Missing And Exploited Children at 1-800-THE LOST

Kelly & Jim: Their son, Jason, disappeared 3 ½ years ago early in the morning just before going to work. If you have any information on the disappearance of Jason Jolkowski, please contact the Omaha Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP

Kym: President of the National Center For Missing Adults (www.missingadults.org) who can be reached online or by telephone at 1-800-690-FIND

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CNN
Transcript from Nancy Grace Show
January 27, 2006

"Good evening, everybody. I'm Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, the mystery surrounding a 21-year-old nursing student intensifies. Maura Murray drove into a tree, stepped out of the car unharmed. Police there on the scene in just minutes. Maura Murray is gone, never seen again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Fred Murray wants to look at 2,500 documents, documents containing e-mails Maura sent the day of her disappearance, to information on what police found in her car the night of her accident two years ago, details Murray believes could solve this mystery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me what did you, tell me what you didn't do, and I`ll try to go back and see what you didn't do and take a fresh look at it and start it all over. It gives us -- it gives me my best hope. It gives me my only hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Murray's attorney claims the family has a right to the files under the state right-to-know law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her family knows her better than any other party. A second set of eyes looking at information that is clearly nonexempt may ultimately lead to locating her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: After two years of hoping and praying, a father goes on the offense in the legal system. Two years ago, a beautiful young nursing student went missing after a minor car crash. She ran into a tree. Well, police got there just minutes after the crash and she is gone, never seen since.

Straight out to Gary Lindsley. He is a reporter with "The Caledonian Record."

Gary, are you with me? I know we've got problems with your IFB. Can you hear me?

GARY LINDSLEY, REPORTER, "CALEDONIAN RECORD": Yes, I can, Nancy.

GRACE: Great. Give me the facts, Gary.

LINDSLEY: Well, as it turns out, February 9th, somewhere around 7:00 or 7:30 p.m., Maura was headed on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire, and she had the minor car accident.

A bus driver came upon the scene, talked to her, asked her if she needed help. She said, no, she'd already called AAA. He went back to the house and called police.

Between the time he went back to the house and called police, a matter of seven to nine minutes, she was gone. No one's ever seen her since.

GRACE: Was there a record of her calling AAA?

LINDSLEY: No, there wasn't. She had not made a call.

GRACE: So she didn't call AAA?

LINDSLEY: Right. That was a very -- it's a very, very rural area. And cell coverage is very hard in some of those areas.

GRACE: Very rural area...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: ... so you said "isolated route." How many people? I mean, this is not a very busy road. How many people would have been going along that road to snatch her?

LINDSLEY: Not too many, because once you get up past the crash scene, there are seasonal residences between the crash scene and Woodstock, New Hampshire.

GRACE: To Diane Dimond, investigative reporter, what else can you tell us to supplement Gary's report?

DIMOND: Well, it was two years ago, right before Valentine's Day actually -- and this young woman, who was a nursing student, she'd also been a cadet at West Point, a girl with her head on straight, you would think -- e-mailed her professors and said, "I'm going to be gone for a week because there`s been a death in the family."

Well, there had been no death in her family. She left the University at Amherst in Massachusetts. And instead of going home, she headed north up to Vermont and New Hampshire. And that`s where this accident occurred.

It struck me, Nancy, and everything that I've researched about this case, she has this accident. Within 10 minutes, the police are there. She's gone. And there's snow all around her car, but there`s no footsteps. It's like a "Twilight Zone" alien abduction thing. I mean, where did she go?

She had diamond jewelry in the car that her boyfriend had given her, a bottle of liquor, some clothes, a book, you know, just the normal things, like she was just going to go home. But she went the opposite way.

To me, it's just heart-wrenching to see that father asking for these documents from the court. I want to look at the police report, he said, so my private detectives can take over. And they won`t let him do it. A judge has now said, no, we will not turn those documents over to you. It could compromise the investigation.

GRACE: To Barbara McDougal and Patti Davidson -- they are joining us tonight. They are cousins of Maura Murray. Ladies, thank you for being with us.

Barbara, what did -- yes, thanks, Liz -- Barbara, what did you guys hope to gain from these documents you were in court fighting for?

BARBARA MCDOUGAL, MAURA MURRAY`S COUSIN: Well, we were hoping that there might be information in them that the police would overlook as meaning nothing but the family it may mean something to us, to have a different avenue to go down in searching for Maura.

GRACE: Right. Yes, it's been two long years.

To Patti, Patti, what do you believe law enforcement has missed in this investigation? Obviously something.

PATTI DAVIDSON, MAURA MURRAY`S COUSIN: I believe they waited too long to get a search team together. They waited 39 hours, and it should have been done immediately after they went to the scene and found her not there.

GRACE: Now, I know that you have joined together with the Molly Bish Foundation. We had Molly's parents on for a full hour around Christmas. Their daughter taken and killed.

Joining us now, Tom Shamshack, P.I. on the Murray search. He's also working with the Molly Bish Foundation. What`s your take on this, Tom?

TOM SHAMSHACK, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR IN MAURA'S CASE: Good evening, Nancy. John and Maggie send their love.

GRACE: Thank you. Thank you.

SHAMSHACK: All right. The investigative team, consisting of a dozen retired law enforcement investigators, is doing three things. We're looking to do investigative research on what has been written in the public domain. We're conducting interviews of percipient witnesses. And we're conducting a scene investigation, looking at the crash dynamics, and then again looking in the area, what possibly could have happened here.

GRACE: Renee, what else do you know about it?

ROCKWELL: To me, Nancy?

GRACE: Yes.

ROCKWELL: From what I can say, Nancy, is here is another situation where a family has had to hire a private detective. Why? Resources. In 2004, there were over 46,000 people missing in the U.S., 99 in New Hampshire. It's just a situation where I don`t know why the police department would have hid that or prevented them from getting those documents.

GRACE: Well, let`s look at the facts. No footsteps in the snow to indicate where she had gone. The police got there 10 minutes later, no sign of her. She had said there was a death in the family, told her professor she was leaving, no death in the family, and she went a different way. This was a minor crash; she went right into a tree.

Tonight, 603-271-2663, help us find Maura Murray. The reward up to $40,000 tonight."

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Eyewitness News
February 9, 2006

Mass. woman disappeared in N.H. two years ago today

CONCORD, N.H. It's been a painful two years for the family of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared after a minor car accident in northern New Hampshire.

U-Mass student Maura Murray of Hanson, Massachusetts, was last seen on February ninth, 2004, walking away from her car on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire. Police have said they don't believe foul play was involved, and have searched the area several times.

Murray's family believes someone picked her up on the road. They have searched the area many times and so far have been unsuccessful in court to get information police have collected in the disappearance.

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Comments by Sharon Raush
About August 2004
www.spbowers.com/mauramissing.html

Maura Murray has been missing since Monday, February 9, 2004. There was a light snow falling, 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground and a temperature of 12 degrees and falling when Maura slid off Route 112 into a snow bank on a hairpin turn around 7:30 PM near Haverhill, NH. A motorist who also lived nearby offered her assistance, but she refused. He reported that she appeared to be shaken, but uninjured and told him that she was going to call AAA. However, cell phones do not work in the area. The motorist called the police who arrived approximately 10 minutes later to find Maura gone and her car locked. Along with Maura, the only items missing were her cell phone, bank card, cash, driver's license and a small black backpack. The cell phone and the bank card have not been used. Law enforcement did not notify Maura's family until 24 hours after the accident and no search was begun for her until after 36 hours. At that time, an air scent dog traced her 100 yards on the road and lost her scent. The area in which Maura went missing is in The White Mountain National Forest. The area is sparsely populated in summer and during the winter most homes are vacant. There are many mountains, ravines, rivers and creeks. According to the police there are no leads as to her whereabouts. It is as if she vanished into thin air. Maura will be missing 6 months on Monday, August 9. Many friends, family and loved ones have been praying for Maura's safe return. Maura's father has spent every weekend searching for her since she disappeared.

I ask you to forward this message to everyone you know to join us in earnest prayer that God will bring Maura home. I am also asking that you request your church to have a moment of prayer for Maura in your worship service on Sunday, August 8th and to request that each member make it a priority to pray throughout the week that God will comfort, strengthen and provide answers to all of the people that love Maura as they deal with her being missing for 6 months . Most importantly, please pray that God will bring Maura home. We fear that Maura is no longer with us, but we need her home. Please help us and give God the glory!

I would appreciate your reply to me at mauramissing@hotmail.com if you feel led to pray and/or to ask your church to pray with us.

Thank you.

With Hope in Christ,
Sharon Rausch
"Our help is from the Lord, who created heaven and earth." Psalm 24:8

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ABC News
20/20
August 14, 2008
(1 of 3)

By Donna Hunter

Vanished: Two Coeds, Two Horrifying Mysteries - What Happened to Brooke Wilberger and Maura Murray?

March 17, 2006 -- It's one of the most exciting times of a young adult's life: starting college and moving out of mom and dad's nest to a place of one's own. But too often for young people, particularly young women, that newfound independence is coupled with dangerous vulnerability.

Figures gathered by the FBI say there are over 21,500 active missing person cases involving people between the ages of 18 and 29. Brooke Wilberger and Maura Murray are two young women included in that tragic statistic. Their stories powerfully illustrate how communities can rally and families' faith and hope get tested when a loved one has vanished.

Brooke and Maura's stories are similar in many ways. Both were smart, beautiful young women with loving friends and family. They were active in their communities. They had boyfriends who adored them. They were on the verge of very bright futures. Then they disappeared.

Community Rallies to Search for Brooke

The story of Brooke Wilberger's disappearance begins on the afternoon of May 24, 2004. The 19-year-old Brigham Young University student was home in Oregon visiting her family, and helping out her sister and brother-in-law at an apartment complex they manage in the town of Corvallis.

Corvallis is a picturesque Oregon city of about 54,000 people. It's a place most people would consider ideal for raising a family. But even idyllic places can be visited by crime. "The city of Corvallis is really safe, but we're also in the real world," said Lt. Ron Noble of the Corvallis Police Department.

Brooke was in the parking lot of the complex cleaning lamp posts. When Brooke didn't show up for lunch, her sister, Stephani Hansen, began to worry.

Brooke's car keys and purse were in their apartment. Her car was in the lot. Her flip-flops were found, but Brooke was gone.

"I got very nervous -- we had exhausted every possibility, we had searched all the apartments that she could possibly be working in. We looked everywhere -- then we called the police," her sister recalled.

Lt. Noble remembers receiving the call about the case. "Normally, we would wait. Because adults can come and go as they please and we would normally wait to see if she showed up maybe the next day," he said. But police officials agreed with Brooke's sister; they sensed Brooke was not the sort of young woman to disappear on her own.

"It was amazing to us that they acted that fast, and I think one of the reasons was when they immediately did a quick check, [they saw] Brooke was a great kid," said her mom, Cammy Wilberger.

As their search began, police eliminated one usual suspect in similar cases -- the boyfriend.

The man in Brooke's life, Justin Blake, who had dated Brooke since high school, was doing Morman missionary work in Venezuela.

Marriage was on the horizon for the couple, he said. "I was gonna propose. We just both sort of knew what was gonna happen when I got back from my mission," he said.

His parents called him in Venezuela to deliver the news that would shatter those plans. "They just started crying when they heard my voice and so I just started crying," he recalled.

In Corvallis, a community-wide search effort had been organized with unusual speed.

"The community of Corvallis was wonderful. That first night they had hundreds of people helping search," Brooke's mother recalled. "Our church organized it, but everyone in the community filled in," she said.

"There were a lot of areas to search and some of it very, very heavy with heavy vegetation. In fact, I remember going home at 1 o'clock in the morning and there were still 300 people doing concentric circles from where Brooke was last seen," said Lt. Noble. The first night ended with no sign of Brooke.

In the morning, the townsfolk of Corvallis would awake to a shock of another sort - the largest gathering of media the town had ever seen.

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ABC News
20/20
August 14, 2008
(2 of 3)

By Donna Hunter

"We had to operate on a whole different paradigm for this investigation, because we didn't have anything to go on. So we needed the media to stay here to talk about the case so people would call in tips," Lt. Noble said. Despite the authorities' quick response, the community support and national media coverage, it was years before there was a real break in the case.

Was Maura Murray Abducted, or Did She Run Away?

Brooke was 19 when she disappeared and police began investigating immediately, but that's not always the case. With missing persons over the age of 18, police are very likely to wait a few days because, authorities tell us, adults have a right to disappear.

Authorities followed that procedure in the case of 22-year-old Maura Murray, who went missing Feb. 9, 2004, after she was in a minor car accident in New Hampshire.

Authorities believed she may have wanted to disappear, but her family and friends were certain her disappearance was not by her own choice.

Like Brooke, Maura was an excellent student. Before attending nursing school at the University of Massachusetts, she had attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she met a young man, Bill Rausch, and fell in love. After Rausch graduated West Point, he was stationed in Oklahoma as Maura finished school in Massachusetts. But that distance only seemed to deepen their commitment to each other.

Shocked and upset, Rausch called his parents after learning that Maura had gone missing. "I answered the phone, and I heard panic in his voice," his mom, Sharon Rausch, said.

But there were immediate questions surrounding Maura's disappearance. For reasons she apparently shared with no one, the 22-year-old left her dorm in Massachusetts and drove to New Hampshire.

Reporter Joe McGee, covered the story for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. "At a hairpin turn, she went off the road. Her car hit a tree. At that point, a person came along who was driving a bus. It was a neighbor. He asked her if she needed help, she refused. About 10 minutes later, police showed up to the scene and Maura Murray was gone," McGee said.

News of that night's events reached Maura's father, Fred Murray, when police called at 4 p.m. the next day.

"My immediate reaction when I found out that my daughter was missing was right at the edge of panic. You found her car? She was in an accident? She's not there? Where is she? Where is the search now? You know, how far have you looked now? And and as it turns out, there was no search," he said.

In this case, the initial conclusion at the scene was that Maura had probably left on her own free will. But a day and a half later, with still no sign of her, authorities investigated further.

"They brought out helicopters, ground crews to search the area and dogs. But two things stood out. No. 1, there were no footprints left in the snow. And No. 2, dogs lost her scent about 100 yards away from the scene," The Patriot Ledger's McGee said.

Police reported that there were no signs of struggle at the scene, and their conclusion seemed to be that she had run away.

Maura's boyfriend doesn't believe the woman he planned to marry would simply run away. He got an emergency leave from the Army to search for Maura. "I kept hearing, well, she's an adult, and I was the only one out there walking up and down the street, looking over snowbanks, trying to find footprints, trying to find some sign of her," he said.

Rausch's parents were devastated by Murray's disappearance. "For all of us that love Maura, life is like a nightmare. I can honestly say that I can't imagine loving anyone that's not my child anymore than I love Maura," Sharon Rausch said.

Wilberger Family Offers Support, Maura's Father Presses On

Three months later, as the fact of Maura's disappearance lingered without answers, her family saw reports of another missing young woman -- Brooke Wilberger.

Sharon Rausch saw how Wilberger's community rallied around the family and joined the search, and she wanted similar action for her son's missing girlfriend.

The two families began to share e-mails. "We talked about our faith in God and that we would not give up hope and that Brooke and Maura were in God's hands," Rausch said.

Maura's father was angered by the lack of progress on the case, and complained that authorities had made up their mind that his daughter had run away and were not devoting enough attention to her disappearance.

"I don't agree with some of his observations, but I understand certainly his frustration in not knowing what happened to his daughter," said Lt. John Scarinza, commander of the New Hampshire State Police Troop F.

"It's clear to us that it was her intention to at least get away for a certain amount of time," Lt. Scarinza said, noting that his department investigates cases in which people come to the New Hampshire mountains to get away from their problems several times a year, "sometimes with the intention of harming themselves."

But that scenario still makes no sense to Maura's father. "She didn't just wander into the woods to try to commit suicide. She has everything to live for. She was going to graduate in June into a nursing career. She was about to get engaged," he said.

However, Maura's family and closest friends have no idea what drew her to that lonely New Hampshire road. And they were surprised at some of the things police and reporters discovered.

"She took a lot of belongings and didn't tell anybody where she was going other than e-mails she sent to a professor saying that there had been a death in the family and that she needed to leave unexpectedly. And then she headed north," said reporter Joe McGee.

Regardless of what brought Maura to that remote area, her father wants to know where she is now. Most weekends he travels from Massachusetts to the New Hampshire spot where Maura slid off the road and into a tree.

He has gone to the state capitol and met with the governor in a closed-door meeting, demanding answers about the investigation. His confrontations with the police and state officials, and his constant prowling around New Hampshire, raised speculation in some quarters that he was becoming kind of a nutty nuisance.

But Murray's relentless pursuit for answers caught the attention of Tom Shamshak, a former police chief and member of a group of private investigators who offer pro bono help in situations that capture their interest. In January they took on Maura Murray's case.

Shamshak and his colleagues looked at the case with a fresh set of eyes. Based on their investigation, Shamshak said, "It appears, just based on what I have reviewed with the other investigators from New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont that are part of the team, that this is something beyond a mere missing persons case. Something ominous could have happened here."

Watch "20/20" tonight at 10 p.m. to learn of the latest developments in the cases. There are devastating answers for the Brooke Wilberger's family, and an equally painful lack of answers for Maura Murray's family.

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New Hampshire Sunday News
October 15, 2006

No link seen to Maura Murray disappearance

New Hampshire State Police don't think the murder of a Vermont college student this month is connected with a missing Massachusetts student whose abandoned car was found in northern New Hampshire in February 2004.

"I believe someone is looking into that, but they don't believe it has anything to do with that," said a state police dispatcher.

Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student from Hanson, Mass., disappeared in February 2004 after a minor car accident on Route 112 in Woodsville several miles from the Vermont border.

In the recent Vermont case, the body of missing University of Vermont student Michelle Gardner-Quinn was found Friday in Richmond, Vt., near Burlington.

Meanwhile, private investigators and K-9 dog handlers volunteering their help plan next weekend to search the area of Murray's disappearance.

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WCAX News
September 21, 2010

Missing man's sister on kidnapped woman: 'You feel so bad'
By Jack Thurston

It's been 10 days since a Northeast Kingdom woman was reported missing, and still no sign of her. Police say they believe Pat O'Hagan, 78, was abducted from her home.

Tuesday, Vermont State Police refused to answer whether they are terming the case of the popular Sheffield grandmother a "search" or a "recovery effort" at this point. But the O'Hagan mystery has the family of another missing person wondering if they will ever find closure themselves. "I just can't close that door," Amy Currier said.

Currier is optimistic her brother may still walk back into her life. "It's like a piece of you is missing. You'll never be whole again until you find out what happened," she said.

Donnie Messier was last seen in October 2006 leaving a party in Waitsfield. Police said he may have been suicidal; he had just been through a breakup. But Currier remembers he was laughing again and getting back to his old self. "It's just so out of character for him to be out of touch with his family," Currier said.

Now the search for kidnapped Sheffield grandmother Pat O'Hagan is opening old wounds for Amy Currier. "It brings back a lot of the memories, and you feel so bad for that family," Currier said.

Currier has found comfort online; setting up Facebook and MySpace pages for Donnie Messier, hoping they may inspire new tips in the case. "When we're having a sad day we can go and look through the pictures," she said.

The web has also created a club no one wants to be a member of: connecting Currier to loved ones of other people who disappeared in our region, including Brianna Maitland, the 17-year-old whose abandoned car in Montgomery led police to believe she's a crime victim, and Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray, who vanished after a minor car crash in Woodsville, N.H.

"A number of people tell you they're sorry and they feel your loss, but I don't think you can truly understand it until you've lived it," Currier said.

Pat O'Hagan's large family has said they're leaning on each other for support and turning to their faith. "I'm sure she knows the people who love her and her parish family are praying for her; that she's not alone in this," said Father Pat Forman of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.

"Father Pat was over last night. He had a good relationship with my mom, so we said a few prayers, and had a few chuckles. We needed it," said Matt O'Hagan, the missing woman's son.

Amy Currier hopes the O'Hagans don't go as long without their mom as she has without her brother. "You know what they're going through: the not knowing, the what-ifs, the kicking yourself in the rear for not calling sooner, or 'Why didn't I notice this?' 'Maybe If I'd have gone and done this differently.' It's just all the what-ifs and questions that are up in the air. It's hard to get past," she said.

Currier wants Vermonters to check out the state's missing persons page and call police with tips, no matter how small they seem, for her case, the O'Hagan investigation, or any mystery on the site.

As for Pat O'Hagan, state police say they are not entertaining any more questions from reporters at this point and will reach out to news organizations when they have something substantial to pass along. Vermont State Police are offering a $5,000 cash reward for significant information in the case. They're asking the public to call them with tips at the barracks in St. Johnsbury at 802-748-3111 or the State Police Crime Information Tip Line at 802-241-5355.

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Amhert Bulletin
February 5, 2010

Network highlights mysterious case of Maura Murray
By Kristin Palpini

University of Massachusetts student Maura Murray's disappearance along Route 112 six years ago will be the subject of an Investigation Discovery television program set to air Monday night.

Murray, then a 21-year-old UMass honors student and athlete studying for her nursing degree, went missing Feb. 9, 2004, after her car swerved off a windy road in Haverhill, N.H., 140 miles from her Amherst dorm.

She was never found, and an investigation by the New Hampshire State Police remains open. Her family has hired private investigators to find Murray and, in an attempt to aid the private search, fought with state officials to release more information surrounding the police investigation.

Murray's story will be featured in an episode of "Disappeared," a program that features missing person cases, on the Investigation Discovery channel Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. The show focuses on Murray's last known whereabouts and actions just prior to her vanishing. Filming was done on the UMass campus and the surrounding area for the episode.

Series executive producer Elizabeth Fischer, of NBC's Peacock Productions, said "Disappeared" was drawn to Murray's story by the compelling mystery it presents and the conviction of her family, which is still searching for her.

"How could a young woman be at the site of a car crash one moment and simply vanish the next?" Fischer said. "We were also moved by the devotion her family and friends showed right after she disappeared and still to this day. Her father, in particular, has been through so much. The way he expresses his despair is so relatable for any parent watching."

Murray, a Hanson native, disappeared after crashing into a snowbank at around 7 p.m. near the Vermont border. A witness offered help, but Murray refused it and told the witness not to call 911, according to investigators cited in Gazette articles. The witness called anyway, but by the time police arrived, Murray was gone along with her cell phone and credit cards. Many other personal items were still in the locked vehicle, according to "Disappeared" producers.

Earlier that day, she had emailed professors saying she wouldn't be in class all week because of a family problem, Gazette articles said. She withdrew $280 from an ATM and headed north to the White Mountains where her family had regularly vacationed.

In the days following Murray's disappearance a police dog tracked her scent for 100 yards before losing it. A police helicopter search also turned up no evidence. Her boyfriend received strange telephone messages he thought were from Murray.

According to "Disappeared" producers there were several potential sightings of Murray shortly after her vanishing. Moments after and nearby the crash site, a local resident said he saw a young person run onto a dirt road and another person claimed to have seen Murray at a store in Hillsboro, N.H., with an older man. She was silently mouthing the words, "Help me," the person said.