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[–]MauraMurrayEvidence[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Whitman Hanson Express
February 14, 2019
Abram Neal

HANSON — Maura Murray, then 21, a native of Hanson, vanished after she crashed her 1996 Saturn into a snowbank along a curve on Wild Ammonoosuc Road (Route 112) in Woodsville, New Hampshire, a village of Haverhill, 15 years ago. The UMass Amherst nursing student’s mysterious disappearance on Feb. 9, 2004 has sparked worldwide attention in the press, on the Internet and on social media over the course of the last decade and a half.

Family, friends and supporters of Maura Murray marked the somber anniversary Saturday in New Hampshire and here in Hanson by lighting candles in hopes that she will be found. Her father, Fred Murray, 76, had shared with the public new details of an investigation he has conducted into her disappearance with the hope that the public attention will put pressure on New Hampshire authorities to further look into the matter. Investigators, meanwhile, say the investigation is still active.

Fred Murray, who spoke to the Express Monday, Feb. 11, says that he is certain he has found a burial site in a house “astonishingly close” to the site of the accident. According to him, locals first tipped him off about suspicious activity at the house in the first year after his daughter’s disappearance, including rumors of new concrete being poured in the basement shortly after the accident, he says.

The Boston Globe reported last week what Murray said, based on those tips, “that a man who lived in the home at the time of the crash, as well as the man’s extended family members who lived nearby, were responsible for his daughter’s death.”

Although he told the Express that he is not positive that it’s his daughter who is buried in the house, he strongly believes that there are human remains in the house and that they are likely those of his daughter.

“I only need to be right once,” he pointed out.

The house, which he says police never searched, a point which officials don’t advertise unless pressed in statements, has come under new ownership since Maura Murray’s disappearance, and the new owners have been receptive to Fred Murray’s investigation. He says he is willing to pay to dig up their basement, although he’d rather New Hampshire authorities do it.

The New Hampshire Attorney’s General office said in a statement that they “searched the area with dogs at the time,” but never searched inside the house in question.

In November and December 2018, Fred Murray brought in two trained, accredited cadaver detecting dogs to the house, each one on separate occasions. They alerted, he says, by lying down in the same spot in the basement of the house. He says that video of the dogs alerting exists, and is available widely online from local television media outlets.

Later, ground-penetrating radar was used and indicated strong findings of an abnormality in the same spot in the concrete, he said. Much of Fred Murray’s investigation has been paid for by donations and through pro-bono work of those who support him, he says.

“It’s astounding that this [basement] wasn’t looked at before. I told the police about this in the first year … the State Police did an inadequate job when my daughter first went missing,” he added, adamantly.

Fred Murray said he has found the local police to have been less-than-helpful, and as for federal law enforcement, “The FBI has been dodging it [the case] for 15 years … they’re useless,” he said of the Boston office of the FBI.

He says that law enforcement’s response to his investigation, when he’s notified them of his findings, has been, “We looked at that, we looked at that, we looked at that.”

“Because of the institutional intransigence of the New Hampshire State Police the case is still alive 15 years later,” he said.

Fred Murray said that he thinks he’s been getting “the run around,” and that officials have been waiting for him to go away. “This time, the guy didn’t go away, and that guy was me.”

A representative for the New Hampshire Department of Safety, of which the New Hampshire State Police are a division, refused to comment because of the active nature of the investigation, but did refer the Express to the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General.

“The case is still open and active. We do receive tips and information periodically, as well as generate new information from investigative efforts,” said Jeffrey Streizin, Associate Attorney General and Director of the Division of Public Protection with the New Hampshire Attorney’s General office in an emailed statement.

He continued, “We are aware of the allegations regarding a home’s basement in that area and have considered and are considering next steps. That area was searched by law enforcement in the past, including with dogs, and nothing of significance was discovered.”

When asked to clarify whether the home itself was ever searched, Streizin said, “The State Police conducted a canvas of that area in 2004 and searched the area where that house is located with dogs. They did not go into the house at that time.”

“I need help. I’m asking for help,” Fred Murray said. “The people of northern New Hampshire have been wonderful. They are salt of the earth people … The goodness of people has really come to the forefront. Maura’s only friends in this have been the Massachusetts press, her friends and the great people of the area.”

Exactly where Maura Murray was headed, and why, has remained a mystery over the years. Moments after the crash, a good Samaritan stopped to assist her, but she waved him off and told him not to call the police, according to original police reports from 2004. The passerby called local police anyway, although he did drive off. A Haverhill police cruiser arrived within minutes, but the Saturn was locked, and Maura Murray was gone.

According to a four-part series reported by Maribeth Conway in this paper’s predecessor, the Hanson Express in 2007, Fred Murray had dinner with his daughter in Amherst two days before her disappearance.

She caused damage to her father’s car that night in a minor accident near UMass in Hadley, Massachusetts, and later friends reported she had been drinking that night, although no charges were filed in that incident.

The following day, she performed Internet searches for driving directions to Vermont and the Berkshires. She also called for a condominium rental reservation in Bartlett, New Hampshire, which she did not end up reserving. Her family often vacationed in Bartlett, a town in the White Mountains near the Attitash ski resort.

Her belongings were neatly packed up in boxes in her UMass dorm room before she left, according to reports, leading to speculation that she may have been considering leaving school permanently. But she had good grades, and her college textbooks were found in her car by investigators after the accident.

Maura Murray withdrew $280 from her bank account, leaving the account almost empty, and emailed professors and her boss at a local art gallery that she would be away from school because she was needed in Hanson due to a death in the family. Relatives later confirmed there was no death in the family.

No one is sure exactly why the college student made up the story.

A friend later suggested that Maura Murray may have been under a lot of pressure and wanted to get away to think about something important.

She grabbed some toiletries, a favorite stuffed animal — a monkey given to her by her father– and a necklace her boyfriend had given her. She then departed. Police say she next stopped at a liquor store, bought about $40 worth of alcohol — which police reports say some of which was found in plain sight in her car after the crash– and never returned to Massachusetts.

Fred Murray says his next step will be to try to enlist the help of senior New Hampshire State Police officials but that he continues to wait and marvel at the lack of help. He added, “We’re still going to win.”

When asked to clarify what a win for him would be, he hesitated and said, “There is no win. There is no satisfaction. I have to find her, bring her home and give her a proper burial. Every father who ever drew a breath on the planet should know what happens next.”

VIGIL: Organizers Adrienne McDougall, left, and Diane Ostranber take part in a candlelight vigil for Maura Murray in Hanson Saturday, Feb. 9, the 15th anniversary of her disappearance after a New Hampshire car crash. (Photo by Abram Neal/Express News)

[–]MauraMurrayEvidence[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

'They’ve Done Nothing': Maura Murray’s Sister Expresses Frustration Over Law Enforcement’s Response To New Potential Break
Oxygen Network
February 14, 2019
Gina Tron

Julie Murray said she and her family may end up digging up a basement themselves — but that it shouldn't have to come to that.

The family of Maura Murray, the 21-year-old nursing student who mysteriously vanished in New Hampshire fifteen years ago, has expressed frustration over what they feel is a slow response by law enforcement to a new possible break in her case.

Murray was last seen on Feb. 9, 2004 after crashing her car into a tree along Route 112 in Woodsville. A few witnesses called the police, but by the time authorities arrived on the scene, she was gone. Although the case was never closed, it has often seemed like it has gone stagnant. Despite the fact that several online communities have grown obsessed with the case—it has been the theme of at least one book, several podcasts, including Missing Maura Murray,” and "The Disappearance of Maura Murray,” a docu-series which aired on Oxygen—there haven’t appeared to have been any promising leads. Until now.

Last week, the family announced that two different cadaver dogs responded to what could be human remains in the basement of a home right nearby the site of Murray’s crash. Ground penetrating radar also had a positive hit at that location.

Julie Murray, Maura Murray’s sister, told Oxygen.com that it feels like the most promising lead to finding closure thus far. She said back in 2004, shortly after her sibling vanished, she began hearing rumors of what may have happened to her sister. In one version of the rumors, “someone took Maura back to a party and drugged her or something and then buried her in a basement,” Julie told Oxygen.com adding that in another version of that rumor her sister was buried “in a concrete basement in a house very close to the accident site.”

Julie said she and her family found the rumor far-fetched, but they told law enforcement about the tip anyway at the time.

“They [law enforcement] are very adamant about telling us that they look at every lead so we’re like okay there’s nothing more we can do without a search warrant,” she said. “We never got any conclusive yes or no, or ‘we ruled that rumor out’ or ‘there’s nothing to that rumor.’ For all these years we didn’t know.”

Recently, the house in question changed ownership, so Maura’s dad Fred Murray ‘went up right up to the door all by himself and said, ‘Hey, I’m Fred Murray. There’s a rumor that my daughter’s buried in your basement. Can I investigate this?’”

The new owner was happy to help and Julie explained how they hired two independent professional cadaver dog trainers to enter the basement with their dogs on separate occasions. Nobody from the Murray family was present, as to not potentially contaminate the test, according to Julie, but it was documented with video.

Both dogs, Julie said, hit the same spot in the basement. And as for the ground penetrating radar test, she said it appears to show that there’s “a disturbance in the earth right where the two cadaver dogs sat.”

Experts say that cadaver dogs have an 80 percent or better at recovering remains.

One expert who is not involved with this case, Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones, is the county coroner for Jefferson County, Kentucky who worked as a medical examiner for three decades. She’s also a K-9 handler and the previous director of the State Cadaver Dog Program. She told Oxygen.com that the reliability of a cadaver dog all “depends on the dog and the training of the team.”

Cadaver dog sniffing a basement near Maura Murray's crash shite A cadaver dog in the basement of a home located near Maura Murray's crash site. Photo: Provided Julie said her family sent the documentation and video footage of the cadaver dogs’ response to a part of the basement to the New Hampshire State Police and that they confirmed receipt of the information when asked.

The family felt confident this would lead to something.

“We were sure the cops would go in that week but they haven’t done anything,” Julie said, adding that the new homeowner has no problem with police looking around the house. “They’ve done nothing.”

Julie claims that the Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire told the family they may look into it but not until the spring, and that they allegedly cited a lack of funding.

Julie also said she feels like her family has little to no communication with investigators on her sister’s case. The officials, however, claim otherwise.

“I disagree with her statements,” Jeffery Strelzin, Associate Attorney General in New Hampshire told Oxygen.com. “We had reached out with Fred Murray and he refused [to speak with us].”

As for the home where the cadaver dogs searched, “the family has their opinion and we’re aware of the allegations, and we are considering next steps. The outside of the area was searched by dogs [previously] and they turned up nothing,” Strelzin said.

One recommendation the Murray family is hearing right now: Dig up the basement themselves. She claims that even an officer from the New Hampshire State Police suggested as much this week.

Julie said they might just do that.

"But, it really shouldn’t have to come down to that,” she said. ‘If I’m now doing the investigation then give me the case files.”

Other issues that may be at play include whether law enforcement would need probable cause to search the basement, as well as if the difficulty of excavating frozen ground would be an issue. Oxygen.com reached out to New Hampshire State Police who forwarded the media request to Strelzin, who said they will not be commenting further.

“It’s a tough position to be in on both the family and law enforcement sides,” Lance Reenstierna told Oxygen.com. He, along with Tim Pilleri, have been investigating the disappearance of Maura Murray on their armchair detective podcast "Missing Maura Murray.” "We are not sure what is under the concrete but we do know that investigations have to be handled delicately at times, especially if there is potential evidence confirming a crime has taken place.”

The disappearance of Maura Murray is still considered an active investigation. Back in 2004, police said there was no evidence of foul play, according to an Associated Press report at the time. They have never publicly said they believe that there is any nor have they appeared to have publicly ruled out whether it was voluntary disappearance or if she died in an accidental way after the crash. In 2014, according to a Caledonian Record report, Strelzin said any future arrest is "impossible to predict at this point."

Ethan Harfenist contributed to this report.

[–]MauraMurrayEvidence[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Search For Maura Murray Turns Up Nothing
April 10, 2019
Alex Nuti-de Blasi

HAVERHILL - The search for Maura Murray Continues.

On April 3, several members of Maura's family were in Haverhill for what they hoped would be the final time. After 15-years searching for his daughter, Fred said he thought this time they had finally found her.

Instead, they learned that a recent promising lead turned up nothing more than a piece of what appeared to be piping or pottery.

Maura Murray has not been seen since Feb. 9, 2004 after her car collided with a snow bank on Route 112 in Haverhill near the Bath and Benton town lines. After 15 years, nobody knows why she left her dorm room at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where she studied nursing and drove to the White Mountains.

In spite of numerous searches that have been conducted since then, Maura's whereabouts remain unknown.

Then, in December, Fred Murray was provided access to a Swiftwater home located very close to the site of his daughter's accident. He had received tips that she was buried in that home shortly after she went missing, but the property had previously been made off-limits to him by the former owners.

The new owners agreed to the search of their basement using cadaver dogs followed by ground penetrating radar testing. Each dog sat in the same location, a signal that they had detected human remains. The GPR scan picked up on a disturbance in the ground under the cement floor.

The results of the private investigation began to circulate publicly in the days leading up to the 15th anniversary of Maura's disappearance.

Last week, New Hampshire State Police and FBI agents mobilized at the location. They concluded their search on April 3 while members of the press and homeowners looked on. That afternoon, New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin reported that no new evidence was found at a press conference at Grafton County Superior Court in North Haverhill.

Strelzin said that a team of over a dozen agents and detectives cut and removed a section of concrete, then searched several feet down, covering the entire area only to find a small piece of what looked like pottery or piping. He also said that the area had been searched by law enforcement in the past, including with dogs and nothing of significance was discovered.

"The message is the same, everybody involved remains committed to following every lead that is out there to get answers," he said.

The family was devastated. Fifteen years has been too long.

"Its a roller coaster, because if she is there, its horrifying to think how she got there," Maura's older sister, Julie, explained in a recent interview.

Kurtis, who was 15 years old at the time of his older sister's disappearance, said that they had just begun to form a close relationship. They had reached the ages where the six years between them served as a bridge bringing them together.

Now at 30, half his life has been spent searching for answers to the mystery of his sister's disappearance. He said it is always with them, and is the topic at every dinner table conversation.

Julie and Kurtis also want to see closure for their father's sake.

"He should have his retirement," Kurtis said.

"This one is worse than the other false alarms and dead ends," Fred said last week. "She wants to come home and be buried in her home town... And I need to help."

In a statement provided on the morning of April 9, Julie Murray expressed gratitude on behalf of her family:

"While we are saddened that it did not provide closure, we are beyond appreciative for the total team effort surrounding the search. Thanks to the gracious homeowners who allowed this to happen. Thanks to law enforcement and the FBI for conducting the search and hopefully getting us closer to finding Maura. Thanks to the local community for being patient, as we know you did not ask for this. Thanks to all the volunteers and private citizens who continue to amaze us with their selfless dedication to helping my family. Going forward, we are committed to working collectively with law enforcement to bring Maura home."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional reporting for this article provided by staff.

[–]MauraMurrayEvidence[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Valley News

February 19, 2004

Family Searches for College Student Missing Since Feb. 9

Bob Hookway, Valley News Staff Writer

North Haverhill -- Fred Murray sat in his room at the Wells River Motel yesterday morning and recalled when his 21-year-old daughter, Maura, was a little girl in third grade, and he'd teach her and her friends to play basketball.

“I'd say, ‘Run over there and stop!' and she would. Then I'd say, ‘OK, now run back over here and stop on this mark!' and they all would,” he said, laughing as he remembered the little girls being so eager to do everything just right and learn the game properly.

Murray, a nuclear medical technician from Hanson, Mass., is trim and well groomed. It's easy to see the father of four usually doesn't look anywhere near his 61 years. But that’s not true this week. As the days pass with no word from his daughter -- a University of Massachusetts nursing student who vanished from Route 112 in North Haverhill on the night of Feb. 9 -- Murray is a very worried man. His face shows the strain. He's worried that Maura Murray got into the wrong car after she plowed her black, 1996 Saturn into a snowbank on a sharp curve and apparently decided not to stick around until police showed up to investigate the crash.

He's worried because police are virtually certain that she left the area in a vehicle. Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams said Tuesday there were no tracks in the snow around the crash site, and a state police search dog lost Maura Murray's scent quickly.

“It seems likely she got in a car. It could've been a good guy. It could've been a bad guy,” said Fred Murray, who is worried primarily that something bad has happened to his daughter to prevent the normally reliable former West Point cadet from contacting him, her boyfriend, her friends or any of the people she usually keeps in touch with regularly.

Two days before the North Haverhill accident, Maura Murray had smashed up her father's new car in an accident in Hadley, Mass., not far from the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst where she's a junior.

Fred Murray said yesterday that he and his daughter's boyfriend, Bill Rausch of Marengo, Ohio, as well as her friends and siblings have been trying to figure out if her stress over the first accident would have been enough to cause her to withdraw $280 from her bank account and tell her employers at an art gallery that she'd be away for a week.

“She was upset because of the accident in my car. She felt she had disappointed me, let me down like any kid would. I don't think it was anything serious.”

He said Maura headed for the North Country because it was familiar territory for her.

The family had vacationed for years in the Lincoln, N.H., and Conway, N.H., area, he said, and liked to climb 10,000-foot peaks. Asked if there was one special place she might have headed for, her father said “Yes,” in Bartlett, N.H.

“I've checked. Nobody's been there,” he said.

He and his son, Fred Jr., 33, also of Hanson, Mass., have hit all the campgrounds they could find that their family used over the years. They were all locked down and snowed in.

Maura's boyfriend, Bill Rauch, 23, is an Army lieutenant stationed at Ft. Sill, Okla. He's in another room at the Wells River Motel.

Last night, he dropped in on his parents, Bill and Sharon Rauch of Marengo, Ohio, in their room there, and said he's dreading reporting back for duty some 2,000 miles away if Maura hasn't turned up by the weekend.

“We were just talking about the future the other day,” he said, during one of the regular phone calls he had with Maura.

Though not officially engaged yet, he said it was clear to everyone the couple planned to marry, and he was going to get out of the service so they could start a family.

New Hampshire State Police let family members retrieve Maura's belongings from the Saturn.

Bill Rauch is holding on to her favorite stuffed animal, “Joseph,” a monkey that she had in the car with her.

The Rauches said they're doing their best to remain upbeat and positive.

Sharon Rauch said she thinks often of Elizabeth Smart, the Utah girl who was kidnapped and was missing for months before police found her and brought her home.

“He misses her terribly,” she said of her son. “It's strange, but when I see her picture on the television, it's hard to believe we’re in the middle of this. Is this just a really bad dream, or is it real?” she asked.

Fred Murray and his son returned to the motel last night after spending much of the day combing the snowy woods in the White Mountains National Forest not far from the Haverhill site where Maura was last seen. Her father said he followed boot prints over about a half-mile of rugged terrain before he saw a clear enough print to determine that they had been made by boots larger that his daughter's size 8(e?) shoes.

Murray said his and Rauch's family members had, in the past week, papered the area with posters bearing his daughter's photos, from central Vermont to Fryeburg, Maine. and searched behind miles of roadside snowbanks.

No one could fail to see the “missing person” notices at the Swiftwater Stage Stop, a log-cabin style convenience store not far from the spot where Maura Murray vanished.

Owner Wini Matteson has them posted on her front door and at the checkout counter. She said yesterday that the disappearance has been a major topic of conversation among customers.

“Everybody has an opinion. There just isn't anything concrete. But the more time that goes by, the worse it looks,” she said.

Meanwhile yesterday, a school bus driver, Butch Atwood, whose home is within sight of the crash scene, said he was just about to park his bus on that Monday night at about 8 p.m. when he spotted a car nearly sideways on the road. He rushed down to see if he could help.

“She spun on the curve. She had no lights on, and it was a dark car. I could just about see it. I put my flashlight in the window. She was behind the airbag. All I could see was from her mouth up,” Atwood said yesterday as he stood in his driveway and pointed to the accident spot.

“I yelled in, and she said she was OK. She was shaking, as anyone would be if they'd just been in an accident,” the 57-year-old Atwood said. He described Murray's struggle to squeeze her way out through the driver’s door of the car that he said had sustained considerable front-end damage.

“I told her I was going to run up to the house and call the police. She said, ‘No, no, no, please don't! I already called triple A.' Well, under my breath, I said, that’s a lie. You can’t make a cell call from here,” Atwood said. Cellular reception is poor throughout the area.

Despite the young woman's protests, Atwood said he did summon police, but when he went back outside, she was gone.

“I guess I was the last one to see her. I heard a couple of cars go by when I was on the phone. But I didn't see her get in a car, and I don't know which way she went. We’re all just dumbfounded by this,” Atwood said.

A couple of drivers along Route 112 yesterday afternoon got a surprise when they took a curve then had to hit the brakes quickly as they encountered one tall police chief and two state troopers walking toward them in the roadway.

Williams and Lt. John Scarinza, the Twin Mountain troop commander, plus his second-in-command, Sgt. Tom Yorke, examined the crash scene and the surrounding area once again.

The Haverhill chief declined to say exactly what the three were doing.

But he did say, although there were no new developments yesterday, he was not ready just yet to go along with the fears of family members that Maura Murray has been the victim of foul play.

“If any Good Samaritan picked her up, please call us. If that's all it is, that person hasn't done anything wrong. She’s an adult, and if she wants to be missing, that's fine. We’d just like to know what happened,” Williams said.

[–]MauraMurrayEvidence[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Journal Opinion - (Title of article unknown -- but I will call it) "Four Years Have Now Passed"

February 13, 2008

Kelly White

Though four years have now passed, the location and date of Maura Murray's disappearance are still etched in the memory of North Country residents: Route 112 in Haverhill on Feb. 9, 2004.

It is a mystery what happened to Murray after the 21-year-old woman crashed her car and disappeared. And four years of searches, investigations and speculation have seen leads turn to dead ends and a family and small New Hampshire town get caught in the middle of a tragic mystery. After four years of speculation about the Maura Murray case, the law enforcement agencies involved want to speak out about the investigation and assure the public that procedures and policies that are used for any investigation were followed in the Maura Murray case.

Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams always strives to get the focus back to what is the most important question in this case, "Where is Maura Murray?"

In an interview, Williams took the opportunity to remind the public of the facts from the original case. For Williams, it is important to note that the Haverhill Police Department as well as all the law enforcement involved, handled the investigation according to regular procedure and protocol from day one. And he says that the investigation has been handled properly since Haverhill Police Department responded to the initial calls about a car accident in Swiftwater.

Williams said that Haverhill Police Department did all they could the night of the accident. Standard procedures were followed and photographs and documentation were made of everything that they found that night. The only thing he said he wished was different that night was that they could have made contact with the Murray family the night of the accident.

Lt. John Scarinza of the New Hampshire State Police added that the combined law enforcement agencies have put in thousands of man hours on this case with no cost spared to find Maura Murray and he added that all agencies have worked well together and within standard policies and procedures expected of them.

As part of an interview with Williams, the Haverhill Police Department provided the following timeline of the early stages of the investigation into the car accident:

On Feb. 9 at 7:29p.m., a 911 call was placed by residents on Wild Ammonoosuc Road about a motor vehicle accident. At 7:46 p.m., Grafton County Dispatch received a call that Sgt. Cecil Smith arrived at the scene. Smith found the vehicle locked and without a driver. He had dispatch run the license plate for the black 1996 Saturn 4-door. He was informed that the car was owned by Fred Murray of Weymouth, MA.

During the first stages of the investigation into the accident, photographs were taken of tire tracks in the snow leading into a stand of trees on the side of the road and showed that the vehicle struck the trees with enough impact to deploy both airbags. Williams noted that taking photographic evidence and documentation at the scene of an accident are standard operating procedure.

Smith later began to question neighbors about the accident. After questioning a school bus driver who stopped to inquire if Maura needed assistance, Smith learned that a woman in her 20's had been seen at the vehicle. According to a statement given the police, the witness stated the woman's speech was slurred and she had to hold on to something while she stood. "She begged me not to call police," according to the witness' statement.

While still on scene, Smith requested that Grafton County Dispatch call the residence listed with the car's registration and to inform local hospitals to be on the lookout for a young woman with a description supplied by one of the witnesses. This broadcast was put out to responding units and the dispatch center called Fred Murray's residence in Massachusetts and left a message. At 7:57 p.m., according to Grafton County Dispatch, Woodsville's Fire Rescue Pumper Truck arrived with the department's officers. They were holding a monthly meeting when they received a call about a car accident in Swiftwater.

They first cleared the car of any leaking fluids. Woodsville Fire Chief Brad Kennedy said that it is standard procedure with any vehicle accident called in to 911 that fire rescue are dispatched autimatically. There is only one person authorized to turn around a fire department responding to a call-the fire chief.

Once it was ascertained that the driver of the vehicle was not at the scene, Haverhill Police Department, New Hampshire State Police, fire and EMS personnel along with several neighbors began a brief search of the area surrounding Route 112 and Bradley Hill Road.

A local towing company was called in to remove the vehicle, which according to Williams is part of police policy to impound and store in locked facilities any and all evidence. Upon removal of the vehicle from the accident scene, Smith retrieved a Coca-Cola soda bottle with a strong odor of alcohol which was filed as evidence.

At 9:26 p.m., Smith was dispatched to Pike and left the area. Later that evening, at 11 p.m., Smith made a second attempt to phone the residence of Fred Murray, owner of the vehicle, listed on the Department of Motor Vehicle records. He left a second message that the Haverhill Police Department needed to speak with the car's owner.

About the same time, at 11 p.m., Cpl. Byron Charles and Officer Mac Cashin assisted Smith in the accident investigation as well as working on securing a search warrant for the black 1996 Saturn that was now impounded.

The following day on Feb 10, at 9:30 a.m., a search warrant was issued by Judge Timothy McKenna of Haverhill District Court to search the impounded black 1996 Saturn. Charles and Cashin then completed a search of the vehicle.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., a be-on-the-lookout (BOL) communique was issued throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts for Maura Murray.

At 3:30 p.m., Smith returned to duty and called Weymouth Police Department requesting they check the residence listed on the DMV information. They still had not heard from Fred Murray. Weymouth PD instead directed Smith to contact Laurie Murray's phone number.

At 3:40 p.m., Smith spoke to Laurie Murray who informed him that the black Saturn belonged to her ex-husband Fred Murray but is driven by their daughter Maura. Laurie gave Smith the number to Maura's cell phone and to her dorm at the University of Massachusetts. Right after that conversation, Smith again tried Fred Murray's phone number and left another message. He also spoke with Hanson Police Department again at 3:51 p.m.

Smith called Maura Murray's sister, Kathleen Murray at 4:40 p.m. requesting a photo of Maura. Kathleen said she would email one to Haverhill Police Department.

At 6 p.m., Grafton County Dispatch was contacted by Fred Murray. And at 7 p.m., Smith called the University of Massachusetts (UM) campus security and requested that they check Maura Murray's dorm room.

Smith was able to speak to Fred Murray at 8 p.m. on Feb. 10. In the initial, official police statement, Fred Murray stated that his daughter, Maura, was depressed and he was fearful for her safety. He informed Smith that she had an accident in Hadley, MA on Feb.7, 2004, wrecking another vehicle of his and totaling thousands of dollar's worth of damage.

Murray told Smith that he hoped Maura wasn't doing the "old squaw walk" which Murray explained was something the two of them often joked about. The squaw walk referred to when it came time for the old Indians to die, they would walk off into the woods and die. Fred Murray requested that HPD call in the FBI, state police and a search began immediately for his daughter.

At 8.25 p.m., Haverhill Police called fish and game authorities to advise of them of a missing person situation and possible search as it had just become apparent that they may have an endangered/missing person.

Haverhill Police Department received a call at 8:40 p.m. from UM campus security to report Maura Murray's belongings were all packed in her dorm room. Campus security had evidence that she was last seen Sunday morning by a fellow student and that she was carrying a backpack, box of wine and a large hockey bag of beer. Fish and game informed the HPD at 9 p.m. that if the driver was not located by the morning of Feb 11, they would begin a search at daylight.

The next day on Feb 11, fish and game officers, state police, local police, along with family and friends of Maura Murray began one of the first of many searches at the Wild Ammonoosuc Road accident site.

Williams said he contacted the FBI early on and he, the FBI, New Hampshire State Police and UM campus security all met in Keene to confer about the investigation.

After four years of searches and heartache, no answers have been found. It is heart-wrenching for family members, friends and the community where the accident occurred that Maura's whereabouts are not known.

Still, the investigation continues and it will remain open until Maura Murray is found. Scarinza said that there is still the possibility that someday this could possibly become a criminal case.

"If that is where the evidence leads us," he said. "There has been such a push by some to have the case become open to the public. This would totally jeopardize any good investigation done by all agencies involved and who, in reality, would that serve justice to? Certainly not Miss Maura Murray." If you have any information about Maura Murray or the night of the accident, please contact NHSP Troop F at xxxxxxx or the Haverhill Police Department at XXXXXXX

Note: Transcriber does not have possession of the original. This is a copy of posts made at Topix and archived here. Date and author derived from 2-20-2018 article.

[–]MauraMurrayEvidence[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Journal Opinion

February 20, 2008

Regaining perspective

Journal Opinion Staff

It's been over four years since a single car accident on a winter evening on Route 112 in Swiftwater precipitated the disappearance of Maura Murray.

It's easy to forget that to those unfamiliar with our region, but who have become enrapt with the details of the missing woman's case, Haverhill and Grafton County are viewed almost solely through the lens of Maura's case. And for many that view has been less than flattering as Fred Murray's lawsuit against local and state law enforcement agencies has wound though the court system and no answers to the mystery have been provided.

Certainly, the implications of the case are not frivolous and the action poses an interesting legal question: To what extent should a family have access to information collected as part of the search for their daughter, their niece, their sibling, their loved one?

But we're stuck by Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams' words as he redirected our attention in a piece we published last week. "Williams always strives to get the focus back to what is the most important question in this case," Kelly A. While wrote in the article. "'Where is Maura Murray ?"' On behalf of the defendants in the suit, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has responded that those records could become the basis of a future criminal investigation in which case confidentiality is of paramount concern. While a plausible explanation, it is easy to see how the Murray family`s frustration mounts as the perception increases that no progress is being made into determining Maura's whereabouts and no criminal charges are forthcoming.

But litigation has also posed distractive and in some ways diminished attention to the search for Maura.

The incessant media attention has no doubt worn Swiftwater residents and their neighbors thin, and it is not easily forgotten for them that a young woman is still missing.

But for the rest of us, we need to remember the important question; Where is Maura Murray?

After all, searching needs focus.