2/10/04 3:20 P.M. Fred receives a voice message on his home phone about his car being found abandoned near Woodsville NH on the evening of February 9th. Fred’s answering machine notes the time of day as 3:20 PM EST. Fred is at work on a contracted job in another state and does not get the message until later.
At approximately 5:00 or 5:30 PM Fred Murray receives a call from his daughter Kathleen. The Haverhill Police have reached her brother, Freddie Murray’s residence (Freddie resides with his mother Laurie Murray, younger brother and Maura when she is not at school.) The police reported to Freddie that they found an abandoned car owned by Frederick Murray. Freddie told them that was his sister’s car and they had to search for her. The policeman that talked to Freddie said that if she was missing, he would have to contact their local police department. When Freddie called the local police department he was told that he would have to call the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Police Department, Maura’s current residence. Fred Murray, the father called Haverhill Police Department and begged them to start looking for Maura.
I may be wrong, because at the time I was not especially interested in a soda bottle - as Helena mentioned, I am pretty certain that it was a cherry mountain dew bottle.....but I am fairly certain that i was told by billy that the police asked him about a plastic soda bottle they found INSIDE of that car -- to support my recall is that Billy and Fred were asked about a stick of licorice in the bottle. fyi: whenever possible, Maura used red licorice as a straw---i cannot imagine that the licorice would have stayed in the bottle if the bottle had been discarded in any manner outside of the car....and i cannot imagine the police questioning about the licorice IF it had been outside of the bottle....
The car was locked and they unlocked it and started it with a spare key that was hidden somewhere on the car. (The spare key had been placed there sometime in mid Jan after Maura had to call AAA when she locked the keys in her car - this was before the mechanical problems) Fred and Billy said the car was "driveable."
It is not true that we have been unable to verify this; we were told Wednesday 2/11 evening in the Haverhill Police station by NH SP Det. Todd Landry that the came from the American Red Cross. I disputed that information at the time by saying that they had never been given my son's cell phone number. The American Red Cross was called late evening Tuesday 2/10 after we learned of Maura's missing. The purpose of the call was to aid us in procuring Emergency Leave for my son to go to NH to search for Maura. ARC took my contact information and my son's commanding officer's information. they did not ask for nor receive any personal information regarding him. They have never called him.
Upon my return to Ohio, numerous individuals and agencies offered their assistance to us. OH LE was given the prepaid calling card number. After 2 weeks of extensive research, both OH LE and a private investigator told me that unless I had the actual calling card information; the numbers that are entered when making the call plus the name of the merchant ie: ATT, US Postmaster, Walmart, etc, that THERE IS NO WAY TO TRACE THE LOCATION FROM WHICH A CALL IS MADE FROM A PREPAID CALLING CARD, that the number that shows up on caller ID is simply one of hundreds of thousands of numbers purchased by various calling card companies. I was actually told that because these calls cannot be traced, criminals know to use them to be protected from prosecution. Fred Murray used other resources to confirm this information. Therefore, we have another example of misinformation from NH SP."
The message was deleted by my son when we learned it could not be traced. In order to save any message, his cell phone service requires listening to it every 10 days. He chose to delete the blood chilling message rather than being repeatedly exposed to the agony of hearing what he believes to be Maura and at a loss to help her. I know this was a mistake, but he is young and felt that saving the message was of no benefit.
I had given Maura several prepaid calling cards in November prior to her disappearance. She also knew her father's prepaid calling information. We are certain that she did not have any calling card with a connection to the ARC. Even if she had, one must understand that we did not have the information needed to trace a prepaid calling card.
We have been told by the police that Maura received or made a phone call on her cell phone at 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb 6 while she was on duty at her security job on the first floor of her dorm. This was the Friday before Maura disappeared. It was reported to us that this call upset Maura to the point that she was crying herself hysterically and had to be assisted to her dorm room by her supervisor. Kathleen (Maura's older sister) always insisted that she never talked to Maura at that time. The NH Police emphatically told Kathleen they knew better and told the media that the family was withholding information. In fact, when Maura's cell phone bill arrived, it showed the last call during the time in question to be Thursday Feb 5 at approximately 10 p.m. for 20 minutes to Kathleen. Kathleen concurred that she and Maura had talked at this time. But she insists that Maura was not crying, upset or speaking of any problem.
I can't imagine how scared and upset Kathleen must have been, sitting there being questioned by the police, her sister has vanished in a very remote area. I sat with Kathleen and discussed the call many months later. I watched her still, then trying to remember anything she said that may have upset Maura. Whatever Maura was upset about (regardless of what she told the supervisor) I don't believe it was the call at 10 p.m. I can't find the article that mentions the time of the call, either. but can verify from Maura's cell phone records that Kathleen did not call her cell after the earlier call. What was always curious to me was why it took police so long to verify the call and so little to verify the Maura/Red Cross call. I know that police were given all of the information about Maura's cell phone within the first couple of days.