February 10, 2005
"I think the state police have done an excellent job with the investigation," New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said Wednesday.
Strelzin said he believes the information Murray is seeking is "withholdable" under the Freedom of Information Act. And he does not believe his boss, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, will call in the FBI.
"If the state police feel they need assistance, they will ask for it," said Strelzin. "Overall, I believe the state police have handled it appropriately."
In reference to the state police delay for nine months in contacting the owner of a condominium in Bartlett, to whom Maura had placed one of her last two cell phone calls, he said, "I am not going to comment on specific parts of the investigation."
December 29, 2005
Jeffery Strelzin, a New Hampshire senior assistant attorney general, would not comment about the lawsuit.
"I cannot comment on it because it is pending litigation," said Sheriff Doug Dutile, of the Grafton County Sheriff's Department, also named in the suit.
The Patriot Ledger
January 5, 2006
"Essentially, he (Murray) has asked for the investigative file,’’ said Jeff Strezlin, New Hampshire’s senior assistant attorney general.
Strezlin said New Hampshire authorities consider the information confidential.
"We’re going to oppose that request," he said. "We’ll lay out our argument in court that essentially this is a confidential file and not something that should be released."
Healy said Strezlin was informed that the private search team is working the case with the goal of assisting authorities.
The Hampshire Union Leader
January 19, 2006
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.
July 12, 2007
Monahan, who is now assigned to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, did not respond to several requests for clarification. Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin, who is now handling documents for the case, said he was not sure he could provide specifics, but would look into the matter. No further information was available at press time.
In March of 2005, Fred, always relentless, made another push for FBI intervention and the release of police records on his daughter's investigation. He met with Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, Senior Asst. Atty. Gen. Jeff Strelzin, State Police Sgt. Robert Bruno, who is now retired, and State Police Lt. John Scarinza. In this meeting Fred again passed along the information regarding the knife. When Fred still didn't hear back from police after that meeting, he later said, "I knew I was doomed."
Healy believes the homicide unit has put more hours into Maura's case than any other in recent history. Jeff Strelzin, chief of the Homicide Unit and senior assistant attorney general, confirmed that State Police have put "hundreds of hours" into the investigation.
In a court hearing Strelzin argued that having records available to the public would hamper the prosecution if criminal charges were to be pressed in Maura's case. He predicted a 75 percent likelihood of prosecution.
"We do have information that we are pursuing that this may involve a crime," said Nancy Smith, senior assistant attorney general, while testifying in court.
Getting any information from police was even more difficult. I was continually referred to different departments of law enforcement for information requests and ultimately the Attorney General's Office stepped in to handle my questions. Unfortunately, the Attorney General's Office was no better able to answer my questions. Senior Asst. Atty. Gen. Jeff Strelzin agreed to produce certain documents pertaining to the case, but there was always a delay and no records have reached our office to date. Despite this we were able to obtain some key documents from other sources.
New Hampshire Sunday News / New Hampshire Union Leader
October 28, 2007
"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."
New Hampshire Union Leader / New Hampshire Sunday News
October 28, 2007
"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.
The New Hampshire Union Leader
October 29, 2007
"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.
Nashua Telegraph / Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle / Boston Globe / Boston Herald
February 8, 2009
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.
Strelzin said police believe Maura Murray could have essentially run away and is living elsewhere, a scenario her family does not buy.
February 9, 2008
Jeffrey Strelzin, a New Hampshire senior assistant attorney general, said Thursday afternoon Maura's disappearance is still an open case.
"Obviously, we have not determined what happened to Miss Murray," Strelzin said. "We are still receiving information about Miss Murray. It is being followed up on."
He said he could not comment about the information nor say whether it was viable. He did say it was a criminal investigation.
"It is fair to say the longer a person is missing, the more likely [she] has fallen to foul play," Strelzin said.
He said the investigation is still being led by state police Troop F in conjunction with the state's major crimes unit. He also said "hundreds of thousands" of man hours have been spent on the case.
February 9, 2009
"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.
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.
February 17, 2009
"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."
March 9, 2009
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.”
Investigation Discovery - Miles to Nowhere : Maura Murray
September 27, 2012
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."
March 31, 2013
He and others demanded that the FBI take over the investigation (the federal agency had helped briefly and only in Massachusetts). But the agency only gets involved if there is evidence of a federal crime, such as a kidnapping or murder on federal land. And Jeff Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general for New Hampshire, said the state had – and still has – no reason to believe that was the case.
But, listening to Fred lay out his critiques, it’s evident that he constantly struggles to balance two conflicting streams of thought: one based on logical reasoning, the other on desperation.
“These types of situations are hard,” Strelzin said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t reached a point where we can give Fred or the family any sort of closure. They’re in a tough spot. It’s terrible not to have definitive answers.”
Strelzin said the state could not comment on numerous assertions Fred has made because most are part of an ongoing investigation. But he described the state’s effort as “thorough” and ongoing. He also said it would be detrimental if the state unsealed all its evidence because withholding certain information helps officials discern what new leads are credible and ensures that any potential criminal trial is not contaminated by the premature release of documents or testimony.
“If you put your whole case file out there, you’d never be able to prosecute a case,” Strelzin said.
January 28, 2014
The first police officer arrived at 7:46 p.m. He found a car, but no woman. Inside the Saturn, police later detected the smell of alcohol, and found stains on the driver’s-side door and the ceiling that looked like red wine. Red liquid was found on the ground, as well as an empty soda bottle, which smelled of booze. “It was obvious that she had been drinking,” says Jeff Strelzin, chief of the homicide unit at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the lead prosecutor in the investigation. There was no sign of a struggle or foul play. Police found no footprints heading off the road into the woods.
“Fred has been a difficult person to deal with from the beginning,” Strelzin says. “I understand a lot of where he is coming from, but I feel his anger is misplaced.”
All Strelzin will say is that “we are aware of the backpack.” It’s impossible to know whether it was a real clue, a red herring, or part of some loony Internet game—no different from a bizarre YouTube video, featuring a bespectacled man cackling into the camera, that surfaced in 2012 on the eighth anniversary of Maura’s disappearance, but proved to be just a disturbing false lead.
Strelzin knows first hand how citizen sleuths can solve a mystery. In 2003, he worked the case of a Concord, New Hampshire, man who kidnapped and killed his two children. Once apprehended, the man refused to divulge the location of the buried bodies, and hanged himself in his jail cell. After his death, private citizens formed search groups and traveled to the area authorities believed the children were buried. “I would communicate with some of those groups, share information, send pictures back and forth,” Strelzin says. Eventually, one of the searchers found the children’s bodies just off the highway in Hudson, Ohio.
In Maura Murray’s case, Strelzin will not say how often law enforcement monitors online forums, but concedes that the police are “aware of things that are said.” He adds that “nothing fruitful” has ever come from the DIY detectives.
“All we ask is that they do not interfere in the investigations,” Strelzin continues. “You would expect that if people had information they would contact the authorities.”
February 5, 2014
"Our office and the state police do receive information from people," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin. "Unfortunately, none of that has turned out to be fruitful. We haven't had any credible sightings of Maura since the night she disappeared."
"The case has been investigated by the Attorney General's Office and the state police," Strelzin said. "There hasn't been a need to bring in another agency full time, although the FBI has lended assistance in the past."
The Attorney General's Office said not all adult missing persons cases are concerning, but given the circumstances, this one is very concerning, and that's why there has been an ongoing criminal investigation.
They said that while it's possible that Maura Murray is still out there somewhere, it's not very likely.
The Patriot Ledger / The Enterprise
February 8, 2014
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."
New York Daily News
Saturday, February 8, 2014
"No one knows for sure where Maura is or what happened to her," said Jeffery Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general.
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.
February 8, 2014
"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.
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.
February 9, 2014
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.
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.