November 25, 2008

Maura Murray

Maura Murray (born May 4, 1982) is an American college student from Hanson, Massachusetts. She went missing on February 9, 2004, after a one-car accident on New Hampshire Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire.

Murray, a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, left campus the afternoon of her disappearance after e-mailing her professors and her boss, telling them she was going to take a week off because of a family problem.

Timeline Leading up to Disappearance

Thursday, February 5, 2004

  • 10:20 PM - Maura talks on the phone with her older sister during a slow time during Maura's work (UMass Student Security). The two talk about guy problems in what is described as a normal sisterly conversation. Maura's sister observes nothing abnormal in Maura.

Friday, February 6, 2004

  • 12:20 AM - A male UMass student is found seriously injured at the intersection of Triangle and Mattoon Streets in Amherst. The injuries appear to be from either being hit or thrown from an automobile. [1] Though there were some theories that Maura may have been involved, it is very unlikely, as she was in the middle of a shift at a dormitory check in desk with UMass Student Security.
  • 1:00 AM - Maura receives a phone call at work, becomes upset early in the morning and is escorted back to her dorm room by her supervisor.

Saturday, February 7, 2004

  • Time unknown - Accompanied with her father Fred, Maura goes used car shopping. She has not used her black 1996 Saturn much recently due to mechanical problems and has instead been getting rides from friends.
  • Time unknown - Maura and her father are joined by one of her female friends for dinner at an Amherst restaurant.
  • Time unknown - Maura drops her father off at his hotel room, and then borrows his brand new Toyota Corolla and goes back to the UMass campus to a dorm party with her friend.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

  • 2:30 AM - Maura leaves her friend's dorm and heads to her father's hotel room.
  • 3:30 AM - Maura hits a guardrail while driving her father's Corolla on Route 9 in Hadley. No charges are filed by the police. Damages total $8,000. Her father observes that she is shaken up and apologetic. [2]
  • 4:49 AM - Maura calls her boyfriend, who is stationed in Oklahoma, from her father's cell phone.
  • Time unknown - Fred makes some telephone calls and informs Maura that his auto insurance should cover the damages.
  • Time unknown - Fred rents a car, drops Maura off at UMass, and heads to Connecticut for work.
  • 8:30 PM - Maura checks her cellphone voice messages, most likely via her cellphone.
  • 11:26 PM - Maura talks to her father and agrees to get the necessary forms pertaining to the accident from the registry on Monday. They agree to discuss the forms via telephone Monday night.
  • Time unknown - Maura searches for directions to Burlington, Vermont. (From New Hampshire State Police Troop F Commander Lt. John Scarinza's inspection of Maura's computer hard drive).
  • Time unknown - Maura searches for information on the Berkshires. (Source unknown).

Monday, February 9, 2004

  • 12:55 PM - Maura calls for information about a condominium in Bartlett, New Hampshire that her family is familiar with. The call lasts for three minutes. No condominium is rented.
  • 1:00 PM - Maura sends her boyfriend an e-mail, briefly stating she hasn't felt like talking to anyone, but that she will call him later in the day.
  • 1:13 PM - Maura calls another student and leaves a voicemail. No significant information.
  • 2:05 PM - Maura calls 800-GOSTOWE for approximately 5 minutes. Later research shows this number was out of order on this day and that only recordings were available for listening.
  • 2:18 PM - Maura calls her boyfriend for approximately 1 minute.
  • 4:00 PM or earlier - Maura e-mails one of her bosses and some of her teachers to inform them that there has been a death in her family and that she would be out of town for several days. There is no death in her family.
  • 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM - A dorm mate reportedly sees Maura leave the UMass Amherst campus.
  • 4:00 PM or earlier - Maura goes to an ATM and withdraws $280 from her account. Video surveillance footage shows her to be alone. Her bank account is left nearly empty. She is due to receive paychecks from her job in the coming days.
  • 4:00 PM or earlier - Maura purchases $35-$40 in alcohol while still in Amherst, Massachusetts. Video surveillance footage shows her to be alone.
  • 4:00 PM or later - Maura apparently leaves Amherst, Massachusetts and likely heads up Interstate 91 north.
  • 4:37 PM - Maura checks her cellphone voice messages.
  • 7:29 PM - Dispatch receives a call from a Woodsville, NH area resident who reports an accident near her house on Route 112.
  • 7:43 PM - Dispatch receives a call from another Woodsville, NH area resident who reports a black Saturn partially in the road.
  • 7:46 PM - First known police officer (Haverhill Police) arrives on the scene. The girl who was seen by second caller is nowhere to be found. The officer notes the car is facing westbound in the eastbound lane, with a cracked windshield and two deployed airbags. A damaged box of Franzia wine is found on the passengers seat. Other items found in the car include her AAA card, the insurance forms she retrieved for her earlier accident, her gloves, music CDs, her makeup, directions for Burlington, Vermont and Stowe, Vermont, and the Nicholas Howe book, Not Without Peril. A rag from Maura's emergency roadside kit was discovered stuffed into the Saturn's muffler pipe.
  • 7:56 PM - EMS arrives on scene.
  • 7:57 PM - A fire truck arrives on scene.
  • 7:57 PM - 8:49 PM - At some point, Maura's car is towed to a local auto repair garage.
  • 8:02 PM - EMS clears the scene.
  • 9:27 PM - The first known police officer to arrive on scene is dispatched to another call.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

  • 12:36 PM - A BOL (Be On the Lookout) for Maura Murray is issued to Grafton, Littleton, Haverhill, and Lisbon.
  • 3:20 PM - A voicemail is left on Maura's father's (Fred Murray's) home answering machine stating that his car (the Saturn Maura drove) was found abandoned near Woodsville, New Hampshire. Fred is at work out of state and does not receive this call until later in the day.
  • 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM - Maura's older sister contacts Fred and tells him that Maura's car has been found abandoned.
  • 5:44 PM - Fred Murray contacts the Haverhill, New Hampshire Police Department and begs them to start a search for Maura. The Police Department declines, citing that they do not start searches late in the day. The Police Department informs Fred that if Maura is not reported safe by the following morning, New Hampshire Fish and Game Service will start a search.
  • 6:46 PM - Maura's family members contact the University of Massachusetts Police Department and request that her dormitory room be checked.

Timeline of Search Efforts

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

  • Time unknown - Maura's father Fred Murray arrives before dawn in Haverhill, New Hampshire to beg police to start a search for his daughter.
  • 8:00 AM - New Hampshire Fish and Game Service, the Murrays, and others begin to search for Maura, over 36 hours after her disappearance.
  • Time unknown - A police canine in the investigation tracks the scent from one of Maura's (rarely used) black leather gloves. The dog follows the scent 100 yards east from the location of where the vehicle, in the direction of a resident's house. It is not known if this was in fact Maura walking, being dragged, or a belonging of hers being dragged. It is implied that she or the item may have been picked up or placed in a vehicle at the end of the scent trail. It is also possible that the scent had vanished due to the incident happening nearly two days earlier.
  • 5:00 PM - Maura's boyfriend and his parents arrive at the Haverhill, New Hampshire Police Department from Oklahoma and Ohio. Her boyfriend is interrogated in private, and then joined by his parents for questioning.
  • 7:00 PM - The police report to both Maura's and her boyfriend's families that they believe Maura came to the area to either run away or commit suicide. The family does not believe this to be likely.
  • Time unknown - Maura's boyfriend receives a voicemail message that he believes is the sound of Maura sobbing. His cellphone had been turned off so that he could pass through airport security on his way to help search for Maura. A New Hampshire State Police investigation traced the call to a calling card issued to the American Red Cross. Many believe this call was actually from Maura, not the American Red Cross, as it is unknown how the Red Cross would have his mobile number or why they would leave a voicemail with no actual message. The voicemail has since been deleted.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Friday, February 13, 2004

  • The first known articles regarding Maura's disappearance are published.
  • Maura's family expands their search into Vermont.
  • The Haverhill Police Chief says "Our concern is that she's upset or suicidal." [3]

Monday, February 16, 2004

  • Time unknown - Fred urges New Hampshire State Police Troop F to invite the FBI into the case. Fred has been told that the only way the FBI can get involved in the case is if they are invited by the agency currently overseeing the investigation. Fred later learns that the only FBI involvement in the case was in the form of interviewing some of Maura's friends and family from Massachusetts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

  • Afternoon - The Haverhill Police Chief discloses that the search for Maura is now nationwide. [4]

Thursday, February 19, 2004

  • Time unknown - New Hampshire Fish and Game conducts a second ground and air search.
  • Time unknown - New Hampshire Fish and Game suspends the ground and air search.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

  • While searching, Maura's older sister discovers a ripped white pair of women's underwear lying in the snow on a secluded trail near French Pond Road. DNA tests find the underwear do not belong to Maura.

Late February

  • Police give Maura's family the items found in her car.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

  • Maura's siblings check out of their motel, exhausted from the search. Her father Fred continues to search.

Early March, 2004

  • Maura's father checks out of his motel room after three weeks of searching. He returns nearly every weekend for more searching.

April 2004

  • Fred Murray is notified by Haverhill Police that complaints of trespassing on private property have been filed and warned Fred that any subsequent trespassing would result in arrest.

May 8, 2004

  • Based on a tip, New Hampshire Fish and Game conduct a ground search near where a young person was seen running the night of Maura's disappearance. No scent or leads are reported from the search.

May 2004

Late 2004

  • A man gives Fred a rusty, stained (reddish-brown) knife that belongs to the man's brother. The man's brother had a criminal past and lived less than a mile from where Maura's car was discovered. His brother and his brother's girlfriend are reported to have acted strangely after Maura's disappearance. [5]

February 9, 2005

  • A service is held where Maura's car was found one year earlier.
  • Fred Murray meets briefly with New Hampshire Governor John Lynch.

June 8, 2005

  • New Hampshire and Vermont State Police issue a joint press release stating that there is no connection between Maura's case and that of Brianna Maitland.

Late June, 2005

  • New Hampshire State Police retrieve the items found in Maura's vehicle from her family.

July 13, 2005

  • Another search is conducted around the area in which Maura's car was discovered.

Late 2005

  • Fred Murray files suit against multiple law enforcement agencies.
  • The New Hampshire League of Investigators starts working on Maura's case. The group consists of ten retired police officers and detectives. [5]

Late October, 2006

  • Volunteers lead a two day search within a few miles of where Maura's vehicle was found. In one particular area, a closet of an A-Frame house, cadaver dogs went "bonkers," identifying the likely presence of decomposed human remains. A sample of the carpet was sent to the New Hampshire State Police - no tests are known to have been conducted. [5]

July 4, 2008

  • Volunteers lead a two day search through wooded areas in Haverhill, New Hampshire. The group consisted of K9 teams and licensed private investigators. Results of this search have not yet been released.[6]


There have been multiple reported sightings of Maura since her 2004 disappearance. None have been confirmed.

Monday, February 9, 2004

  • 8:00 - 8:30 PM - A Swiftwater, NH local reportedly sees a young person moving quickly on foot eastbound on Route 112, about 4 to 5 miles east of where Maura's vehicle was discovered. The young person was reported to have been wearing jeans, a dark coat, and a light colored hood. The witness reports that the person, upon seeing him, quickly ran down a side dirt road. There have been inconsistencies in multiple interviews.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

  • Maura's boyfriend receives a voicemail message that he believes is the sound of Maura sobbing. A New Hampshire State Police investigation traced the call to a calling card issued to the American Red Cross. Many believe this call was actually from Maura, not the American Red Cross, as it is unknown how the Red Cross would have his mobile number or why they would leave a voicemail with no actual message. The voicemail has since been deleted.

June 2005

  • A girl with blonde hair resembling Maura is seen at a church in Barton, Vermont. A witness says that the girl said her name was "Raykel" and took off quickly when the minister started a Father's Day sermon. [5]

June 2006

  • A girl resembling Maura is seen at a Cumberland Farms store in Hillsboro, New Hampshire with an older male companion. The girl is reportedly mouthing "help me." [5] There are no security tapes of the incident available. The sighting was not reported until a few months later when the witness saw photos of Maura on a television news program.

Source: Wikipedia

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