Missing Person – Maura Murray

find-maura

The facts are these.

Incident

Maura Murray disappeared on February 9, 2004. She was driving on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire when it is believed she crashed her car before disappearing.

Background

Maura Murray was a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. However, before attending UMASS, she was a student at West Point. She reportedly had some issue at that school where she had stolen some make up and was asked to leave the school. She remained at West Point for a semester while she waited to be accepted into UMASS.

Once at UMASS, she was accepted into the coveted nursing program which had actually already begun. However, three months before her disappearance she was arrested. Murray was caught using a stolen credit card. The charge was continued in December to be dismissed after three months’ good behavior.

Days Before

Three days before her disappearance, on Thursday, February 5, 2004, around 10:30 pm, Murray reportedly received a distressing phone call while on break from her campus job. Later, during her shift, Murray broke down in tears and her supervisor said she was depressed and she was worried about her. Her supervisors also said she offered to get coffee with her the next morning because she was worried about Maura’s emotional state. Her supervisor escorted her back to her dorm room around 1:20 am. Maura apparently did not share with anyone the reason for her breakdown. (The two never got together afterword either.)

Two days before, on Feb. 7th, Murray’s father, Fred, shows up at UMASS. They are supposed to be shopping for a new car for Maura as hers is on not running well and not meant for heaving driving according to Fred. After Fred and Maura went to dinner with her friend, Maura dropped her father off at his motel room and borrowed his Toyota Corolla. She returned to the campus to attend a dorm party with her friend leaving the party at 2:30 am. She reportedly drove the Corolla drunk with the intention of returning it to her father. At 3:30 am, en route to his motel, she struck a guardrail on Route 9 in Hadley.

After that accident, The police questioned her but didn’t file charges or administer a sobriety test. (There are no notes on why a sobriety test was not given.) She was driven back to her father’s motel and stayed in his room the rest of the night. At 4:49 am, she used her father’s phone to call her boyfriend in Oklahoma to discuss what had happened. The next morning, her father decided the damage wasn’t that bad and the insurance would cover it and he left. At 11:30 pm that evening, Fred phoned Maura reminding her to obtain the forms pertaining to the accident on Monday from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. She agreed she would and they both made plans to talk the next night to discuss filling out the paperwork properly.

Day of Disappearance

The day she went missing, Murray left UMASS campus in the afternoon after packing up her belongings from her dorm and emailing her professors and work supervisor that she was taking time off due to a family emergency.

– It should be noted that no family emergency existed.

Murray MapQuested directions to two places: The Berkshires and Burlington, Vermont. Both are places she was familiar with as her family had vacationed there several times.

At 1:00 pm Maura emailed her boyfriend:

“I got your messages, but honestly, I didn’t feel like talking to much of anyone, I promise to call today though.”

She also made a call to another place she had visited before in Bartlett, New Hampshire, to inquire about renting a condominium. However, it was later discovered the lines were down at that location and Murray likely listened to information.

Murray would also call a fellow nursing student to try and return a lab coat that she had borrowed. Her plan was ideally to return the coat before leaving campus.

At 1:24 pm, she made the calls and emails to her work supervisor and professors about the family emergency that didn’t exist.

At 2:05 pm she called a number which provides prerecorded information about booking hotels in Stowe, Vermont. She listened to this information for approximately five minutes. At 2:18 pm she telephoned her boyfriend and left a voice message promising him they would talk later. This call ended after one minute.

When packing up her belongings to leave, she included in her car: clothing, toiletries, and college textbooks. After her disappearance, her dorm room was also searched and campus police discovered most of her belongings packed in boxes and the art removed from the walls.

She left campus around 3:30 pm in her black Saturn sedan. At 3:40 pm Maura withdrew $280 from an ATM. Closed-circuit footage indicates she was alone. This withdrawal nearly emptied her bank account although she was due to receive paychecks in the coming days. She would also purchase several bottles of alcohol nearby including Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlúa, vodka, and a box of Franzia wine. Footage also shows she was alone when she made that purchase. At some point in the day she obtained Registry of Motor Vehicle accident report forms, as they were later found in her car.

She headed north on Interstate 91. She called to check her voice mail at 4:37 pm, the last recorded use of her cell phone. As far as anyone knows, she did not tell anyone where she was going.

“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.”

—Joe McGee, The Patriot Ledger

The Accident and Disappearance

Around 7:00pm, on Route 112, Murray went off the road into a snowbank. A resident reports hearing a loud thump outside of her house and tells police she could see Murray’s car against the bank. The car was pointed east on the westbound road.

The resident calls police at 7:27 to report the accident. At about the same time another neighbor saw the car as well as someone walking around the vehicle. She witnessed a third neighbor, a bus driver,  pull up alongside the vehicle.

The bus driver asks Murray if she needs help and he tells police that Murray tells him not to call police because she has already called AAA. (However, later AAA reports no call was ever made or recorded.) The bus driver parks his bus at his house and calls police anyway. His call was received by the Sheriff’s Department at 7:43 pm.

Between 7:27 and 7:46, Maura Murray disappears.

At 7:46 pm, a Haverhill police officer arrived at the scene. No one was inside or around the car. They inspect the car and find the windshield cracked and both airbags deployed. The inside is stained with what appears to be red wine from the Franzia and she has a bottle that smells strongly of alcohol. A rag believed to have been part of Maura’s emergency roadside kit was discovered stuffed into the Saturn’s muffler pipe.

Inside the car, the police officer found an AAA card issued to Maura Murray, blank crash report forms, gloves, compact discs, makeup, two sets of MapQuest driving directions (one to Burlington, Vermont, another to Stowe, Vermont), Maura’s favorite stuffed animal, and Not Without Peril, a book about mountain climbing in the White Mountains. Missing were Maura’s debit card, credit cards, and cell phone, none of which have been located or used since her disappearance.

Currently, police and investigators consider the Maura Murray case a missing persons case, many of her friends and family believe she was abducted. There is also a Change.org petition to have the FBI take over the case from the New Hampshire state police. The Murray family support this initiative as they do NOT believe the state police have the means or ability to handle this case. (Clearly, it has been 12 years with almost ZERO leads uncovered. This will be covered more extensively in the theories post.)

CU+Maura+Poster+on+Tree

Quick Facts:

  • Missing Since: February 9, 2004
  • Born: May 4, 1982
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Caucasian
  • Height: 67 inches
  • Weight: 120 pounds
  • Hair Type: Curly
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Eye Color: Blue-Green
  • Clothing: Possibly wearing a dark colored coat and jeans, carrying a black backpack, Samsung/Sprint Cell phone.
  • NCIC ID#: M-883793945

3 thoughts on “Missing Person – Maura Murray”

  1. I tend to think the massive amounts of supplemental information over the years has done nothing but make the case more confusing. While her prior life is important I think whatever plan she had in terms of travel came to a screeching halt so to speak when the accident occurred.

    With that said, the I think the answers here lie in what Maura did immediately after her crash.

    Given her mindset and her circumstances, she was likely fearful of police involvement and how her dad would react to all this. I think, ultimately, a sense of desperation set in and a young, vulnerable and scared girl ventured off alone at night to seek whatever help she could find.

    1. I tend to agree. I think the case has gotten intensely convoluted over the years as people focus so much time on minutae of months before she disappeared.

      I am one to think that she likely was leaving school for a week or longer to figure out her plans (I lean towards she was planning on dropping out and likely needed some headspace) but then got into another accident, was scared because this was yet another misstep and being a little (or a lot) drunk wondered off somewhere at night in the cold. She may have even gotten down the road a bit before going into the woods but I have doubted from the beginning that something malicious has occurred.

  2. Totally agree. Something was unraveling in her life. She most likely was drunk, ran away and hid from the police- got lost in the woods and briefly got a signal used her pre-paid card to call Billy, too drunk or exhausted she just cried during the message- I think she passed out drunk and died from exposure – it took years for Chandra Leavy’s body to be discovered and she had a google map for a jogging trail left up on her computer -the police first searched exactly where she was searching by the information on her computer to jog- it was a large woodsy city park- a huge search took place with a 100 plus rookie cops and volunteers they apparently searched the entire park several times and were documented to be within 10 feet of where her body was later discovered- – couldn’t even find her in a city park.. apparently there had been a serial rapist and the public hadn’t been alerted.. So yes, she was targeted by a serial rapist, who knew some female would be jogging alone and he waited for the right moment – but the chances of Maura meeting a similar ending in a rural area at 7:00 pm is highly unlikely – I don’t think she wanted anyone’s help- she could have run to one of three houses and asked to use the phone – so why get into a total strangers car- she turned down and lied to the bus driver which was the best evidence as to her mind set at the moment- she was focused only to get away from the car and distance herself and being a runner I think she took off down the road then ran into the woods- so with her refusing help from a bus driver (pretty safe option) yet were lead to believe she would 3 min later except a ride from a man in a truck or suv – that option would be too risky too, he could be a serial killer or have passed the accident and link her to the car plus in a small community they could be friends with one of the EMT’s, tow truck drivers, or cops- everyone knows everyone – . I think she figured the other neighbor had already called the cops- she took a huge risk and ran down the road- saw the police lights and panicked – ran deep into the woods and lost her bearings – it was11 hours till daybreak in 30 degree weather wet and drunk with no light source – she could have fallen into a deep ravine or been knocked out by branches running in the dark – it was a cloudy night so the moon wasn’t helping her either- it’s easy in a vast deep forest to get lost and camouflaged plus it was 3 days before they really started searching for her. Sheesh….if not for a series of stupid choices.

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