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Missing Woman: Maura Murray - NH - 02/09/2004

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Parent Accuses Police Of Character Assassination

Vermont, N.H. Officers Deny Link Between Missing Women

By GARY E. LINDSLEY, Staff Writer

Wednesday June 9, 2004

Law enforcement authorities from Vermont and New Hampshire, after a daylong meeting with the FBI Tuesday, say there is no connection between the disappearances of a 17-year-old Vermont woman and 22-year-old University of Massachusetts nursing student.

Vermont State Police and New Hampshire State Police met with Burlington, Vt. FBI agent D.J. Corbet in St. Albans.

In a press release issued after the meeting, state police from Vermont and New Hampshire emphatically said there is no connection between the disappearances of Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., and Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass.

Capt. Bruce W. Lang, chief of Vermont's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said there is no serial killer on the loose as has been speculated in the media.

In fact, they said Maitland had made several bad life choices before she disappeared, and at one point, had been a runaway.

Investigators also said Murray had nearly cleaned out her bank account, packed up her belongings in her dorm room at UMass Amherst, and made off for destinations unknown.

"How can you say there is not a connection?" asked Bruce Maitland, Brianna's father. "They don't have any evidence saying they aren't connected. It's a flat-out lie.

"I think it's almost character assassination of the victims. They said Maura wanted to disappear. Brianna, they said she chose an unhealthy life choice."

He believes state police in both states have spent less time on the two cases than trying to shut up the parents and others. "I am disheartened," Maitland said.

Talking to some of the investigators after the meeting and a press conference, he said he had the distinct impression the investigations are done.

"They said they were tired of wasting their time on leads (which lead to nowhere)," Maitland said. "They want to say it's the girls' own fault."

Brianna has not been seen since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery at 11:20 p.m. March 19.

Her car was found early the next morning partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the inn.

Murray has not been seen since she disappeared after being involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9.

According to Lt. Thomas M. Nelson, Vermont BCI commander for Troop A North, Brianna had previously been reported as missing by her father in 2003.

In the joint press release, Nelson also said a VSP investigation had revealed Brianna had made unhealthy lifestyle choices in her life prior to her disappearance.

"Specifically, she had become involved in the world of illegal drugs in the area where she lived," he said. "Her association with people involved in this activity is an area of focus for the investigators."

She was living with a friend in Sheldon at the time of her disappearance.

New Hampshire State Police Troop F Commander Lt. John Scarinza described Maura as having had a difficult long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, Billy Rausch, who is stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Scarinza also said the day before she disappeared, she had had an accident with her father's brand-new car in Hadley, Mass. The accident, he said, caused $10,000 worth of damage to Fred Murray's car.

The next day she packed up all her belongings in her dorm room and headed off to a destination unknown. Later that day, she had a second car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., and disappeared before police arrived.

"She withdrew most of her money from her personal bank account," Scarinza said in the press release. "She sent e-mails to her supervisor at work as well as a college professor saying she would be absent from work and school for a week due to a death in the family."

"There was no death in the family," he continued. "She did not tell her family, her friends or her classmates that she was planning to leave for the week. Investigators believe that Maura was headed for an unknown destination and may have accepted a ride in order to continue to that location."

Maura's father, in reaction to Scarinza's statements, said, "As far as Scarinza's amateur psychology goes, it does not matter why Maura left. Something happened.

"They do not want the FBI (fully involved) because it would be like calling the police on itself. They botched the case from the start."

Murray said Troop F first treated his daughter as a missing runaway. Then, they said she had frozen to death.

Their next theory, according to Murray, was Maura had committed suicide. "Again, if it was suicide, they would have to look for her," he said.

If it was a suicide, then the state police would not have to look for a bad guy, Murray said. "If there is a bad guy, then the state police have not been able to do the job and catch the bad guy," he said.

Regarding his daughter's relationship with Rausch, Murray said it was a strong, loving, very, very good relationship.

"The accident with my car? It was not a big deal," he said. "My insurance covered it. They are saying anything to avoid searching for a bad guy. It's just a smokescreen.

"They have to get the job done. They should be made to accept (the FBI's help). If you blame the victims, it doesn't matter. Something still happened to these girls. Someone harmed them. It's a crime."

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Police After Meeting: Murray, Maitland Cases Not Connected

Maitland Family Canoes Down River Searching For Body

POSTED: 7:39 pm EDT June 28, 2004

Police crossed state lines to meet about a pair of missing women.

Investigators were looking for connections between the disappearances of Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray, and in the end, they said they found none.

The Maitlands took a canoe ride down the Mississquoi River.

"The last time we did this river, she was along with us in a kayak," Brianna's father Bruce Maitland said.

This time, they're searching for her body.

"If we come across something here it's not going to be good, but you just have to keep searching like that," Maitland said.

Police continue to search for leads, but to no avail.

Murray and Maitland disappeared this winter after separate but similar car accidents.

Investigators from both states met for four hours with the FBI.

Their conclusion is that there is no connection whatsoever between these cases.

In fact, they still find no evidence of foul play in either case, but offer a plea from both police and parents for any information that can help.

They said there are probably some people reluctant to bring information to them because of drug activity or criminal past.

"We don't care about that," one officer said. "We're trying to locate both of these women."

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Lieutenant Says Major Crimes Involved Since Beginning

Police Secure Murray Items For Evidence


Thursday July 1, 2004

State police say they have secured items from a missing 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student as possible evidence.

Lt. John Scarinza, commander of New Hampshire State Police Troop F, says the items are being held, possibly for further investigation.

However, Scarinza also says it's not true the state police Major Crimes Unit is only now getting involved in the Maura Murray case.

Murray has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car crash on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., about a mile east of Swiftwater Feb. 9.

She has not been seen since the night of the accident.

He said the Major Crimes Unit, and specifically, Sgt. Charles West, has been involved in the Murray disappearance since three days after she disappeared.

Scarinza also said detectives from Troop F and the Major Crimes Unit have been used during the missing person's investigation.

He was emphatic that the items from Murray's car are not only now being looked at.

"The items have already been gone through once," Scarinza said.

When asked whether any of the items, including clothing and books, had been analyzed for forensic evidence in the beginning of the investigation, he said, "You don't just send a bag of stuff down there."

However, he did say the items in Murray's black 1996 Saturn were inventoried by Haverhill police officers during the first week of the investigation back in February.

In addition to diamond jewelry, books, clothing and some alcohol found in the vehicle after the accident, some items were missing.

"She had a (black) backpack when she left Massachusetts," Scarinza said. "We have not been able to locate the backpack in the car or her (dorm) room. That was the pack she used at school."

Scarinza also said when Murray left the Amherst campus, she had with her a box of wine, and bottles of vodka, Kahluha and Bailey's Irish Cream.

The box of wine, of which most had been spilled, was found in the car. But some of the other bottles were not found.

Also found in the car, specifically on the back seat, was a book written by Nicholas Howe, titled, "Not Without Peril."

Scarinza said the book is about tragedies regarding search and rescues in the White Mountains.

"Mrs. (Sharon) Rausch tells me that is Maura's favorite book," he said. "What does that mean? I don't know."

Haverhill police, in a press release issued two days after Murray's disappearance, said she possibly was suicidal.

Because it has been nearly five months since the night Murray disappeared, and because state police believe there is not a lot to look for, Scarinza said it's appropriate to have the items in the car at the time of the accident returned to investigators so they can be held as possible evidence.

"I don't know what we will do with them," he said. "We want to have all the items if we need them. At this point, we are holding them for evidence."

That includes Nicholas Howe's book.

"For instance," Scarinza said, "is there something significant about that book? I don't know."

If there is something highlighted in the book which may help with the investigation, they will have the book readily available.

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Maura Murray Family, Friends Say State Police Lied


Saturday July 3, 2004

Family and friends of a missing 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student say New Hampshire State Police are misinforming the public.

"You don't try to provide spin unless you are trying to cover something up," said Sharon Rausch, mother of Maura Murray's boyfriend, Billy Rausch of Fort Sill, Okla.

Murray has not been seen since she was involved in a minor one-car accident Feb. 9 on dark, and curvy Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H.

"They are a bunch of liars," Rausch said. "I am at the point the only people I am worried about offending are Billy and Fred."

Fred is Fred Murray, Maura's father.

Murray and Rausch are upset about comments made this week by New Hampshire State Police Troop F commander Lt. John Scarinza.

Scarinza pointed to a book by Nicholas Howe, "Not Without Peril," as a possible source of why Maura disappeared. The book was among items found in her car.

In the book, there are stories about tragedies and rescues in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, areas in which Maura and her father had hiked.

Scarinza has said Murray told police his daughter was suicidal.

However, the first mention of Maura being suicidal was in a press release issued by Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams two days after Maura's car accident and disappearance.

Murray says he never told police his daughter was suicidal.

"I want to set the record straight," he said. "Scarinza is using (Howe's book) to reinforce his suicide theory. It's nothing like that.

"Maura liked the book," he said. "She was making her way through it. The reason she liked the book was because she likes several different areas in the White Mountains. There are all kinds of landmarks. That's all it was."

Although he is upset about Scarinza's comments, Murray isn't surprised.

"If he goes with the suicide theory, that means nothing happened on his turf and during his watch," Murray said. "However, when you have a bad guy (involved), it's in (Scarinza's) back yard and he can't solve it."

"He's pushing it hard," he continued. "He's to the point he's making things up."

Rausch, equally upset with Scarinza's comments, says, "It's pretty pathetic that 41/2 months later, the state police want to secure the evidence."

She says it's comparable to the state police not searching for Maura until 36 hours after she disappeared.

"They never did a forensics study," Rausch said. "And Lt. Scarinza is providing a lot of misinformation to the public - including that she ran away to a new life; she froze to death; she committed suicide."

"When I lay awake at night," she continued, "I wonder how well Lt. Scarinza is sleeping."

And Rausch is adamant when she says she never told Scarinza about "Not Without Peril."

"That angers me because this is just another thing that is a lie," she said. "Why didn't he ask me what that meant?"

Rausch was referring to Maura saying the book was her favorite.

"She told me (the White Mountains are) a favorite place she likes to go," she said, adding Maura told her, Ãâ€ÂAnd most of all it's my favorite place on earth.'"

Scarinza could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

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Search for Missing Girl Intensifies

Woodsville, New Hampshire - July13, 2004

College student Maura Murray was last seen along Route 112 in February. Murray had just crashed her car on this corner in Haverhill, New Hampshire.

"What is clear it was her intention to leave school at the time she drove and ended up in Haverhill, New Hampshire. She had packed all her belongings, put them in boxes," said Lt. John Scarinza who is heading up the investigation for the New Hampshire State Police.

The rest is a real mystery.

Authorities are searching for any clues that may lead to Murray's whereabouts. Ninety people in five teams fanned out over a one mile radius from the crash site on Tuesday.

"We have them going through drainages..anything that encompasses within that one mile radius," said Lt. Todd Bogardus of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Authorities say there is no one thing that led them to search the area again, but they are looking for items Murray had with her when she left Massachusetts that wintry night. One was a backpack.

"They were smaller type items that maybe if they got dropped on the side of the road or thrown over a snow bank, you could have missed them at the time of the searches when there was snow on the ground," Lt. Scarinza told reporters.

Murray's car was searched at the time of the crash. Police say they found alcohol inside and outside the vehicle.

"There were indications inside the vehicle, specifically we found what we believe to be red wine, spilt on the driver's door, on the headliner and front seat of the vehicle and we found a container that we believe was holding red wine immediately outside the vehicle on the ground," said Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams.

Relations between the Murray family and authorities have been tense at times. Relatives have questioned whether police have done enough to find her.

"I understand that it has to be very frustrating for the family and we are doing everything we can to bring this to a conclusion for them," said Lt. Scarinza.

Tuesday's search did not turn up anything substantial. For now there is no closure, just a mystery.

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Wants Aid Getting FBI Involved

Missing Woman's Dad Urges Public's Help


Tuesday April 27, 2004

Maura Murray's father wants people to become involved in his quest to have the FBI join the investigation into his daughter's disappearance.

Murray's father, Fred, and other relatives have long clamored for the FBI to play an expansive role in the search for Maura.

Maura disappeared after she was involved in a one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, about a mile east of Swiftwater, the night of Feb. 9.

She hasn't been seen since. And her ATM card, credit card, bank account and cell phone have not been used since her disappearance.

"I am asking for (people living in Vermont and New Hampshire) to contact the FBI and ask them to become involved," Murray said. "None of the young women in Vermont and New Hampshire are safe. This could happen again."

The discovery of a woman's body in a swampy area of Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Murray said, is even more reason to have the FBI involved.

Sgt. Nick Willard of the Manchester Police Department would not say Monday whether the woman has been identified.

Willard said the woman's identity will be released once the next of kin have been identified.

He said the New Hampshire State Attorney General's Office will be having a press conference today regarding the discovery of the woman. Members of the Attorney General's Office could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

Murray is concerned about a Vermont woman's disappearance as well.

Brianna Maitland is a 17-year-old who disappeared the night of March 19 after leaving her job at the Black Lantern in Montgomery.

Murray, like Brianna's father, Bruce, does not understand how state police in both states have ruled out any connection between the disappearance of their daughters.

"They said the victims did not know one another," Murray said. "I told them the connection isn't between the victims, but the perpetrator. I asked (New Hampshire State Police) why not let the FBI decide whether there is a connection. Also, there may be an Upper Valley murders connection."

He was referring to a series of murders which occurred in the late 1980s.

"They said they have all the resources they need," Murray said, referring to state police. "I told them they are not getting the job done. They said they are. And I said they weren't because they have not found Maura."

Murray has suggested the state police conduct a search of areas off of Route 112 on Route 116.

"I asked them to do a direct appeal to the public," he said. "They said they will wait until May."

Murray told them that wasn't acceptable. Waiting another month will make it more than three months since Maura disappeared.

"I would think people other than the Maitlands and us would be screaming for the FBI," he said. "We don't want to wait for another body to disappear. There's an unidentified guy still out there. You have another potential horrendous situation."

Murray also is asking for help from residents living in the area where his daughter's accident happened to become involved because he believes a local person may have been involved in Maura's disappearance.

"Like it takes a thief to catch a thief, it takes a local to catch a local," he said.

A $40,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to finding Maura. Maura's Web site is

The Maitlands have announced they are offering a $10,000 reward for finding their daughter.

The Maitlands have created the Web site as a way to help find their daughter.

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Father Denied Access

State, Haverhill Police Won't Release Murray Information

By GARY E. LINDSLEY, Staff Writer

Saturday July 24, 2004


New Hampshire State Police and Haverhill police are refusing to release information regarding a February accident involving a Massachusetts woman and her subsequent disappearance.

Maura Murray, a 22-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student, was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9.

Her father, Fred, filed Freedom of Information Act requests with state police and Haverhill police to obtain information about the accident and the investigation into Maura's disappearance.

His requests were denied by both state police and Haverhill police.

Murray received a letter dated June 29 from Brian Hester, a lieutenant with the state police Special Investigation Unit.

In the letter, Hester said, "A determination has been made these files are investigative in nature, the release of requested reports, logs and data information would be a disclosure constituting an unwarranted invasion of privacy under RSA 91-A:5 IV."

"The release and disclosure at this time could interfere with an ongoing investigation," Hester continued in his letter. "See Lodge v. Knowlton, 118 NH 574 (1978). Therefore, your request at this time is denied."

Gary J. Wood, an attorney representing the Haverhill Police Department, used the same reasoning and court case to decline providing Murray with the information surrounding his daughter's accident and subsequent disappearance.

The Lodge vs. Knowlton case involved a case filed in New Hampshire Supreme Court by Bruce Lodge against Col. Harold Knowlton of the New Hampshire State Police.

Lodge had attempted to obtain an accident report regarding an accident involving a police chief while operating his cruiser.

In conclusion, the court determined the six-prong test of 5 U.S.C. 552 (B) (7) provided a good standard to effectuate the balance of interests required by RSA CH. 91-A with regard to police investigatory files.

One of the elements of the six-prong test involves invasion of privacy.

The court also suggested a new hearing be held.

Hester, when contacted Friday morning, declined to comment and referred questions to David Ruhoff of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

Ruhoff at first said he could not make any comments in any official capacity.

He then relented when told state police said he would be the one to discuss the freedom of information act request refusal.

Ruhoff did say because it's an ongoing investigation, even the accident report cannot be released.

Wood was not available for comment.

As for Murray, he does not understand why authorities won't release any information about his daughter, if her case is not being investigated as a criminal case.

State police have continually stated they consider it a missing person's case.

So, Murray does not understand why they won't release information about her case as well as the police reports regarding her accident.

He wonders whose privacy state police and police are worried about violating.

"What's so criminal about an accident report, if it's (being classified as) a missing person's case?" Murray asked. "They are denying me information which may help me."

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Maura Murray has been missing since Monday, February 9, 2004. There was a light snow falling, 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground and a temperature of 12 degrees and falling when Maura slid off Route 112 into a snow bank on a hairpin turn around 7:30 PM near Haverhill, NH. A motorist who also lived nearby offered her assistance, but she refused. He reported that she appeared to be shaken, but uninjured and told him that she was going to call AAA. However, cell phones do not work in the area. The motorist called the police who arrived approximately 10 minutes later to find Maura gone and her car locked. Along with Maura, the only items missing were her cell phone, bank card, cash, driver's license and a small black backpack. The cell phone and the bank card have not been used. Law enforcement did not notify Maura's family until 24 hours after the accident and no search was begun for her until after 36 hours. At that time, an air scent dog traced her 100 yards on the road and lost her scent. The area in which Maura went missing is in The White Mountain National Forest. The area is sparsely populated in summer and during the winter most homes are vacant. There are many mountains, ravines, rivers and creeks. According to the police there are no leads as to her whereabouts. It is as if she vanished into thin air. Maura will be missing 6 months on Monday, August 9. Many friends, family and loved ones have been praying for Maura's safe return. Maura's father has spent every weekend searching for her since she disappeared.

I ask you to forward this message to everyone you know to join us in earnest prayer that God will bring Maura home. I am also asking that you request your church to have a moment of prayer for Maura in your worship service on Sunday, August 8th and to request that each member make it a priority to pray throughout the week that God will comfort, strengthen and provide answers to all of the people that love Maura as they deal with her being missing for 6 months . Most importantly, please pray that God will bring Maura home. We fear that Maura is no longer with us, but we need her home. Please help us and give God the glory!

I would appreciate your reply to me at if you feel led to pray and/or to ask your church to pray with us.

Thank you.

With Hope in Christ,

Sharon Rausch

"Our help is from the Lord, who created heaven and earth." Psalm 24:8

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Family, Friends No Closer To Finding Maura Murray

By GARY E. LINDSLEY, Staff Writer

Thursday August 5, 2004

Maura Murray's friends and family are no closer to finding out what has happened to the 22-year-old nursing student than they were six months ago after learning she disappeared the frigid night of Feb. 9.

Murray, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst student, has not been seen since she was involved in a minor car accident after failing to negotiate a sharp left-hand curve on very rural Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H.

Her father, Fred, still travels to New Hampshire every weekend to search for his daughter.

Maura left her dorm room the afternoon of Feb. 9.

She had researched destinations in Vermont and New Hampshire on her computer before leaving in her father's black 1996 Saturn.

Maura had some of her semester's books with her as well as expensive diamond jewelry and other items. She also had alcohol in the vehicle.

An area contractor, months after the accident, told investigators with New Hampshire State Police he may have seen her running along Route 112 toward the North Woodstock area, about four to five miles from the accident scene.

Maura has not been heard from or seen since - except for a reported sighting in a bar in Rochester in early July.

Although two women have stated they believed the woman was Maura, state police have discounted the alleged sighting without saying why.

Since Maura disappeared, she has not accessed her bank accounts nor used her ATM card.

State police are treating Maura's disappearance as a missing person case and have not brought the FBI into the case.

Fred Murray has spent nearly every weekend searching for her.

Monday marks six months since Maura disappeared and family and friends are asking people around the nation to pray for her.

Sharon Rausch, whose son, Billy, is Maura's boyfriend, said Maura's friends, family and loved ones have been praying for Maura's safe return.

Now, they are asking for others to join with them in the hopes Maura will be safely returned to them.

"I am also asking that you request your church to have a moment of prayer for Maura in your worship service on Sunday, Aug. 8, and to request that each member make it a priority to pray throughout the week that God will comfort, strengthen and provide answers to all of the people that love Maura as they deal with her being missing for six months," Rausch said. "Most importantly, please pray that God will bring Maura home.

"We fear that Maura is no longer with us, but we need her home," she continued. "Please help us."

Rausch said she has sent out 350 e-mails to churches in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and across the country.

She said she has received between 75 and 100 responses, including two from churches in Haverhill, Mass., stating people will be praying for Maura as Monday marks the sixth month since she was last seen.

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Posted by Kelly 8/28/04

Maura is on Project Jason's Adopt a Missing Person program. You can play a part in possibly reuniting her family by wearing her photo button and telling others about her. For more information about this program, and how you can help, please see:

Thank you and God bless!


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UMass student still missing since winter

By Dan O'Brien, Collegian Staff

September 09, 2004

For the parents of many University of Massachusetts students, the start of the school year marks the beginning of a separation period, at least until the holidays. But while some parents are lingering on their child's last goodbye hug, the family of one UMass student is still trying to piece together the disappearance of their daughter from the University campus last winter.

22-year-old Maura Murray, a nursing student, is still missing after 7 months. It was February 9, 2004 when the Hanson, Mass. resident packed up her belongings from her Kennedy Hall dorm room, drove her car to New Hampshire and got into a minor car accident. After the accident, she vanished without a trace. She has not been seen or heard from since that cold February evening.

Maura's parents, Laurie and Fred Murray, have said all along that her daughter had excellent grades. Murray was a Dean's list student a track star in high school, and a close friend to many.

Murray has described her daughter's relationship with her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rauch of Oklahoma as "a very, very good relationship." However, Maura's family and friends suspect foul play was involved in the young woman's disappearance.

Events leading up to her disappearance

There are clues indicating that Maura Murray may have had some personal troubles just before she left UMass.

Maura allegedly left her campus job the Thursday before she disappeared and co-workers described her state as upset and troubled, according to WCVB-TV.

In an interview with WCVB-TV, Maura's older sister, Kathleen Murray of Hanover, Mass., admitted that she had a phone conversation with Maura that evening.

"It was just a regular phone call. It made no difference to me. It was just Maura calling me, that was that. I told her about my day and quarreling with my fiancée," Murray said. "I don't know what I could have done to upset her... Seriously, I think she just wanted to get out of work."

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza is one of the lead investigators on the Murray case. He disputes Kathleen Murray's statement about her sister trying to leave work early.

"It wasn't a case where she called the supervisor and said, 'Listen, I've had a bad phone call...' The supervisor on her own initiative said, 'Why don't you take the rest of the night off? I'll walk you to your dorm.' So clearly she was upset," Scarinza told WCVB-TV.

It was less than four days later when Maura decided to leave UMass. She apparently had some type of plan before for her departure.

In the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 9th Maura performed an Internet search for directions to Burlington, VT and the Berkshires.

"Sometime between Sunday and Monday morning, she packed up all her belongings in her dorm room, to include taking all her pictures off the walls, taking everything out of her bureaus, [and] put them all in boxes [and] left [them] on her bed," Scarinza told WCVB-TV, "[she] left a personal note to her boyfriend on top of the boxes."

Maura Murray's vehicle was then found in the town of Haverhill, N.H. crashed and abandoned on the side of the road. Her doors were reportedly locked and a few items had been removed from her car.

Authorities did not begin their search for Murray until Feb. 11, to the dismay of her parents.

A possible link

It was only about one month after Maura's disappearance when another disappearance of a young woman shocked the northern New England region where Maura was last seen.

17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Montgomery, VT disappeared March 19th after leaving her restaurant job.

About one hour after she left work, her car was found backed into an abandoned barn about 1 1/2 miles away. Her disappearance took place only 90 miles from where Maura was last seen.

The Murray family has publicly said they are not disregarding the idea that there may be a link between the two disappearances.

"If you think about it, both of them had minor accidents and they both disappeared without a trace," Laurie Murray told the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Both the families of Murray and Maitland have publicly said they want their respective law enforcement agencies to investigate further if there is a missing link between the two disappearances.

Police are not dismissing the link theory, but have said it is unlikely.

"It's hard to believe you'd have that bad of luck," said Scarinza, "We are open minded to anything, but there is no evidence to suggest the cases are related."

No new leads

On July 13th, a search of the woods was conducted, which involved about 90 people. It covered a one-mile radius from where Maura was last seen.

Officials recovered several articles of clothing, but none of the items found were linked to Murray.

"As of this date, none of the clothing items recovered appears to have belonged to Maura or appear to be linked to her disappearance. Of the miscellaneous items that were located by the searchers to include several bottles and other products, they do not appear to have any relevance to Maura's disappearance," said Scarinza.

Laurie Murray recently reiterated that no new information has been found.

"We continue to never give up hope and we pray," Murray said.

Scarinza said he is hoping someone from UMass might come forward with new information regarding Maura's disappearance. His hope is that Maura did confide in someone as to why she decided to leave school.

"We don't know why Maura left school... Clearly it was her intention to leave school. Clearly she had a destination in mind when she came up north. What clearly did not make sense was that she didn't confide in anyone," Scarinza said.

He went on to say that he is not worried about finding alcohol or drugs if someone were to speak up.

"I'm just worried about finding Maura," he said.

Anyone who has any information about the disappearance of Maura Murray is urged to call New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Robert Bruno. His phone number is 603-846-3333. All calls can remain confidential.

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Missing Hanson woman's last call yet to be investigated: N.H. condo owners say police made no effort to contact them since February


The Patriot Ledger

HANSON - The family of a missing 22-year-old is demanding to know why police apparently failed to investigate one of the last telephone calls she made on the day she disappeared.

At 1 p.m. on Feb. 9, Maura Murray called a Wakefield couple who own a condominium at the Seasons at Attitash resort in Bartlett, N.H., that was for rent. Murray's family has stayed at the resort.

But the couple, Dominic and Linda Salamone, say they have never heard from investigators.

‘‘It's so upsetting,'' Linda Salamone said last night. ‘‘I was the last person she talked to, so wouldn't I be the first person they would call to at least find out her state of mind?''

Murray made her last call at 2 p.m. on the same day to a toll-free number that offers information about lodging in Stowe, Vt.

Salamone said she did not know about Murray's mysterious disappearance until last month, when the mother of the young woman's boyfriend telephoned to ask about the February call.

‘‘I couldn't even tell her what she said because it was so long ago but I'm assuming she wanted to rent the place,'' Linda Salamone said.

Sharon Rausch, the mother of Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch, said she discovered the call to the Salamones last month when she looked over Murray's cell phone bill for February.

‘‘It blew our minds that it's now eight months later and we're finding out that (police) never even called these people,'' Rausch said.

New Hampshire State Police said the investigator who was given the phone records, Lt. John Scarinza, would not be available for comment until Monday.

This is not the first time the Murray family has criticized the way the investigation has been handled.

In July, Laurie Murray found out from a Patriot Ledger reporter that police had conducted a day-long search for her daughter. Police said they had told her ex-husband, Fred Murray of Weymouth, and assumed he would tell her, but Murray denied in a television interview that he had been notified.

In June, Laurie Murray criticized police for suggesting that her daughter had killed herself or run away. Murray believes her daughter was abducted.

Murray was last seen Feb. 9 in Haverhill, N.H., a small town near the Vermont border, where she crashed her car on Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway. Earlier in the day she left her dormitory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst without telling anyone why.

Police said Murray was dealing with personal issues, but family members said none of it was serious enough that she would run away.

Bartlett, where the Salamones have their condominium, is about 60 miles east of Haverhill on Route 112.

While the Murrays may have lost faith in the police investigation, they are continuing their effort to find their daughter.

A new website launched last week,, offers information about the case and a forum for people to chat.

‘‘We've already had interest from people,'' said Kerri Doble Gingras of Marshfield, a relative of Murray who developed the web site with her husband.

‘‘We're hopeful from having a response that at least she's still on people's minds,'' she said.

Murray's story will be featured on the Montel Williams talk show on a date to be announced.

Over the last month, volunteers have also attached photos of Murray to their mail with information about how to contact police.

But the family is also dealing with another crisis.

Laurie Murray was diagnosed with throat cancer last month and is undergoing 30 days of chemotherapy and radiation.

‘‘Everything comes in numbers. We already had Maura and now this,'' Murray said. ‘‘But I'm a fighter and I'll beat this.''

She said she is determined to see her daughter again.

‘‘I want her home for the holidays,'' she said.

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Father Keeps Hope Alive In Search For Missing Daughter

Maura Murray Last Seen Feb. 9, 2004

POSTED: 1:03 pm EST November 18, 2004

UPDATED: 7:04 pm EST November 19, 2004

BOSTON -- It's a parent's nightmare come true for a South Shore father.

NewsCenter 5's Liz Brunner reported that Fred Murray's daughter, Maura, has been missing since February. The college student disappeared after making a car trip to rural New Hampshire.

Murray said the police are now treating the case as if it's cold, so he's taken it upon himself to keep hope alive.

Every other weekend for nine months Fred Murray has made the trip from Connecticut to a New Hampshire motel that has become the home base in his search for his missing daughter.

"No one else is looking and the case would just die and be forgotten. I've got to do it. I owe it to my daughter," said Murray.

Maura Murray, 22, an athlete and honors student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was last seen the evening of Feb. 9, 2004, after her car crashed in Haverhill, N.H. Neighbors called the police. One offered the young woman help, but she refused. Within minutes she vanished.

"The people who called in to the police said my daughter was sitting one to two minutes before the cops came, which means all the police had to do was go down the street and grab her," said Murray.

Alcohol was found in the car. Murray said if his daughter was drinking, she probably panicked, afraid she'd get in trouble.

"So she starts walking away," said Murray.

Murray believes his daughter became a victim of foul play.

"They know it was a young girl, they don't call ahead. They let her walk into the national forest. They let a young girl in 12-degree temperatures walk away," he said.

With that, Fred Murray's anger grows. He accused police of waiting too long when they were just minutes away from finding his daughter.

In their search for Maura Murray, New Hampshire State police say the immediate area was searched the night of the accident and neighbors were interviewed. But a ground and air search wasn't conducted until a day and a half later. Murray says that was too late.

"They can't answer why they didn't drive two minutes down the road. It took 38 hours to start the investigation," Murray said.

No footprints were ever found in the woods. Search dogs tracked the woman's scent from the scene of the accident to the next corner.

"Which is right in front of the last guy who spoke to my daughter, and also right in front of the house of the last person to have actually seen my daughter," said Murray.

That person initially told police he didn't see anything the night of Maura Murray's disappearance. Three months later he came forward with different information: He'd seen someone who fit Maura Murray's description walking about five miles away. Murray wonders if the man knows more.

Murray said the police have already made up their minds.

"Suicide, hypothermia or runaway. Back and forth, one to three, nothing about number four -- a bad guy," said Murray.

The day Maura Murray left UMass, she e-mailed her professors that she had a family problem and would be gone for about a week. Rumors flew that she wanted to disappear. Murray thinks she came to New Hampshire, a frequent family destination, to sort something out.

"If she was upset and wanted to get away to find peace, it would be here. It doesn't matter what brought her here to this point. Once she got here, something happened," he said. "My daughter is right there on that poster. If that person came out of the poster, she'd walk right out of it smiling. We were like buddies. I want my buddy back. That's what I'm doing here."

New Hampshire State Police told NewsCenter 5 that they've logged thousands of hours investigating Maura Murray's disappearance, including a number of ground and air searches. The case is active, but at this point, they say there's no reason to believe a crime was committed.

Anyone who has seen Maura or has information about her disappearance is asked to contact either the New Hampshire State Police at (603) 271-3636, or visit

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‘Project Jason’ keeps missing kids' memory alive

Reported by: Lydia Esparra

POSTED: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 7:19:43 AM

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 11:10:31 AM

ASHLAND -- We’ve seen their pictures and have heard their names, the names of our area’s missing kids. Just south of Cleveland, in Ashland, other kids are keeping their memory alive.

At Ashland University Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus are making new friends. It started with an idea from sophomore Danae Leali

“I checked out the missing person’s files and thought it was interesting,†Danae said.

And during that time she came across ‘Project Jason’ dot org. At the website people can ‘sponsor’ a missing person by helping keep their name in the public eye.

The students proudly wear buttons with the pictures of the missing Amanda, Gina, Brianna, Tamika, Maura, Jason, Joshua and Ryan.

“You read things about them and you hear about them and then people start to talk about them on campus,†sophomore, Vanessa Wagener said.

And the campus is talking and worrying, what if it happens to them.

Parent, Maria Myers, says she worries about her daughter in college.

“She calls me to let me know she is OK,†Maria said.

“Because if this happened in my family and I went missing, I can’t imagine how upset my family would be,†freshman, Dlon Benton said.

About a quarter of the students participated in adopt a missing person. That figure is pretty good considering the campus only has about 2,000 students. Even more remarkable is this is the first time its ever been done anywhere across the United States.

For one day Danae and her friends celebrate the lives of the missing. They’ll send cards to all the hurting families and light candles that burn for hope. So one day the light will help guide the missing home.

Danae said she wants to let the families know that there is hope and people are thinking of them.

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Missing Phone Call

By Justin Graeber

Nov 24, 2004, 10:04

In what is becoming a long list of frustrations for the family and friends of Maura Murray, it appears that the New Hampshire State Police did not even investigate the final phone call Murray made from her cell phone the day she disappeared.

On February 9, Hanson native and Whitman-Hanson high school graduate Maura Murray slid off the road on a remote highway in New Hampshire near the Vermont border. An eye witness watched her get out of the car and went to call the police, but when he returned Murray was gone. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Members of her family have long been frustrated with the investigation into her disappearance, feeling that the police did not act quickly enough in the hours following her disappearance. The police still maintain that the most likely scenario is that Murray left of her own volition, while the family has always felt she was abducted.

According to Sharon Rausch, the mother of Maura's fiancé Billy Rausch, the last two calls made from Maura's cell phone were to a UMass number and to a couple who is part of a condo association in the area of New Hampshire where Murray appeared headed.

The UMass number is pretty much a dead end for investigators, since the person who lived in the room Maura called in February has most likely moved on.

But the other number is more troubling in its omission from the investigation. The number Maura called belonged to a Wakefield couple, Linda and Domenic Salamone. When Rausch called them, she learned that they rent a condo in the same New Hampshire complex where Murray and her family had often stayed.

Although the call to the Salamones was one of the last Maura Murray made before she went missing, the Salamones only learned of their part in the story when they were contacted by Rausch, nearly eight months later. According to Rausch, they were “appalled†by the lack of action by the police and were willing to talk to the press to get the word out that they were never contacted.

Rausch came upon the Salamones' phone number while looking over Maura's phone bills for the month of Feburary. The phone was a gift from Billy Rausch to Maura and was still listed under Sharon Rausch's name.

The reason this recent revelation is so explosive is that it shoots a hole in the State Police's theory that Maura committed suicide or ran away. If Maura was running away for good, it is unlikely that she would be looking to rent a condo in New Hampshire. Before she left the UMass campus, where she was a nursing student, Murray sent a letter to her professors stating that there had been a death in the family and she would need some time off from school. It was later determined that there was no death, and many believe that Murray was simply seeking to get away for a few days to deal with the stress of a recent car crash. But if she was simply seeking a few days' respite, the car crash on that snowy road may have changed the plans.

The Express attempted to contact the state police for this story, but the detective working on the case could not be reached by press time. In the past, the spokesperson for the police has only said that that case was ongoing.

Maura's family has also released a website, Interested persons can read the latest news, view pictures of Maura, or share information.

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They were going about their daily lives when in a flash - they disappeared. Fred's daughter Maura was also his close friend. When she had gotten into a car accident, he readily lent her his own vehicle. Twenty-four hours later, while driving to New Hampshire, the car slid out of control on a patch of ice and Maura hit a tree. Nearby witnesses to the accident called the police and saw Maura in the car up until 2 minutes before the police cars arrived on the scene. By the time they got there, Maura had mysteriously disappeared. Meghan's mom, Janis, disappeared after a family dinner she had with her daughter and her ex-husband. She drove home with her boyfriend from the meal and was never heard from again. We'll also speak with 3 siblings who miss their charismatic sister, Brooke, who disappeared late one morning while she was outside her sister's apartment complex. Plus we'll talk to Kelly and Jim whose son was last seen taking in the garbage cans from his parents' home.

Fred: His daughter, Maura, disappeared in February of this year after she got into a car accident. If anyone has information on the disappearance of Maura Murray, please contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636

Sharon: A friend of the family, whose son was dating Maura

Meghan: Her mother, Janis, disappeared 4 years ago after having dinner with her family. If you have any information on the disappearance of Janis Stavros, please contact The Salt Lake County Sheriff at 801-743-7000

Shannon, Spencer, Jessica: Their sister, Brooke, disappeared May of this year while she was working outside at her sister's apartment complex. If you have any information on the disappearance of Brooke Wilberger please contact the National Center for Missing And Exploited Children at 1-800-THE LOST

Kelly & Jim: Their son, Jason, disappeared 3 ½ years ago early in the morning just before going to work. If you have any information on the disappearance of Jason Jolkowski, please contact the Omaha Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP

Kym: President of the National Center For Missing Adults ( who can be reached online or by telephone at 1-800-690-FIND

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Posted by Kelly 12/29/04

A friend of the family is making this request...please help:

"The Caledonian Record is currently running a poll through Saturday, January 1 for the most important story of the past year.

Options are: The Phish concert.

Red Sox win the world series.

The Devenger brothers.

The disappearances of Maura Murray and Brianna Maitland.

Currently votes for the disappearance of Maura and Brianna are next to last.

Please, let's let the readers in NH and VT know that we place more importance on life than sports or concerts.

Please go to to vote.

Thank you on behalf of the Murray and Maitland families."

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Missing student's parents angry over police investigation

By Dan OBrien, Collegian Staff

January 26, 2005

It has been almost one year since University of Massachusetts junior Maura Murray vanished without a trace. As her family and friends continue to hope and pray for her safe return, they have also expressed anger with the New Hampshire State Police who allegedly botched the investigation.

The 21-year-old nursing student from Hanson, Mass. packed up her belongings in her Kennedy Hall dorm room on February 9, 2004. In recent months, the Murray family has discovered that police have made several critical errors in the investigation, and allegedly lied to the news media.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 9th, Maura was driving on route 112 in Haverhill, NH, police said. As she was trying to negotiate a curve, her car slid off the road.

According to witnesses, after the crash Maura appeared to be frightened, but physically unharmed. A passing school bus driver stopped and asked Maura if she needed help, but she refused saying she had already called "Triple A" from her cell phone. However, there was no cell phone service in that area. The bus driver said he drove a short distance to his home and called police, but Maura had left the scene before they arrived. It appeared as if she had disappeared into the cold night.

Neither the New Hampshire State Police nor Haverhill, NH Police questioned anybody who lived in the vicinity of where Maura was last seen until 36 hours after her disappearance. This is just one in a series of critical errors that that has angered the Murray family.

In a June interview with WCVB-TV, the police officer in charge of the investigation, Lt. John Scarinza of the New Hampshire State Police, Troop F, claimed that authorities had found a note in Maura's dorm room that she had wrote to her boyfriend, Army Lt. Billy Rausch of Ohio, indicating troubles in their relationship.

"Sometime between Sunday and Monday morning, she packed up all her belongings in her dorm room, to include taking all her pictures off the walls, taking everything out of her bureaus, [and] put them all in boxes [and] left [them] on her bed," Scarinza told WCVB-TV, "[she] left a personal note to her boyfriend on top of the boxes."

Maura's mother, Laurie Murray, told the Daily Collegian in August that the relationship between her daughter and Rausch was a "very, very good relationship."

Raush's mother, Sharon Rausch, reiterated that statement in a recent interview. She said there was a point where the couple's relationship was rocky in the spring of 2002, but they had resolved their problems by summer and had a good relationship since then.

Her son arrived at Maura's dorm room with police just two days after she went missing. He said there was no recent letters to him from Maura that were found.

"There is no note," Sharon Raush said.

Maura's father, Fred Murray, sent a letter to New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson on May 21, 2004 asking him to persuade State Police to receive assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the search for his daughter. Murray never received a response.

Since then, Murray has applied for a Freedom of Information Act in order to receive more information about the investigation.

"After writing to the governor, I appealed again to the attorney general and the district attorney of Grafton County, but I don't expect anything," Murray said.

Murray has been traveling to New Hampshire to search for his daughter almost every weekend since her disappearance.

"This place is like the old west," Murray said as he described the atmosphere of Northern New Hampshire.

Murray said part of his search has included hanging out in local bars in hopes to overhear a conversation in which someone mentions something about Maura. Murray said he has been actively investigating his daughter's disappearance himself because he does not trust the police to conduct a proper investigation.

"These guys can't catch a cold," he said.

Murray said his main frustration is that police refuse to investigate "scenario number 4." Lt. Scarniza told the Daily Collegian in August that the police investigation has led them to believe Maura "left on her own volition." This would lead one to believe Maura either ran away, committed suicide, or suffered from hypothermia. The Murrays disagreed and believe she was abducted.

Fred Murray believes the police do not want to admit there is a predator in their small, rural community.

"There's a bad guy on their turf in their backyard," Murray said. "The skunk is on their doorstep."

While the Murray family has been disputing facts about the police investigation, yet another troubling piece of information came to light in October 2004 when Sharon Rausch was reviewing Maura's cell phone records. The cell phone was given to Maura by her boyfriend, which was purchased in his mother's name. Rausch came across the last two numbers Maura called three hours before she disappeared.

The first number was to a UMass Amherst dormitory. The number appeared to be a dead end for investigators because the person who lived there likely moved on.

Rausch decided to call the second number, which was to Dominic and Linda Salamone of Wakefield, Mass. In the course of Raush's conversation with Linda Salamone, she claims that she realized the Salamones own a condo in Bartlett, NH -- the same condo association the Murray family vacationed in years past.

Although the phone call was one of the last Maura made before she went missing, the Salamones said police never once contacted them. The couple did not learn of their part of the story until being contacted by Rausch, eight months after Maura vanished.

"I was speechless," Rausch recalled, "and that doesn't happen to me very often."

Fred Murray explained that this new information is another piece of evidence that points to Maura being abducted.

"She had a destination," Murray said. "She was on route 112, which goes right to Bartlett... [The police] will do anything to avoid saying 'number 4.'"

This new information does not back up the NH State Police theory that Maura ran away or committed suicide because it would be unlikely for her to rent a condo if she was planning on running away. Before she left UMass, she contacted her professors stating there was a death in the family, when there was no such death.

Many people believe she was taking time off from school to deal with the stress of a recent car crash in which she caused $10,000 worth of damage to her father's vehicle. In addition, Maura's school textbooks were found in the vehicle.

Sharon Rausch and Fred Murray have both said they could not be unhappier with the police investigation.

"It's clear they have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with the truth or finding Maura," said Rausch.

More bad news hit the Murray family this past October. Maura's mother, Laurie Murray was diagnosed with throat cancer. According to Rausch, she has already undergone 30 days of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and has been doing better. Rausch said Murray has told people she is going to beat the cancer so she can see Maura come home.

The Daily Collegian has made several attempts to contact New Hampshire State Police for information regarding this article, but calls were not returned.

Rausch asks anyone who would like to help keep hope for Maura to pray, wear a blue ribbon, or light an electric- or battery-operated candle until she comes home.

On their official Web site, New Hampshire State Police have asked anyone with information regarding Maura's disappearance to call Sgt. Robert Bruno at 603-846-3333. The Murray family asks those with information to either call police or contact them through their "Maura's Missing" Web site at

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Family and loved ones have embarked on a letter writing campaign to New Hampshire's Governor John Lynch asking that he listen to the pleas of Fred Murray for NH authorities to assist him in finding Maura.

If you would like to help you can write the Governor and explain, in your own words, what you would like to see accomplished on behalf of Maura Murray. It is Mr. Murray's hope that the letters reach Governor Lynch during the week of February 7 to February 11, 2005.

The information below gives 3 options for contacting the Governor. Thank you very much.

Email through the following website:

Fax: 603-271-8788

Address: Governor John Lynch, State House, 25 Capital Street, Concord, NH 03301

Greater attention is paid to correspondence followed up by a phone call:

Telephone (603)271-2121

Thank you from the Murray and Rausch Families

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Parents still seek missing daughter

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


A year ago today, University of Massachusetts-Amherst nursing student Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass., crashed her car into a tree on a rural road in Haverhill, N.H. and disappeared.

Her family will mark the sad anniversary with a vigil at the accident site on Route 112 and a Mass later in the day. Murray's father, Fred J. Murray of Weymouth, Mass., will start the day in Concord, N.H., asking Gov. John Lynch to assist in releasing to him state police records regarding the investigation. The state police say those records should remain in their hands so the investigation is not jeopardized.

"If the police aren't looking for my daughter and I'm the only one looking for her I need that information," Murray said yesterday during a phone interview from Haverhill. "I'm asking the governor to either release the records to me or have the state police declare it a criminal investigation. Or, I'd like the governor to ask the attorney general to accept the help the FBI offered."

Lt. John K. Scarinza, commander of State Police Troop F in Twin Mountain, N.H., said the case is very much open and the FBI has been used during the investigation.

"I certainly understand the family's frustrations, but it's not for any lack of effort on our part," Scarinza said yesterday. "It is absolutely an open investigation. We work on it every day."

Scarinza said there are no new leads on where Murray might be. He said it is technically a missing person case because police have not been able to develop leads that point to a criminal case. However, the case is being investigated like a criminal case, he said.

Murray was 21 when she disappeared. A witness to the car accident, which left Murray's 1996 Saturn undrivable, said Murray was unharmed. The witness left the accident scene to call police. When the witness returned, Murray was gone.

Before leaving UMass, Murray e-mailed her professors to tell them she was heading home for the week because of a death in the family, but there was no death in the family. She also packed up her dorm room.

"What is hard to understand at this point in time is why Maura left UMass essentially without telling anyone why she was leaving," Scarinza said. "That is sometimes to me the bigger mystery. No one seems to understand what was going on in her life that she decided to pick up, pack up and leave."

Scarinza asks anyone with any type of information about Murray to call (603) 846-5517.

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Missing Woman's Father Meets With Governor

Murray Last Seen In Haverhill, N.H.

POSTED: 6:51 am EST February 9, 2005

UPDATED: 12:45 pm EST February 9, 2005

BOSTON -- One year ago Wednesday, University of Massachusetts student Maura Murray disappeared in the woods of New Hampshire.

NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu reported that it has been a painful year for her family, and her father, Fred Murray, is demanding answers from the governor.

Fred Murray said that he couldn't believe that his daughter ran away or committed suicide, as New Hampshire police contend. He came to the Statehouse in New Hampshire to ask the governor to intervene.

"I don't want the police just to sit on it. They have evidence that they are not using that I need. If they are not going to part of the solution, I don't want them to be part of the problem," he said.

He said that police have refused to give him copies of investigators' notes. His daughter disappeared after her car crashed into a tree in Haverhill, N.H. He said that witnesses spoke with her a few minutes before police arrived at the scene.

"When police got there, she was no more than 100 yards down the street. She is heading off into the national forest. There is no body to help, nowhere to hide, nowhere to run," he said.

Fred Murray said that police failed to look for her in any meaningful way until days later.

"Mr. Murray, it is the first time I met with (him), and as I said, I told Mr. Murray that I will look into it, and I will get back to him just as soon as I possibly can," New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said.

"We will see if he is able to do anything. If he is, great. If he is not, then I am kind of back to where I was when I came up the front steps," Murray said. "At least I have more hope then I had before."

A service for Maura Murray will be held in her hometown of Hanson, Mass., Wednesday.

Father Of Missing Woman Meets With Lynch

Police Don't Believe Foul Play Involved

POSTED: 11:01 am EST February 9, 2005

UPDATED: 6:08 pm EST February 9, 2005

CONCORD, N.H. -- The father of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared a year ago met with Gov. John Lynch on Wednesday to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation.

Fred Murray, whose daughter Maura vanished after a minor car accident in Haverhill, wants state police to release their records so he can pursue leads himself.

"I asked, failing that, to have it declared a criminal investigation rather than a missing person investigation, and, if he didn't want to do that, I asked him to accept the offer of the FBI to come in," Murray said after the meeting with Lynch.

Lynch made no commitments on the specific requests.

"I told Mr. Murray that I will look into the situation, and I promised to get back to him as soon as I possibly can and that's how we left it," he said.

Maura, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, was last seen on Feb. 9, 2004, walking away from her car on Route 112 in Haverhill. Police said they have no evidence of foul play and have searched the area repeatedly.

"Literally thousand and thousands of hours have been invested in the search for Maura Murray," said state police Lt. John Scarinza of Troop F, which is handling the investigation.

Murray was highly critical of state police and said he's heard nothing from the investigators in six months.

"I am the investigation. That's why I want the information," he said.

Scarinza said his troopers talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear. Murray's claim he hadn't heard from them in six months is "absolutely inaccurate," he said.

Scarinza said the investigation continues. "We work on it, we talk about it every day as miscellaneous leads come in."

Murray's family believes someone picked her up on the road. They have searched the area many times and called in a psychic who said she believes Murray was murdered by a serial killer.

Murray said he and some supporters would return to the site of Maura's disappearance after leaving the Statehouse.

Murray said he planned to tie a new ribbon on a tree near the accident site and a clergyman would say a prayer. He said the hardest part of marking the anniversary would be listening to a song composed by a friend of Maura's.

But he was optimistic after his meeting with Lynch.

"At least I have more hope than I had before and that's why I came," he said.

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Posted by Find Lorne 2/10/05

Today my family headed north to show support to Maura’s family. This is a very difficult day for them, as everyday is, but today marks the one year anniversary of Maura’s disappearance.

This journey was shared with my son’s, a neighbor, and myself.

We were late as we could not find our way, however, as the old adage goes…

Better late then never.

I had the honor of meeting and speaking with some of Maura’s family. They are wonderful people. I pray that this is the last anniversary marker they need to encounter.

The card that we made (large with a photo of Maura on the front & ribbons as the binder) opened to the thoughts and prayers of many.

Thank you EVERYONE that sent me the e-mails to be printed and added to the card. Thank you EVERYONE that has thought and prayed for the Murray family.

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12/28/05 'missing'+case&articleId=5a720bb2-4cc3-4407-8be7-4d2543265ec8

Father suing for records in 'missing' case


Union Leader Correspondent

1 hour, 22 minutes ago

Haverhill  The father of a woman who disappeared nearly two years ago after a minor car accident is suing several police agencies, as well as the governor, seeking the release of information tied to the investigation, according to court documents filed last week.

Fred Murray, father of Maura Murray, filed the papers last Wednesday in Grafton County Superior Court, charging that state police, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, Gov. John Lynch, the state Fish and Game Department, Grafton County Attorney Ricardo St. Hillaire, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Department and the Hanover Police Department, where the initial 911 call went after the report of the accident in February 2004, have violated the state’s Right to Know Law and the federal Freedom of Information Act in not releasing investigative information he has requested in the years since his daughter’s disappearance.

Not mentioned in the suit was the Haverhill Police Department, which initially investigated the accident before it was turned over to the state police.

Murray requested an expedited hearing on the lawsuits and it has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 18 at the Grafton County Superior Court. The documents were filed by the Chelmsford, Mass., law office of Gallant and Ervin.

The puzzling case of Maura Murray began on the night of Feb. 9, 2004, when the 21-year-old Massachusetts student crashed her vehicle on Route 112 in Swiftwater. Between the time a neighbor reported the accident and the arrival of the first officer on the scene a few minutes later, Murray vanished and has not been seen or heard from since then.

In the months that followed, according to the court papers, Fred Murray has requested the records pertaining to the investigation and was denied. Murray, in the court papers, contends that investigators have treated the case as a missing persons case.

“Authorities have repeatedly maintained that they do not believe Maura was a victim of foul play,†according to the court papers.

Yet, Murray maintains, his requests for the records “were denied on the grounds that production called for confidential records created . . . or would constitute an invasion of privacy.â€ÂÂ

The documents contend that Murray “has been assured†that the investigation into his daughter’s disappearance is ongoing, but that he has not “been made aware of any specific efforts the governmental authorities have taken in pursuing this matter within the past several months.â€ÂÂ

And, the court papers continue, “If the investigation has concluded, (Murray) should be made aware of that fact†and the investigation turned over to him “so he can continue to look for information in hopes of finding his daughter.â€ÂÂ

From the outset, Fred Murray has believed his daughter met with foul play.

“The most compelling reason favoring disclosure in this case centers on the fact that Maura could very well still be in danger and disclosure of the information compiled by authorities could help locate her,†according to the court papers. “Although (investigators) have continued to dispute the notion, Fred Murray’s familiarity with his daughter leads him to believe that it is likely that Maura Murray was the victim of foul play and may even still be in danger, rather than she went missing of her own accord.â€ÂÂ

Murray is requesting items such as accident reports, the inventory of items taken from her car, a copy of her computer hard drive left behind at her University of Massachusetts/Amherst dorm room, documents pertaining to searches, witness statements and the surveillance tape from a liquor store where she made a purchase.

On the first anniversary of his daughter’s disappearance, Murray sent a letter to Lynch requesting his help in obtaining information.

“The investigative body . . . has followed its astonishing careless go-through-the-motions response with an unnaturally steadfast refusal to communicate on the matter,†Murray wrote.

A $40,000 reward is being offered for “any information leading to Maura’s safe return,†according to a Web site being maintained for her at

The ABC news magazine 20/20 is preparing a segment on the case to be aired Jan. 6, according to the mother of Maura Murray’s fiance. According to published reports, Sharon Rausch said she and her son were flown to New York earlier this month to be interviewed for the segment.

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Father sues for records in case of missing woman

HAVERHILL, N.H. The father of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared nearly two years ago in northern New Hampshire is suing to try to get investigative files.

Fred Murray of Hanson (Massachusetts) argues several police departments, the attorney general and the governor have violated the state Right to Know Law and federal Freedom of Information Act by not releasing files he has requested in the disappearance of his daughter, Maura Murray.

A hearing has been scheduled for January 18th in Grafton County Superior Court.

Murray disappeared on February ninth, 2004, after a minor crash in Haverhill. Fred Murray believes his daughter was a victim of foul play. He says authorities are treating her disappearance as a missing person's case.

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Father sues state, police in case of missing daughter

December 28, 2005

HAVERHILL, N.H. --From the moment his daughter disappeared on Feb. 9, 2004, Fred Murray believed she was a victim of foul play.

Maura Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, vanished that night after a minor car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill. Police searched the area repeatedly, but said they have no evidence of foul play.

Murray has been highly critical of police and met with Gov. John Lynch earlier this year to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation. He's now sued Lynch, state police and other law-enforcement agencies seeking the release of information tied to the investigation, such as accident reports; an inventory of items taken from her car; a copy of her computer hard drive; and a surveillance tape from a liquor store where she made a purchase.

A hearing on Murray's request has been scheduled on Jan. 18 at Grafton County Superior Court.

According to the lawsuit, Murray has requested the records pertaining to the investigation and was denied "on the grounds that production called for confidential records created ... or would constitute an invasion of privacy."

Murray also questions whether the investigation into his daughter's disappearance is ongoing, saying he hasn't been made aware of "any specific efforts the governmental authorities have taken in pursuing this matter within the past several months."

"The most compelling reason favoring disclosure in this case centers on the fact that Maura could very well still be in danger and disclosure of the information compiled by authorities could help locate her," according to the suit.

"Although (investigators) have continued to dispute the notion, Fred Murray's familiarity with his daughter leads him to believe that it is likely that Maura Murray was the victim of foul play and may even still be in danger, rather than she went missing of her own accord."

Police have said that they talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear.

Maura Murray's case will be featured on the ABC newsmagazine "20/20" next month.

A $40,000 reward is being offered for "any information leading to Maura's safe return," according to a Web site being maintained for her at

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Private Investigators Renew Search For Missing Woman

21-Year-Old Disappears After Car Accident In New Hampshire

POSTED: 4:32 pm EST January 4, 2006

BOSTON -- A group of private investigators agreed Wednesday to join the search for a missing Massachusetts woman who disappeared last year after a car accident in New Hampshire.

NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that Maura Murray disappeared in February 2004 after walking away from an accident that she had in Haverhill, N.H. The mystery of what happened to the 21-year-old University of Massachusetts nursing student still lingers.

"It's a real mystery. A young lady, seemingly with everything going for her, just vanishes off the face of the Earth," private investigator Thomas Shamshak said.

Shamshak said that Murray's family has reached out to the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts, and the group decided to respond for free.

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"They're in the throes of a crisis. I could not imagine something like that happening to me. When I look into these peoples' eyes they want some closure, they need some help. That's what we're offering. That's all we can offer is some hope and bring some peace to this crisis," he said.

Murray's father, Fred, has battled with New Hampshire authorities. He said officials have not done enough to find his daughter. The Murray family is suing the state for access to evidence gathered during the investigation.

Shamshak said that he does not expect that dispute to get in the way of his investigation. He said that his group, which is made up of retired law enforcement officials, hopes to bring a fresh set of eyes to the case.

"The investigative firepower that we're bringing to this is considerable. I mean, we're talking about a small department up there that had to rely on state police, and they could only go so far. It's a missing persons case," he said.

Shamshak said that 12 retired law enforcement professionals from throughout New England have already had a strategy meeting. He said that they would stay with the Murray case as long as it takes to solve it.

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