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New England’s Unsolved: Maura Murray at 20 years

HAVERHILL, N.H. — For twenty years, the tiny town of Haverhill, New Hampshire has held one of New England’s darkest secrets.

It was here on February 9th, 2004, that UMass nursing student Maura Murray vanished after a single-car crash on Route 112.

Maura’s case has drawn international scrutiny, but to this day, there is no sign of what happened to Maura.

“There’s been still no credible sightings. Nothing has been found. And it’s just been a nightmare for 20 years,” Julie Murray, Maura’s sister, tells me.

Julie Murray is now the family’s spokesperson, but Julie is also Maura’s tireless advocate, urging New Hampshire investigators to keep her sister’s case alive.

“I never thought in a million years I’d be sitting here 20 years later, still without answers. And, you know, we’re kind of in the same place we were back in February 2004 with developments in the case,” Julie Murray said.

In New Hampshire, authorities insist they are not giving up on Maura Maura. They say they are keeping all options open.

“We regard this case as a suspicious missing persons case,” Myles Matteson, Chief of the NH Attorney General’s Criminal Bureau told us.

The mystery of Maura Murray’s disappearance begins at UMass Amherst on the afternoon of February 9th. That’s when Maura emailed professors about a death in the family, packed some things, and drove North.

There was no death in the family.

Surveillance images taken when Maura withdrew $280 from an off-campus ATM are the last images we have of her. Hours later, in Haverhill, NH, a neighbor heard a crash and called police. Another neighbor, a school bus driver, told police he approached Maura and offered her help, but she waived him off.

By the time police arrived minutes later, Maura was gone.

“It was, a short time frame from when she crashed her car, was seen, interacted with on the side of the road… until law enforcement arrived at the scene. So a matter of minutes,” Matteson said.

Growing up, Maura and her family spent idyllic summers camping and hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, but no one knows why she was traveling there in February 2004.

Julie Murray and her family quietly conduct their own searches, away from the intense public scrutiny that Maura’s case attracts.

“To have strangers online come up with wild conspiracy theories and speculation and misinformation. That’s just another layer of re-traumatization on top of a very vulnerable family,” Julie Murray said.

Maura’s family copes with her disappearance every day. They think Maura was a victim of foul play; they don’t think she is still alive.

But at 20 years, their search for the truth continues.

“There’s no quit in the Murray family, so we’re going to keep doing whatever it is we need to do to find Maura,” Julie Murray said.

This week the FBI released a computer-generated image of what Maura Murray might look like today.

If you have any information about the disappearance of Maura Murray, contact the NH Cold Case unit at 603.271.2663. Or email them at coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov

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