On Maura Murray’s 38th birthday, family launches new website for missing UMass student

On Maura Murray's 38th birthday, family launches new website for missing UMass student

There is something about the disappearance of 21-year-old Maura Murray of Hanson is attracting attention from all over the world.

The UMass student’s 2004 disappearance has inspired a TV mini-series, podcasts, websites, blogs and books.

Maura’s story is well known.

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But even with all that publicity, Maura Murray herself is still missing.

Monday, Maura Murray should be turning 38 years old. She was just 21 years old when she vanished in New Hampshire on February 9, 2004.

And Maura’s family is marking the day by relaunching Maura’s website, and asking again for information that could finally solve this case.

“My family has been doing this for 16 years,” Maura’s sister, Julie, told me. “We really just want closure. But there are no answers, we have no answers still, 16 years later. “

There is no shortage of theories about what happened to Maura.

The UMass Amherst nursing student abruptly left the school on that February afternoon, stopping first at an off-campus ATM to withdraw cash, then to a Hadley, Mass. liquor store to buy alcohol, before driving to New Hampshire, for reasons that are still not clear to anyone.

At about 7:30 p.m., Maura was involved in a single-car crash on a remote stretch of highway in Haverhill, NH.

A school bus driver who lived near the crash site told police he offered to help Maura, but she said she didn’t want help. The bus driver said he went back into his house to call 911, but by the time first responders arrived, Maura Murray was gone.

Sixteen years later, that is basically where we still stand.

There is no publicly revealed evidence to show where Maura Murray went next. Did she run into the woods and take her own life? Did she accept a ride with someone else? Was she abducted and murdered? Is Maura Murray still alive, living a new life somewhere?

No one knows.

“With the lack of evidence, there’s just theories,” Julie Murray told me. “So what we need is a piece of evidence. We need someone to come forward.”

The new website features previously unseen photos of Maura Murray, along with publicly known facts about the case.

There is also a blog for Maura’s family.

Julie Murray tells me the idea of the relaunch on Maura’s 38th birthday is to give the public a resource of relevant information that may lead to someone finally coming forward with new tips.

Julie knows the public’s fascination with her sister’s case is insatiable. She is hoping the community of people who care about Maura Murray might help produce an answer.

“Most missing people don’t get this kind of coverage. They don’t get a six-part series on the Oxygen channel. They don’t get multiple podcasts dedicated just to Maura. So, we are thankful for the level of support we get from the media and from the community,” she said.

As for theories, Julie Murray does not think she will ever see her sister alive again.

“She would have reached out. She would have reached out to somebody in the family. She wouldn’t want my family to go through this nightmare that we have for 16 years, “Julie Murray said.

In a statement, NH Associate Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin told me, “The Maura Murray missing person case remains an open case for the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the New Hampshire State Police. Despite significant search and investigative efforts, her whereabouts are still unknown.”

If you have any information about what happened to Maura Murray, call NH State Police at 603.223.3648 or email at missingpersons@safety.state.nh.us