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Who Is Maura Murray? New Details About The Woman Who Has Been Missing For 15 Years— And The New Evidence In Her Case

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Who Is Maura Murray? New Details About The Woman Who Has Been Missing For 15 And The New Evidence In Her Case

On a February night in 2004, a nursing student from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, abruptly packed her car and drove away from campus. She got into a car accident on a highway in New Hampshire several hours later. Passersby offered help to her at the time, but she declined.

She was never seen again.

It’s been 15 years since the day Maura Murray vanished in New Hampshire and her family has never gotten closure on the horrible situation. Now, her father thinks there may be evidence related to her disappearance in the basement of a house near where she wrecked her car. He is hoping to get answers and finally know what happened to his daughter all those years ago.

So who is Maura Murray and what happened to her? Read on for all the details.

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1. She was a student.

In 2004, Maura Murray was a 22-year-old nursing student at UMass Amherst. She transferred there after doing several semesters at West Point, where she studied chemical engineering. She lived on campus and had a job with campus security. She was in regular contact with her parents and three siblings and had a boyfriend at the time.

2. She got into some trouble right before her disappearance. 

Several months before her disappearance, Murray had admitted to using a stolen credit card. The charges were dismissed after three months of good behavior.

On Feb. 5, a coworker reported that she became very upset after a phone call with her sister Kathleen, later revealing that she was concerned about Kathleen’s addiction issues. In the days before she vanished, she was in an accident while driving her father’s car home from a party. It’s unknown if she was drinking that night. She and her father made plans to follow up with accident reports and insurance claims after he returned to the family home in Connecticut.

3. She lied about having a death in her family. 

On Feb. 9, Murray searched MapQuest for directions to New Hampshire and made calls about renting a condo there, though she ultimately did not do so. She also made a call to a hotel in Stowe, Vermont.

She contacted her boyfriend via email saying she would call him later. Then she told professors and her campus job that there had been a death in her family and she would be leaving school for a short time. Her family later revealed that there had not been any deaths.

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4. All her belongings were in boxes.

Later, when police searched Murray’s room, they found that someone had packed up her belongings and left them behind in boxes. They speculate that she would have had time to do that herself, but it's not certain that she's the one who did. 

Missing from her room were her textbooks, toiletries, birth control pills, and some clothing; presumably, she had taken those with her. At about 3:40 p.m. on Feb. 9, she stopped at a liquor store and purchased about $40 worth of alcoholic beverages and took $280 form an ATM.

5. She got into a car accident soon after she left.

Sometime after 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, a woman in Woodsville, New Hampshire heard a loud thump and saw a car in a snowbank outside her home. She reported the accident to 911 at 7:27 p.m., and there was some confusion about who she saw near the car.

The records report that she saw a man smoking a cigarette in the car, but she later said shehe had simply seen a person and a red light that may have been from a cell phone. Another neighbor passed the accident sight and spoke to Murray. Murray, who was uninjured but cold, asked the person not to call the police and said she had already called AAA.

AAA reported no such call.

6. Then, she vanished.

By 7:46 p.m., police had arrived on the scene of the accident but Murray was no longer there.

The police noted empty beer bottles in the car and what appeared to be red wine spilled on the ground around the car. Some of Murray’s personal items were still in the car, but her debit cards, credit cards, and cell phone were missing. None of them were used after the time of the accident. A witness later claimed to have seen a young person who might have been Murray on foot several miles from the crash site.

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7. They searched for her for months. 

Authorities and Murray’s family searched for her for months following her disappearance. State and local authorities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont were eventually involved as well as the FBI. The story received attention on television shows such as 20/20 and CNN’s American Morning.

Police interviewed her family, boyfriend, classmates, and coworkers. They thought she had perhaps planned to run away or commit suicide, though her family thought that unlikely. The case was ultimately declared a cold.

8. Her father believes she was murdered. 

Murray’s father believes that his daughter was abducted and murdered and has continued to try and resolve the question in the years since she disappeared. Outside groups such as The New Hampshire League of Investigators, 10 retired police officers, and detectives, have tried unsuccessfully to resolve the case as well.

9. Her case remains unsolved — but there's a new lead. 

In 2019, on the 15th anniversary of his daughter’s disappearance, Fred Murray announced that he thinks he has a lead in the case. He was recently granted access to a home in the area near the crash and says cadaver dogs responded to an area in the home’s basement. He is hoping to be able to investigate further.

"It's been 15 years, and I haven't let up," Murray told The Associated Press. "I'll fund it; I'll do anything. It's my daughter, I want to bring her home and bury her, and then I want to find the dirtbag that put her there."

This story will likely continue until Fred Murray has the answers he seeks.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit, and she is a co-host of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.