Who Is Fred Murray?

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who is fred murray

When a person disappears all their families can do is search, keep the police on task, and hope that their loved ones are returned to them. But sometimes when someone goes missing, the case isn't so easy to just solve and move on from. Sometimes families are faced with the heartrending news that their loved one isn't missing anymore, they have died, and often in terrible ways. The other alternative and one considered by some to be even worse than death is that they never find out what happened to that person again.

That's exactly what happened in one Massachusetts family when Maura Murray, a college student, skipped out of town unexpectedly and was never heard from again. There's been a lot of interest in her case, a new piece of potential evidence has everyone focusing back in on what happened to Maura. Leading the charge is her father Fred Murray. He's a champion for his family, dedicated to the hunt for his daughter, and he very well might also be a man with secrets to hide. Let's dig into who Fred Murray is, what he found, and how he got the authorities involved in such an old, unsolved case. 

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1. The Disappearance

In 2004, 21-year-old Maura Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst completely disappeared. Prior to vanishing, Murray sent an email to all of her professors letting them know she wouldn't be in class because there was a death in her family. There wasn't. Then, she went to an ATM machine, then she went to a liquor store to stock up on booze, and then she hit the road. 

Where, exactly, Maura was going and what she was doing that night no one knows. What has been confirmed is this: Murray crashed her car in Havervill, New Hampshire while driving on Route 112. The road can lead drivers to White Mountain National Forest, a location she visited with family in the past. After crashing her car, a passing school bus driver offered to call the police. She asked him not to. The bus driver left. When the police arrived, they found Maura's car but not Maura. She has not been seen since.  

2. Digging Up The Basement 

One of the missing fliers posted.

But Maura Murray's family is not going to let her story disappear, too. Now, almost 15 years after she vanished, they believe they are one step closer to finding out what really happened to their beloved Maura. On Wednesday, April 3rd, official police-sanctioned investigators were seen bringing a jackhammer into a house in Haverhill. It was a house that had captivated the attention of the Murrays and of other amateur detectives. 

The house is a mere stone's through away from the last known sighting of Maura Murray. When contacted for a statement, the Attorney General's office, usually rather close-lipped, didn't hesitate to speak up when it came to this question. Yes, it was true, the house was officially being investigated to see if it held the remains of Maura Murray. Sadly, no remains or other potential evidence was found. 

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3. Fred Murray's Investigation 

The news that no evidence that could connect the house to Maura was a deep tragedy to her family who finally felt like they had come close to putting the mystery to bed once and for and getting closure on this painful subject. You see, last year Maura's father Fred Murray visited the home, with permission from the current owners with cadaver dogs and a radar. Both the dogs and the tech indicated that a body might be buried beneath the floorboards in the basement. 

Although the Attorney General's office was convinced enough that something was up to investigate the house, Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said that the search, while thorough was fruitless. This was hard for the Murrays to hear, especially when they thought they were so close. Before this announce, Murray's younger brother, Kurtis, had told the local news: "I am optimistic that we may have finally found her. That's the only thing I can pray for. But it's a waiting game at this point."

4. Why This House?

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Speaking about the house where they were hoping to find Murray, Strelzin said that at least the general area surrounding the home had actually been searched once before, almost immediately after Maura disappeared. So why did it come back into focus all of these years later? 

According to Streliz that was down to people like Fred Murray insisting that people go back inside the house. People handle a missing persons case in a lot of different ways when the person who is missing happens to be their child. The way Fred Murray responded was to buckle down, look for his daughter, put pressure on the police, and to waste zero time talking to most reporters. 

5. What Really Happened?

While Maura strange vanishing from plain sight case is yet to be solved, that hasn't stopped people from speculating about what really went down. Murray's family have said that they believed, under the extreme stress she was feeling, she just planned to take a few days off from UMass and then return once she was feeling better. 

But the more you dig into Maura's life before she left school, the more suspicious it gets. She'd started off her higher education at West Point, and, after being implicated in illegal credit fraud, she dropped out to avoid being arrested. She had recently crashed her father's car causing major damage, and the week before she vanished, she was working at the security office on campus when the phone rang. She answered the call and burst into tears. Nobody knows who was on the other end of the line or what they said to her. 

Others believe that Maura is still alive, having fled to Canada to begin her life anew. Others still believe that she fled from the scene of the accident to avoid being caught under the influence by the police and died of exposure in the woods. Only one thing is certain, there are more questions here than answers. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr