Maura Murray

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Above Images: Murray, circa 2004

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 9, 2004 from Haverhill, New Hampshire
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: May 4, 1982
  • Age: 21 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'7, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, brown eyes.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A dark-colored coat and jeans.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Murray was involved in a one-car accident Route 112 in the Woodsville section of Haverhill in northern New Hampshire between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. on February 9, 2004. Her car, a black 1996 Saturn with Massachusetts license plates, failed to negotiate a sharp curve and ran off the road, striking a tree. Haverhill is five miles away from Wells River, Vermont and one mile away from Swift Water Village by the Connecticut River. This was the second car Murray had wrecked in three days; she had previously damaged her father's vehicle in another accident.

    A resident near the site of the February 9 crash called the police, even though Murray had asked him not to. She had vanished by the time authorities arrived at the scene about ten minutes later. Her car was left behind, severely damaged in the front end and not in a driveable condition. The doors were locked and a few personal belongings, including Murray's cellular phone and credit and bank cards, were missing, but most of her possessions had been left inside. Murray has never been seen again. There were no footprints in the snow around the car and no indications of a struggle, and tracker dogs lost her scent within 100 yards. Police believe she got a ride from the scene of the accident to parts unknown. The witness to the accident says she did not appear to be injured, but she may have been intoxicated.

    Murray resided in Hanson, Massachusetts and was a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst at the time she disappeared; the university police are assisting with her case. She was a nursing major and was a dean's list student, and was employed by a local art gallery in addition to having a job on campus. She had made arrangements to take a nursing job in Oklahoma after her graduation. Four days before she disappeared, she left her job early at her supervisor's suggestion; she appeared to be extremely upset about something and was unable to work. It has not been discovered what was bothering her, but Murray's sister spoke to her on the phone that same evening and said their conversation was normal.

    Murray emailed her professors the day of her disappearance and said there was a death in her family and she had go away, but would be in touch upon her return in about a week. No one had actually died. After her disappearance, Murray's dormitory room was found packed up, as if she was planning on moving out altogether. She withdrew $280 from her bank account the day she disappeared, but there has been no activity on her bank accounts or credit cards since then. She packed up all her belongings in her dormitory room into boxes, and left behind a personal note for her fiance, an Army lieutenant named William Rausch who was stationed in Fort Still, Oklahoma.

    Murray also emailed Rausch on the afternoon of her disappearance. In the email she asked to speak with him. The day after she was last seen, Murray called Rausch, but he only heard her breathing on the line. The call could not be traced. Investigators inspected Murray's computer after she vanished; they discovered she had been searching on the internet for information on hotels in the Burlington, Vermont area. Based on this information, they checked Burlington hotels for any signs of Murray, but turned up no clues as to her whereabouts. Murray and her father went hiking together in the Burlington area in the fall of 2003, but she has no other connections to the city. She used to camp regularly in New Hampshire and knew the state well, but there are no known reasons why she would go to Haverhill. Extensive searches of the woods around Haverhill have turned up no evidence as to her whereabouts.

    There is speculation that Murray's case may be related to the disappearance of Brianna Maitland, a girl who vanished from Montgomery, Vermont on March 19, 2004. She is still missing. Montgomery is only about 90 miles from Haverhill. Both of them are attractive brunette young women, and both disappeared after car accidents in which their cars were left behind with personal items inside. The FBI met with local authorities to discuss possible links between the cases. However, they concluded that, despite the apparent similarities, the two females' cases were probably not connected to each other. The theory is not being entirely ruled out, but investigators believe it is an unlikely one.

    Murray was a student for two years at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she met Rausch, before she transferred to the University of Massachusetts. She had majored in chemical engineering at West Point. She is described as a quiet, introverted and extremely athletic person. She may have been carrying a backpack at the time of her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved. Murray's family says it is uncharacteristic of her not to contact them and they fear she is being held against her will. She had not been having problems with her family or her boyfriend at the time she disappeared, and she has no history of mental illness. Police do not suspect foul play was involved in her disappearance. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire authorities are investigating.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    University of Massachusetts Police
    413-545-2121

    OR
    New Hampshire State Police
    603-846-3333

    OR
    Haverhill Police Department
    603-787-2222

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    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing Adults
    The Daily Collegian
    Foster's Sunday Citizen
    WCAX-TV
    Maura Murray is Missing
    The Champlain Channel
    The Caledonian-Record
    20/20

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated August 26, 2008; picture added, details of disappearance updated.

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