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Maura Murray Cold Case (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

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maura murray

Maura Murray in 2003

Maura Murray, a 21-year-old college student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, disappeared on a snowy night in February 2004.

Maura, a nursing student, sent an email to her boss and professors on February 9, 2004, letting them know she would be out of town for a few days due to the death of a family member.  Her family says there was no death.

Maura left campus around 4:00 p.m. heading toward New Hampshire after checking for information about the area on her computer.  She stopped by an ATM withdrawing $280, leaving her bank account nearly empty, and purchased $35-40 in alcohol before leaving Amherst.

Police began receiving calls about an accident in Woodsville, NH at 7:29 p.m.  The first officer arrived on the scene less than ten minutes later, finding Murray's black 1996 Saturn with a cracked windshield and two deployed airbags. A damaged box of Franzia wine was found on the passengers seat. Other items found in the car include her AAA card, the insurance forms she retrieved for an earlier accident, her gloves, music CDs, her makeup, directions for Burlington, Vermont and Stowe, Vermont, and the Nicholas Howe book, "Not Without Peril."  A rag from Maura's emergency roadside kit was discovered stuffed into the Saturn's muffler pipe. Maura is nowhere to be found.

Police did not begin the search for Maura until 36 hours after finding her abandoned vehicle. A police dog followed the scent 100 yards east from the location of where the vehicle was found, in the direction of a resident's house. It is implied that she may have been picked up or placed in a vehicle at the end of the scent trail. It is also possible that the scent had vanished due to the incident happening nearly two days earlier.

Police initially reported that they believed Maura had come to the area to run away or commit suicide, a theory debunked by her family and her fiance, an Army lieutenant stationed in Oklahoma.

Two days after her disappearance, Maura's fiance, William Rausch, received a voicemail message that he believes is the sound of Maura sobbing.  His cellphone had been turned off so that he could pass through airport security on his way to help search for Maura. The call was traced to a calling card issued to the American Red Cross. Many believe this call was actually from Maura, not the American Red Cross, as it is unknown how the Red Cross would have his mobile number or why they would leave a voicemail with no actual message.

Murray's credit cards and cell phone have not registered any activity since the night she disappeared.

There have been reported sightings of Maura since she vanished, however, none have been confirmed.

(photos and video below)


Monday, February 9, 2004

* 8:00 - 8:30 PM - A Swiftwater, NH local reportedly sees a young person moving quickly on foot eastbound on Route 112, about 4 to 5 miles east of where Maura's vehicle was discovered. The young person was reported to have been wearing jeans, a dark coat, and a light colored hood. The witness reports that the person, upon seeing him, quickly ran down a side dirt road. There have been inconsistencies in multiple interviews.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

* Maura's boyfriend receives a voicemail message that he believes is the sound of Maura sobbing. A New Hampshire State Police investigation traced the call to a calling card issued to the American Red Cross. Many believe this call was actually from Maura, not the American Red Cross, as it is unknown how the Red Cross would have his mobile number or why they would leave a voicemail with no actual message. The voicemail has since been deleted.

June 2005

* A girl with blonde hair resembling Maura is seen at a church in Barton, Vermont. A witness says that the girl said her name was "Raykel" and took off quickly when the minister started a Father's Day sermon. There are no security tapes of the incident available. The sighting was not reported until a few months later when the witness saw photos of Maura on a television news program.


Murray is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 120 pounds, with brown hair and blue-green eyes. She was last seen wearing a dark coat and jeans and carrying a black backpack and Samsung cell phone.

A $40,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to her whereabouts or the arrest of the person responsible for her disappearance. The tip line is 603-271-2663, New Hampshire State Police.

View photos and video of Maura Murray's vehicle and the crash site below.


maura murray 1Maura Murray with father, Fred Murray, left, and fiance William Rausch, rightMaura Murray and William Rausch
  • maura murray car
  • maura murray drivers side
  • maura murray front end
  • maura murray front passenger side
  • maura murray crash site


CNN Nancy Grace video


View accident report

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    15 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    That's the thing, if she hit her head and ran into the woods caveman style it seems there would be some clues leading to a pattern or speed of travel due to footprints or ground marks.

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    why would she walk off without her gloves,
    What about the guy who told her dad that his brother (who had prev crim records) and his girlfriend who lived a mile away and who were acting strange etc, they sound like
    they may have something to do with it,
    Also can't work out why the bus driver left her there when he
    knew there was no cell service there, he also is suss, maybe he is involved with the 2 people above

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    I am a cell phone investigator, when her boyfriend received that last voicemail the system should be able to pinpoint by cell towers where her phone was at the time.

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    I feel the same way that it might be the busdriver. He fits the description of the older man she was seen with at the convenience store and also his story doesn't add up. Why would he offer to call the police for the girl but not offer her a ride to a well lit and safer area? If he already knew he was going to call the police regardless, at least he could rest safer knowing once he dropped her off at a rest stop or gas station, she would be safe and he could let the police know of her exact whereabouts as well. I just can't see him leaving her on a secluded roadside in the dark in the middle of winter and then calling the police to be a good semaritan. His actions contradict his intentions to help her. Also, I find it odd that an officer showed up within ten minutes of him calling but Maura was not found walking anywhere near the scene of the accident. If I were a young girl in an unknown area at night, the last thing I would do is wander off the road into the woods.

    Another question I have is why was there a rag stuffed into the exhaust pipe that came from her roadside assistance kit? I googled this and it says the only reason you would use a rag in a tailpipe is to either check for exhaust pipe leaks...or to break the running engine of a car. If the car was supposedly not running, is it possible that it was not as a result of her accident, but maybe as the result of someone breaking the engine by running the car with the rag stuffed in the pipe?

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    I watched the show Disappeared. I had a few questions when it was over. After she withdrew the $280, she purchased Vodka, Kahlua and wine in large 1/2 gallon quantities. What was the intent?
    Her father was interviewed during the show but not her mother or her sister, why?
    It was Feb. in New England with snow on the ground and she had been possibly injured in the wreck, why did the police wait 36 hours to look for her?

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    I am with the two that are on the lines of the school bus driver, his story just seems weird to me. These investigations things get over looked all the time and this bus driver could have been one thing really over looked.
    The Cops get there in 10 minutes and she's just gone and the dogs pick up her sent going towards the road and then it's gone, as they said like she got into a car or lets say a bus.
    I hope they checked him out but my feeling is she was taken from the crash site not just got up and walked away. I think she left in the first place to just get away and get her thoughts together have some time alone. I'm sorry to the family I can't imagine what they are going through!

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    Was the trunk of her Saturn checked at the accident site? Odd how she could have been there one minute and a few minutes later vanish without a trace. If she wanted to escape - hiding in plain sight (trunk of car) would be one way to avoid answering questions about why she was in NH --140 miles from U-Mass.

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    How horrible for Maura's family, I can't even imagine. I pray that they find her. I'm just wondering if anyone checked out the bus driver, he was an older man, and someone at a gas station said they may have seen her with an older man.

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    After seeing the program about Maura M. I have to wonder if anyone really checked out the school bus driver. It seems to me that anyone would be very trusting of a school bus driver. His answer that she said she called AAA did not ring true with me. He would also fit the profile of the person with the young women seen in the party store. Could be that his calling police was nothing more than a ruse to throw off the police. If I wrecked my car and was out in nowhere I would be very happy to see a bus drive come by and offer help and would jump to take it.

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    "Murray is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 120 pounds, with brown hair and blue-green eyes. She was last seen wearing a dark coat and jeans"

    "* 8:00 – 8:30 PM – A Swiftwater, NH local reportedly sees a young person moving quickly on foot eastbound on Route 112, about 4 to 5 miles east of where Maura’s vehicle was discovered. The young person was reported to have been wearing jeans, a dark coat, and a light colored hood."

    Maura's mother did say that Maura was capable of running an average of 5 miles or more, and it was in the same direction (east) that police said the lost her scent, probably because they waited nearly 2 days so all scent was lost and footprints were covered by fresh snow. they should have followed up on that lead, i wonder if they even checked the area/dirt road where the witness said they saw someone running to? hmm. this case definately remains a mystery, and its just begging to be solved.




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