HAVERHILL, NH — Despite a day of hope, no evidence has been found in the search for Maura Murray, a Hanson resident and UMass Amherst student missing for 15 years. After an extensive search of a long-suspected house close to where the 21-year-old Murray was involved in a single-car crash along Route 112 in February 2004, New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey A. Strelzin, Wednesday, April 3, made the announcement.
Officials from the New Hampshire State Police, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office and the FBI searched the house at times over the month of March, culminating in the tearing up of a basement floor today with a jackhammer, with the present homeowner’s consent.
No evidence was found in connection with the case, said Strelzin, and, “certainly no evidence of human remains.”
The Murray family has been critical of law enforcement over the years, blasting authorities for not doing enough to find Maura.
“We certainly did not believe there was any credible evidence,” but searched anyways, said Strelzin. “It was really done to cross something off a list.”
“There certainly wasn’t any probable cause to search the house,” he added.
But, he said, “Everybody involved remains committed to following every lead that’s out there. There’s a lot of information we continue to follow up on.”
The nursing student’s mysterious disappearance has sparked attention in the press, on the internet and on social media over the course of the last decade-and-a-half.
Her father, Fred, said that the house was “astonishingly close” to the site of the accident, in a previous interview with the Express. According to him, locals first tipped him off about suspicious activity at the house in the first year after his daughter’s disappearance, including a rumor of new concrete being poured in the basement, but the owners of the house would not cooperate with the investigation.
In November and December 2018, Fred Murray brought in two trained, accredited cadaver detecting dogs to the house, after it had changed ownership, each one on separate occasions. They alerted, he says, by lying down in the same spot in the basement of the house.
Later, he brought in ground-penetrating radar which he said indicated strong findings of an abnormality in the same spot in the concrete.
“It’s astounding that this [basement] wasn’t looked at before. I told the police about this in the first year … the State Police did an inadequate job when my daughter first went missing,” he added.
Exactly where Maura Murray was headed, and why, has remained a mystery over the years. Moments after the crash, a good Samaritan stopped to assist her, but she waved him off and told him not to call the police, according to original police reports from 2004. The passerby called local police anyway although he did drive off. A Haverhill police cruiser arrived 19 minutes later, but the Saturn was locked, and Maura Murray was gone.
“The case is still open and active. We do receive tips and information periodically, as well as generate new information from investigative efforts,” said Streizen in a previously emailed statement.
Murray’s family members could not be reached for immediate comment.