The family of a Hanson woman, missing since 2004, asked people in Whitman and Hanson to light a candle for her Friday night, July 15.
Police personnel in two New Hampshire towns again searched areas of Landaff and Easton, N.H., for missing Hanson woman Maura Murray on Wednesday, July 13.
The ground search encompassed an area off Route 112 and “is not the result of new information in the case,” New Hampshire Attorney General John. M. Formella stated in a press release about the search. “It is part of an ongoing investigative process and will consist of a more extensive search of surrounding areas previously searched in a more limited fashion.”
Because the investigation is ongoing, Formella and State Police Col. Nathan Noyes said no more information would be released at this time and asked the public to respect the privacy of residents in the area and to stay off private property.
“My family is aware of the search efforts and are working closely with law enforcement at this time,” said Julie Murray, Maura’s sister. “We ask the public not to interfere with the investigation. We will share information as appropriate. We are encouraged by the active efforts to find Maura and remain hopeful for a resolution.”
Anyone with information about Maura Murray’s disappearance is asked to call the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit at 603-223-3648 or email Coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov. More information about Maura and ongoing efforts to find her and bring her home may be found at mauramurraymissing.org.
The FBI created a Violent Criminal Apprehension Profile in Maura Murray’s case in January 2022, which her sister has said in published reports is a way for multiple agencies and different jurisdictions to share information. Bone fragments had been found at the base of Loon Mountain in September 2021, but were not connected to Murray. The fragments may even date as far back as the 18th Century, officials announced at the time.
The bone fragments were found in “existing soil,” according to New Hampshire State Police sand were not moved there with radio carbon dating placed a 95-percent certainty that the bones are from a person dead from sometime between 1774 and 1942.
Authorities had previously dug in the basement of a home along Route 112 in April 2019 – with the present owner’s permission – after ground-penetrating radar used by a private investigator indicated the ground under the basement had been disturbed, but no credible evidence was recovered.
Murray, a Umass, Amherst student at the time, went missing on Feb. 9, 2004 after her car crashed on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. The 21-year-old student – who was a graduate of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School and had attended West Point for a time – has not been seen since.
Route 112 leads into a section of White Mountain National Forest.
Her family has not given up hope that an answer to the mystery surrounding her disappearance will be found.
Police had received two calls from residents around 7:30 p.m., in the area of the crash reporting a car off the road, a local bus driver later told investigators that he saw a woman standing next to the black Saturn. He told police, according to a report on Boston Channel 10 news, that he asked the woman if she wanted him to call police, but said she told him she had already called police and AAA.
When police arrived, according to reports, the car was locked and facing the opposite direction from where she was driving.
He called police anyway.
One resident told WMUR since the incident, that no tracks were seen going into the woods in the area, suggesting she had stayed on the road before she disappeared. Some believe “someone locally grabbed her who knows the area,” as Maura’s father Fred put it, and would know how to get around without being seen.
Other residents have told reporters they doubt it was a local person that may have been involved.
Murray, described as 5-foot 7-inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds at the time of her disappearance. She has brown hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a dark jacket and jeans. Her case status is that of a missing person, whose disappearance is considered suspicious.
She was a nursing student at Umass at the time of her disappearance, and had damaged her car (estimated at about $8,000) in a collision with a guardrail.
The day before she left the Umass campus, she sent an email to instructors the there was a death in her family and that she had to be away. Her computer showed a search for directions in Burlington, Vermont and she made a call to Stowe, Vermont, but no reservations were made.
Launched on Maura Murray’s 38th birthday, the website offers the public never before seen photos of Maura, a repository of news reports dating back to 2004, and an opportunity for people interested in the case to get to know Maura up close and personal.
Another feature is a blog post that is regularly updated, as a way for the family to put out information to keep the community informed. A contact tab will allow site visitors to communicate with the family, as well as a contact tab that provides email updates on important case developments when and if they come out.
A tip area provides a place for people to provide new information.