Maura Murray's family believes she was a victim of foul play
Maura Murray didn’t tell anyone where she was heading on Feb. 9, 2004, so when she crashed her car and disappeared suddenly, her family had no idea why the University of Massachusetts student was in Haverhill, N.H., to begin with.
Her disappearance led to numerous additional questions and a decades-long — and ongoing — search. Now, 20 years since her disappearance, Maura’s sister, Julie Murray, is hoping to help solve the case that changed her family's lives forever.
Media Pressure, a new podcast from Julie, premiered on Feb. 5. It takes a deep look into Maura’s story and features never-before-heard details and interviews with her loved ones, including her sister; her brothers, Fred Jr. and Kurtis Murray; and her father, Fred Murray.
In the days after Maura’s disappearance, many wondered if the nursing student left campus willingly. Her family had learned that she'd told a professor that she needed to leave because of a death in the family — though there was no such death, according to her family.
On Feb. 9, 2004, Maura packed her bags, withdrew most of the money in her bank account ($280) and purchased alcohol before getting on the road. Nearly three hours after leaving Massachusetts, a New Hampshire resident called 911 to report a single-car accident in Haverhill, N.H.
Maura was the one behind the wheel. While she was at the scene of the accident at the time of the initial 911 call and then another 911 call by another resident, she was gone when police arrived minutes later. It was then — and still is now — unclear if she wandered in the woods near the crash scene, left willingly or was picked up by a passerby.
"The worst part is the ambiguity and having the heartache every single day for two decades,” Julie told The Patriot Ledger. “We don't have answers, and we don't have Maura."
Although there were no immediate signs of what may have happened, her family has come to believe that Maura was a victim of foul play.
"If she wandered into the woods, where are her belongings or her body?" Julie said, per the outlet. "She was met with foul play and is most likely no longer with us, and that's the worst possible outcome for Maura and my family."
According to the accident report, when authorities arrived, Maura’s car door was locked, but the officer spotted a box of wine in the backseat and “red liquid on the driver’s side door and ceiling.” They did not find any of her belongings outside of the car or footprints leading anywhere.
“After two decades of fighting for answers in my family’s search for Maura, we finally have a way to tell Maura’s story in an accurate and responsible manner while putting ‘media pressure’ on those with answers and information we need to find Maura and bring her home,” Julie said in a statement about the new podcast, the Caledonian Record reports.
“We have to be her voice,” Julia told The Independent.
A candlelight vigil will be hosted for Maura at Mountain Lakes Lodge in Woodsville, N.H., on Friday at 5 p.m. local time, The Patriot Ledger reports.
Anyone with information about Maura Murray's disappearance is asked to call The New Hampshire State Police Cold Case Unit at 603-223-3648. The first two episodes of Media Pressure are out now.
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