No Answers and No Maura Murray: 14-Years-Later the Mystery Remains
Friday marks 14 years since the disappearance of Maura Murray on Route 112 in Haverhill.
In the ensuing years, rumors and speculation have run rampant and in turn have spawned a social media presence, episodes on television shows and even a nonfiction book.
The facts in the case are well known to New Hampshire residents. It’s the conflicting details and lack of resolution that lies steeped in mystery.
What is known is that sometime after 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2004, a homeowner on Route 112 heard a noise outside her house. She saw a car up against a snowbank and at 7:27 p.m. called the Grafton County Sheriff’s office to report the apparent accident.
According to police logs, Haverhill police arrived at the scene at 7:46 p.m. to find the car locked, apparently disabled and no sign of its occupant. What transpired in that 19 minutes is no clearer today than it was on that February evening 14 years ago.
Murray, 21, who was a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, packed her car, lied to professors about a death in the family and left Massachusetts driving north.
According to a report in the Caledonian Record on Feb. 13, 2017, the 1996 Saturn Murray had been driving was found at a sharp curve near the Weathered Barn on Route 112 in Haverhill.
"A school bus driver reported finding a woman at the car and asking if she needed help, but she declined," the Caledonian Record reported.
When police arrived on scene, they found no trace of Murray and reports said there were signs she had been drinking in the car, including bottles of alcohol.
According to an episode of “The Disappearance of Maura Murray,” aired on the Oxygen network, an EMT who arrived at the scene of the accident, said that as he walked around the car, he spotted a rag stuffed in exhaust pipe that he describes as a dish towel.
“It kind of was a head scratcher. It looked like it was stuffed in and it was hanging out, 8 inches, 10 inches or so, not quite to the ground. And, it really seemed odd. It made no sense. I wondered if she might have stopped at the little store, maybe half a mile before and somebody had sabotaged her car, trying to make it stop.”
He added that a rumor circulated in the area about just that.
“There was a theory about some young men who worked at the ski area over in Loon who lived nearby, who would have driven by that site to get to work and (who) didn’t go into work that night.”
Senior Assistant N.H. Attorney General Jeff Strelzin told NH1 that the Attorney General’s Office cooperated in the production of that documentary and that some people did reach out as a result of the show “but nothing significant was gleaned” from those responses. Strelzin is on record as saying that there have been no credible sightings of Murray since that February night in 2004.
In 2009, the case was transferred to the N.H. State Police Cold Case Unit.
Maura’s sister Julie is inviting the public to join her Friday at 7 p.m. on Facebook live for the 14th anniversary of Maura’s disappearance.