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[Merged] Footprints in the snow


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#1    MongoMagnificent

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:11 PM

"Every weekend for more than four years, Fred Murray has walked the road where his daughter, Maura, vanished. Family, friends and volunteers help him look in the woods and mountains near Haverhill, New Hampshire, for clues to what happened to her.

Maura Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, disappeared on a cold and snowy night in February 2004. She was last known to be driving from Massachusetts through New Hampshire. It is still unclear where she was heading in her black 1996 Saturn.

The car was found abandoned, its front end crashed against a tree. It apparently had skidded off a road at a sharp curve.

Shortly after the accident, a passing bus driver stopped and asked Murray if she needed help. She said no.

Ten minutes later, police arrived. Inside the crumpled Saturn, they found some of Murray's belongings -- school books, running gear, snack foods and alcohol -- police won't say what kind. But Murray was gone, along with her car keys and a backpack she always carried.

There was nothing to hint she'd be motivated to run away, according to her fiancÚ, William Rausch, and her father, Fred Murray.
Maura Murray had just gotten engaged to Rausch, her college sweetheart and an Army lieutenant stationed in Oklahoma. They planned to marry after she graduated from nursing school in June 2005. She'd found a summer nursing job in Oklahoma. She had everything to look forward to.
"She was in good spirits and had no worries or reason to run away from her life," Fred Murray said.

Investigators initially operated under the theory that the dean's list student was troubled and had decided to escape from the demands of her life for a while. As a result, they did not immediately begin to look for her.

The search did not begin until 39 hours after her crashed car was found. When it finally got under way, helicopters, search dogs and ground teams covered the area near where Murray's car was found.

The dogs picked up her scent for about 100 yards, leading investigators along the road to an area between two homes. There, the dogs lost the trail.

Murray's credit cards and cell phone have not registered any activity since the night she disappeared, February 9, 2004.

Tom Shamshak, a private investigator hired by the Murray family to continue the search, said police and volunteers looked for her for two days.

"No footprints were even found in the snow," he said. "Luckily there hadn't been any fresh snowfall in those two days."

Shamshak has concluded that only two scenarios could explain what happened to Murray. Either she was picked up by someone driving on the road, or she walked to a nearby house to ask for help.

Police say they did not treat Murray's case as an abduction because they saw no signs of a struggle at the scene.

Before she left campus, police learned, Murray had e-mailed her professors and informed them she'd be absent for a few days because of a death in the family. Murray's family and friends said no one in the family had died.

Police also noted that Murray had enough food and other items in her car to suggest she might be taking a short getaway vacation.
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 "


http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/11/25/grace....rray/index.html

This is totally bizarre. A car wreck and NOTHING to lead towards the "missing" girl, not even footprints, weird.



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#2    goalienan

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 04:08 PM

So sad that the family has no closure on what happened to her.  To have sent her professors e-mails letting them know that she wouldn't be around for a few days, tends to make me think that she had something planned as to meeting someone.  Another unusual factor is that if your in an accident and someone stops to help, you usually let them...Very strange...


#3    Cloudshill

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 02:13 PM

I remember reading about this. Very sad. The thing that bothers me is that the police didn't think they should search for her right away? Because they felt she was trying to escape from something? OK, fine. But even if she was......she had just disabled her car in a frigid envioroment and took off on foot. She still needed help !

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#4    Hissie Sola

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:29 AM

Quote

Shortly after the accident, a passing bus driver stopped and asked Murray if she needed help. She said no.


This doesn't make sense...... imo. Why would you turn down help when you're in the middle of nowhere and you just crashed your car? And after she turned the bus driver's help offer down, police suspect she took off on foot to go ask help from someone else in one of the nearby houses?  huh.gif
I'm assuming there was no one else present at that time, so I guess the only one who knows for sure is that bus driver...

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#5    tiddlyjen

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 02:23 PM

Very strange indeed, it could be possible that she slipped and fell, got knocked out and was covered in snow or somesuch, but as there isnt any indication of the snowfall in that area, who knows?

Could it not be possible to pay the bus driver money to say you declined help? Or was there witnesses to attest to her declining??


hmmm, this one is intriguing!

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#6    Harriet The Ripperologist

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 06:21 PM

It is a bit odd, isn't it? Let's hope a solution presents itself at some stage!

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And he began to have it in mind, as so many gentlemen had done before him, to marry a woman of fortune and condition. And, as such things so often happen, these thoughts closely coincided with his setting first sight upon a lady who will henceforth play a considerable part in the drama of his life....

#7    behaviour???

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:32 PM

I feel so sad about her and her family but as long as I can remeber its strange of such cases in that area........Lets pray for her
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#8    __Kratos__

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:07 AM

Quote

"No footprints were even found in the snow," he said. "Luckily there hadn't been any fresh snowfall in those two days."


I've been in the woods the last week tracking for hunting and prints can disappear with slight increase in temp, wind or can blend in with the rest of the area as they're slightly melted. Easy to miss then if you're not paying attention.

Quote

Before she left campus, police learned, Murray had e-mailed her professors and informed them she'd be absent for a few days because of a death in the family. Murray's family and friends said no one in the family had died.

Police also noted that Murray had enough food and other items in her car to suggest she might be taking a short getaway vacation.


Possible she met someone and was meeting up with them. Just it went badly for her.

Edited by __Kratos__, 01 December 2008 - 07:13 AM.

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#9    soundofwhite

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 12:57 PM

odd...

im guessing that yea she was meeting someone
and denied the help of the bus driver coz she didnt want her family to wonder why she had all the food and the email and evrything

maybe she had already called the person she was meeting to come pick her up from the carcrash

she eiterh ran off with them...or they killed her/kidnapped her?

thats my take


#10    HelloImStevie

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:36 AM

Have all of her calls from her cell phone been accounted for? If she declined the help of the bus driver, did she call anyone else?

Where was she planning to go?

This case is indeed weird.  Obviously she is no longer with us, but I hope the family eventually gets some closure.


#11    Golden Hawk

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:02 AM

I recall this being reported in our local Oklahoman newspaper and aired on all the local stations in the OKC are for about a week or so after she was reported lost.  It didn't make much since then and it still doesn't today.

How could the dogs track her to between the two houses and then loose her?  This could have happened only if someone had picked her up in another vehicle, but then the resdients would have, or should have, heard a car driving up to their houses and leaving.  We live way out in the country, and even though we do have an increase in neighbors, we are totally aware of ANY vehicle passing along the road in front of our place 24/7.

As to the dogs?  I have friends who train search dogs and they say the only way her scent could have been lost would have been a heavy rain downpour or a very heavy snow fall; snow rarely interferes with a track when it is in such thin layers as was the case here.

Nothing about this case makes any sense.  God willing the family will be able to learn the entire truth and hopefully find her so she can go home again.

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#12    gaia227

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:23 PM

This is the website maintained by Maura's family.  I have followed her disappearence for a long time and it is baffling.
The CNN article doesn't mention several things.  Maura's boyfriend received a message on VM the night Maura went missing and it sounded like a girl who has cold and crying.  The number was traced to a calling card which traced to the Red Cross.  Cadaver dogs hit hard on the 2nd floor of a small A-framed house across from where Maura disappeared.  The bus driver's account of the events has varied over the years.


http://www.mauramurraymissing.com/

There are also extensive threads about Maura on websleuths.com and the topix board.  

Some believe her disappearence might be linked to Brianna Maitland's who went missing after a car wreck a few months later, in the same vicinity, never to be seen again.

http://www.bringbrihome.org/


#13    Golden Hawk

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:38 AM

gaia227 on Apr 20 2009, 02:23 PM, said:

This is the website maintained by Maura's family.  I have followed her disappearence for a long time and it is baffling.

Some believe her disappearence might be linked to Brianna Maitland's who went missing after a car wreck a few months later, in the same vicinity, never to be seen again.
http://www.bringbrihome.org/


I am familiar with the disappearance of Brianna Maitland, but did not think about her being lost in the same area as Maura. unsure.gif  

There had to be a serial kidnapper/killer, but why only two victims no.gif ?  If there is/was a serial killer, are there other victims that no one, other than perhaps some of the authorities, would consider being linked to the disappearances of Maura and Brianna? angry.gif

There are too many unanswered questions concerning both of these cases.  Too many loose ends disgust.gif .  Are the responses of the bus driver on the link?  I couldn't seem to find any referance to the drivers information that was given to the authorities.

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#14    Golden Hawk

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:05 AM

WalkingDude20 on Nov 26 2008, 09:11 AM, said:

The car was found abandoned, its front end crashed against a tree. It apparently had skidded off a road at a sharp curve.

Shortly after the accident, a passing bus driver stopped and asked Murray if she needed help. She said no.

This is totally bizarre. A car wreck and NOTHING to lead towards the "missing" girl, not even footprints, weird.



Totally bizzare?  Not on your life, more like beyond belief.  

I went into the local newspapers page; unfortunenately I would have to buy a subscription to download anything; out of curiosity, and found the bus driver's stories are more than just off by a mite.  According to a representitive of the local sheriffs office, the drivers stories changed at least 4 times in the first year after the disappearance.

Too, why didn't the driver stay around?  I would have.  I would have also called my dispatch, with or without the ladies permission.  

I have a few friends who drive buses; school and Rapid Transit; all of them state that there is policy of their respective companies:
"Drivers cannot leave the scene of an accident until assistance has been or can be summoned, especially in foul weather and/or on any isolated road."  
Exceptions would be if they have children or are have other passengers aboard.  Whether or not they have passengers aboard, they must call the accident in, even if they are not involved.

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#15    Dfed

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

Recently got really interested in this case, here's a brief description from wiki:
Maura Murray disappeared on February 9, 2004, after a one-car accident on New Hampshire Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire. Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, left campus on the afternoon of her disappearance after telling her professors and her work supervisor by e-mail that she was taking a week off because of a family emergency. Official investigators suggested that she may have wanted to disappear and initially considered her disappearance to be a standard missing persons case,[2] but her family and friends believe that she was abducted and her father has been critical of state investigators.[3] As of April 2013, nine years after her disappearance, there is no suspect and her whereabouts remain unknown.
At this point not sure myself if she was abducted or took off on her own, there's a pretty good blog on the case would love to hear what others think.





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