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MongoMagnificent

[Merged] Footprints in the snow

30 posts in this topic

"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 fiancé, 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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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...

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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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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:

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

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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

Thanks

Universal Legend

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"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.

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__

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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

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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.

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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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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/

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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. :unsure2:

There had to be a serial kidnapper/killer, but why only two victims :no: ? 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? :angry2:

There are too many unanswered questions concerning both of these cases. Too many loose ends <_< . 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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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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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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Sorry just started a new topic without seeing this threading, very odd case

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http://www.concordmo...or-his-daughter

Jeff Strolin, senior assistant attn.gen. for N.H. said that the state had no evidence- and still has no evidence that there was a kidnapping or murder, but he also said "it would be detrimental if the state unsealed all it's evidence because withholding certain information helps officials discern what new leads are credible and ensures that any potential criminal trial is not contaminated by the premature release of documents or testimony." :unsure2:

This is 9 years after the fact and on one hand he's concerned about "a potential criminal trial" and on the other, he's (apparently) admitting that they don't even know if a crime occurred. :td: :td: :td:

Edited by regi

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I just recently watched a documentary regarding this disappearance. One thing that struck me about her was that it seemed as she had also left West Point in a manner that also seemed to me to be abrupt. No real explanation was presented for that departure. I wondered why she had changed course and gone to nursing school. No comment was made regarding this decision. Had she had decided her life's ambition lay in another direction.... No explanation whatsoever was presented for what seemed to me like a vast change of direction of goals.

I also had the impression that she had removed all of her personal items from her school dorm. Indicating she didn't intend to return.

I came away from that with the feeling that for some reason this extremely intelligent girl had a problem with follow through and when she reached a point she simply could not tolerate what she was doing she simply dropped out and walked away.

The link above talks about the family's problems with receiving information from the police department. In this instance, I felt the family was also hesitant to reveal some aspects of what could have been going on.

I wonder if anyone else watched this doc and had the similar impressions?

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What doc are u talking about? Would love to see it

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What doc are u talking about? Would love to see it

I'm not sure which was I was on. I usually watch ID on the Discovery channel and the Paula Zahn series. I believe it was titled the same as this thread "Footprints in the Snow." No doubt it was about this case. I remember specifically the discussion regarding West Point.

Edited by Duncansmom
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Dfed, this topic is already being discussed as "Footprints in the Snow." You came up with the same thing at just about the same time someone else did ! You can just move it to that one.

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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.

My initial impression is that at some point after that accident, either someone took advantage of her predicament, or she wandered off into the wilderness and froze to death/met with fatal accident.

Edited by regi

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You have two threads going here. You might want to combine them. The earlier already has 19 replies...

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My initial impression is that at some point after that accident, either someone took advantage of her predicament, or she wandered off into the wilderness and froze to death/met with fatal accident.

You have posted to both of them I think. I'm sure you didn't notice but the name Maura is shown on both.

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