The Case of Maura Murray: Holding on to Hope When Missing Person Investigations Go Cold

The Case of Maura Murray: Holding on to Hope When Missing Person Investigations Go Cold

maura murray

On a fateful day in February of 2004, 21 year-old Massachusetts university student Maura Murray disappeared without a trace. A car accident had taken place, and although witnesses statements had placed the young woman on Route 112 in North Haverhill, New Hampshire, the events that followed remain shrouded in mystery. Some seventeen years after her disappearance, missing person investigations continue the quest to discover what happened to Maura Murray, while her family hold out hope that she may one day return home.

A Kind-Hearted Honor Student

Maura Murray was born on May 4, 1982, to parents Fred and Laurie in Brockton, Massachusetts. The youngest of five children, Maura excelled both academically and in various athletic sports, while becoming known as a kind-hearted contributor to her local community. Graduating at the top of her class from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, Maura continued on to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and then the University of Massachusetts where she was pursuing a career in nursing.

In the months leading up to her disappearance, Maura’s behavior had shown signs of the unexpected. The slim built, brown haired, and blue eyed young woman had crashed her fathers car on the way to a party, causing some $8,000 in damage. She had also been arrested for using a stolen credit card number to order fast-food, although the charges were dismissed on the grounds of good behavior.

On the morning of the day that she would vanish, Monday February 9, Maura electronically submitted her homework, telling her professor that there had been a death in the family and that she needed to leave campus for the week—a statement that the family themselves couldn’t explain. She reached out to an accommodation provider in Stowe, Vermont, and the owner of a condominium in Bartlett, New Hampshire, where she and her family had forged positive memories in the past—although she didn’t make a reservation. Finally, she packed a bag with enough clothes and supplies to last several days, and left campus.

Strange Circumstances Unfold

At 3:15 pm Maura stopped at an ATM and withdrew $280—almost all of the money she had available to her—and visited in a liquor store, where she spent $40 on alcohol. Nobody who was interviewed over the course of following missing person investigations could explain why she left, or be certain of where she was going. Authorities revealed that she departed the area at around 4:30 pm in her 1996 Saturn, driving north towards New Hampshire.

At 7:27 pm that Monday evening, a local resident named Faith Westman reported to the police that a car accident had occurred near her home in Haverhill. Not long after this report, bus driver Butch Atwood indicates that he saw and spoke to Maura by the side of the road. Her car was in the ditch and the airbags had deployed, although Maura didn’t appear injured. Despite this, when Maura declined his help and told Atwood that she had already called AAA, his concern was piqued as the area is known for its poor cell reception. The bus driver returned home but contacted the police to report the incident.

A Missing Person In New Hampshire

When police arrived on the scene at 7:46pm, Maura’s car was locked, and she had vanished. A police officer, a state trooper, and eight firefighters searched the area for signs of the young woman. No traces of Maura have been found since that tragic evening, including cell phone or bank account activity. Speculation remains that someone local and able to traverse the nearby terrain may have taken the young woman, although no valuable leads have arisen.

On April 3 of 2019, authorities followed a tip from concerned private citizens who had used ground-penetrating radar to detect disturbed ground below the basement of a nearby property. When state police and FBI agents lifted the concrete floor of the basement, they found no sign of a crime. Because of the strange circumstances surrounding her vanishing, Maura Murray is considered to be missing and endangered. Despite her trail going cold after so many years, Maura’s family remain hopeful. They continue their campaign both through a tribute website and on Go Fund Me.

Seeking Support When Your Loved One Goes Missing

When an adult or child goes missing, time is of the essence. For those in need of assistance, the Lauth Missing Persons team bring more than two decades of experience and a proven track record to the table. Our dedicated investigators will waste no time in picking up the trail of your loved one.
We jump straight into fieldwork, alongside working closely with a global network of NGOs such as Interpol’s I Familia, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. We also assist families in setting up Go Fund Me campaigns—facilitating an unimpeded search and access to reward funds—so that focus can remain simply on bringing loved ones home again. Learn more by visiting lauthmissingpersons.com or by contacting us today.