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Author Topic: Newspaper Articles  (Read 3272 times)


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Newspaper Articles # 15
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2019, 07:43:49 pm »
Boston Globe

February 17, 2004

With no word from missing student, family's hopes dim - Kin of 21-year-old suspect foul play

By Ralph Ranalli

For all the questions torturing relatives of University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Maura Murray, one thing is increasingly certain. The fact that she has not contacted them in more than a week since disappearing from a rural New Hampshire roadside, they say, means something is terribly wrong. Murray's father, mother, and boyfriend said yesterday they now believe and fear that the 21-year-old Hanson native is a victim of foul play.

"She is just a skinny, little girl, and I am getting more scared by the hour," Frederick Murray, Maura's father, said in a telephone interview from Woodsville, N.H., where his daughter disappeared Feb. 9 after crashing her Saturn into a snowbank.

Relatives have been searching in and around the small towns near the Vermont border where Maura Murray vanished, posting fliers and interviewing witnesses. As best they can determine, Murray got a ride from someone in a car shortly before police arrived at the accident scene on Wild Ammonoosuc Road, said her boyfriend, US Army Lieutenant William Rausch.

No one saw her do so, but residents on the street saw her standing on the road before police arrived, and search dogs lost her scent less than 100 yards from her wrecked car, Rausch said.

"It seems apparent that she most certainly jumped in a vehicle," Rausch said. "An older couple who lives here put her at [the Saturn] one minute before the police arrived."

Given the preparations Murray had apparently made for a trip, relatives had hoped for much of the last week that she may have wanted to be by herself or that she was too embarrassed to call home after crashing a second car in three days.

At the time she left Amherst, relatives said, Murray had been upset that she had crashed her father's car two days earlier. Before heading north toward the White Mountains, Murray withdrew a few hundred dollars from an ATM machine, packed her cellphone wall charger and her favorite stuffed monkey into her Saturn, and e-mailed her professors to tell them she would not be in class all week because of a "family problem."

But with each passing day, hopes that she abandoned her car, hitched a ride, and continued her journey are fading, her mother said. It would be out of character for her daughter not to call, her mother said. "She knows I'm a worrier," Laurie Murray of Weymouth said.

Also out of character, family members said, were reports from witnesses that Murray appeared to be intoxicated just after the crash. Murray, a former top student and track standout at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, is described by friends and family as a responsible young woman who is very close to her family, particularly her father.

She spent three semesters as a chemical engineer at the US Military Academy at West Point before transferring to the nursing program at UMass.

New Hampshire State Police have opened a missing-person investigation into Murray's disappearance and posted her photo on a national law enforcement database. A spokesman said yesterday there were no new developments in the case.


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Newspaper Articles # 16
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2019, 07:46:02 pm »
Massachusetts Daily Collegian

February 17, 2004

Missing student a mystery to police, classmates

Erica Lovley and Ferron Salneer

Police are investigating the disappearance of a University of Massachusetts student who was last seen at the site of a car crash on Monday, Feb. 9.

According to the Boston Globe, Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass. crashed her car into a snow bank last Monday in Haverhill, N.H. The accident was her second in three days; Murray had recently crashed her father’s car on Saturday of the previous weekend.

Murray disappeared from the site of the crash after a resident tried to help and who had called the police, despite Murray asking him not to, the Globe reported. Murray was gone upon arrival of police, her car left abandoned and undrivable, the Globe said.

Chief Jeff Williams of the Haverhill Police Department does not think foul play was involved.

“Our concern is that she’s upset or suicidal, something the family was concerned about,” he told the Globe on Friday.

The accident took place along Route 112, about five miles away from Wells River, Vt., and a mile away from Swift Water Village by the Connecticut River.

Police used dogs, a helicopter and Fish and Game Officers to perform an immediate search around the crash site area and found nothing. The search has since been called off.

Murray is a junior nursing major, a Dean’s List student who works in a local art gallery.

Two UMPD officers, Detectives Chris Thrasher and Brian Davies and two counselors from Mental Health Services visited a junior nursing class, Parent-Child Nursing, on Friday afternoon. Joan Cully, administrative director of the Office for the Advancement of Nursing Education and Eileen Breslin, dean of the school of Nursing were also present at the meeting.

In addition, an email was written by Breslin, and released to the UMass nursing community. According to the email, Murray sent an email to her faculty Monday afternoon at 1:24 p.m. indicating she was heading home for the week due to a death in the family and that she would contact everyone when she returned.

Lindsay Pemberton, a junior nursing major, has the same class schedule as Murray and was present for the meeting on Friday. Pemberton told The Massachusetts Daily Collegian that staff in the nursing department spoke to Murray’s family, and were told that there were no recent family deaths.

“Also, her dorm room was all packed up, like she was planning on moving out,” said Pemberton.

The email to the nursing community also stated that Murray called her boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Bill Rausch, Tuesday morning. At the Friday meeting police said that Rausch only heard someone breathing on the other line. The police were unable to trace the call.

According to Sharon Rausch, the boyfriend’s mother, Murray had e-mailed her boyfriend on Monday afternoon, saying she needed to speak with him.

Murray’s family, including Rausch, and his parents, have flown to New England and are passing out fliers along the New Hampshire-Vermont state boarder, hoping someone will recognize Murray.

“She was really quiet and didn’t hang out with any of us,” said Pemberton. “She was a sweet person, but she didn’t get personal with anyone.”

Murray and Rausch met at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As of yesterday afternoon, the Haverhill police have had no leads in the case and hope that Murray will try to contact a friend or family member.

“The case is under investigation and we are not discussing it at this time,” said the Haverhill Police Department.


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Newspaper Articles # 17
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2019, 07:47:04 pm »
Boston Herald

February 18, 2004

Page 12

FBI offers to help search for missing woman in N.H.

By Marie Szaniszlo

The FBI has offered to help investigate the case of a University of Massachusetts nursing student who vanished in the White Mountains nine days ago. But local New Hampshire authorities so far have declined the bureau's help, the woman's family and friends said yesterday.

Gail Marcinkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston, said the bureau has offered to help search for 21-year-old Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass., who disappeared after her car slid into a snowbank on Route 112 in Woodsville, N.H., on Feb. 9.

But friends who have spent the last week scouring two states for the former West Point cadet said Chief Jeffrey Williams, one of the Haverhill Police Department's two officers, said he would welcome the FBI's help - if he needed it.

"All we're asking is to find Maura," said Christine McDonald, who joined the search last week with her husband, a West Point professor. "And if the local authorities don't have the forces to work daily and with more than a couple of officers, the FBI has to get involved. It's been too long already."

Williams has not returned phone calls from reporters this week and has reprimanded Murray's family and friends for talking to the media and attempting to find her, searchers have said.

"We've been walking a tightrope not to upset these people," said one woman, who asked not to be identified.

Police waited until last Wednesday morning, 36 hours after she vanished, before launching a full-scale search. Dogs lost her scent 100 yards from her car.


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Newspaper Articles # 18
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2019, 07:48:21 pm »
Journal Opinion

February 18, 2004

Pages 1 & 12

Woman still missing after snowbank accident

WOODSVILLE -- It has been one week since Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, MA, crashed her car into a snowbank on Route 112 in Swiftwater and refused assistance by local residents. She has not been seen since.

Ar approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, Haverhill Police Sgt. Cecil Smith responded to a reported one-vehicle accident on Wild Ammonoosuc Road (Route 112). He found the 1996 black Saturn abandoned by Murray. Witnesses who spoke to Murray reported that she appeared intoxicated but unhurt and refused assistance. She left the accident scene before police arrived.

A search of the area was conducted by the Haverhill Police Department, New Hampshire Fish and Game, New Hampshire State Police from Troop F and a state police helicopter. As of Feb. 14, the Haverhill Police had called off the search for Murray, but the investigation continues.

The Lincoln and Conway regions reportedly are well known to the Murray family and the missing girl. The family has vacationed in the area for years. Family Members from Massachusetts, Murray's boyfriend, Bill Rausch, from Oklahoma, and his parents from Ohio have searched the length of the Kancamagus highway in hopes of finding her.

They have posted fliers with Murray's picture at hotels and stores throughout the area. Family members are hoping that she took a ride with someone as there were few footprints near the car.

The father of the missing girl, Fred Murray, said he was concerned that the girl is troubled and possibly suicidal. A phone call to Rausch, on Feb. 10, is the only possible lead. When Rausch answered the call there was only breathing on the other end. The call made to Rausch's cell phone was dialed using a phone card. Police are attempting to track the origin of the card.

Murray is a white female with brown shoulder-length hair and blue eyes, approximately 5'7" tall and weighing 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing jeans and a dark-colored coat. The Haverhill Police Department asks that anyone who has seen Murray contact them at (603) 787-2222.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 05:04:19 pm by MauraMurrayEvidence »


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Newspaper Articles # 19
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2019, 07:49:57 pm »
Burlington Free Press / Lowell Sun / The New Hampshire Union Leader / Portsmouth Herald / Caledonian Record

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Note: The Portsmouth Herald adds the paragraphs in Italics, but omits the paragraph in bold. Its alternative headline is in Italics.


Father: Search for his Mass. daughter stagnant

Father: Search for daughter has become stagnant

College student last seen after crashing car into snowbank


Associated Press Writer

The investigation into the disappearance of a Massachusetts woman last seen more than a week ago in northern New Hampshire has become stagnant, the woman’s father said yesterday.

“There’s no new leads, no new evidence,” Frederick Murray said of the search for Maura Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student who disappeared after a car accident in Woodsville, N.H. “Its stagnant at the moment.”

He blamed the lack of leads on a shortage of resources, saying that though local police were working hard, he wished the small department had more help so it could broaden its search.

“Results are slow in coming. Like the bus stations. Did she leave from a local bus station? That hasn’t been investigated, so I did it myself,” Mr. Murray said, adding that his efforts turned up nothing.

“The police are good guys,” he said. “But there aren’t many of them.”

Authorities said Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student from Hanson, Mass., withdrew $280 from an ATM on Feb. 9 and emailed professors saying she wouldn’t be in class all week because of a family problem.

Around 7 p.m. that evening she crashed her car into a snowbank on Route 112 in New Hampshire several miles from the Vermont border. Police say a witness offered help, but that Murray refused and told the witness not to call police.

The witness, who later told police Murray appeared intoxicated but uninjured at the time, called authorities anyway. But by the time emergency workers arrived, Murray was gone. Most of her belongings were left behind in the car.

On Feb. 11 a police dog was brought to the scene, but was able to track her for only 100 yards, prompting her family to conclude that she got a ride. A police helicopter and ground search also turned up no evidence.

Mr. Murray said yesterday that his daughter may have been distraught at the time, in part because just two days earlier she had been involved in another accident. Police described Maura Murray as “endangered and possibly suicidal.”

Since then, Maura Murray’s family, her boyfriend and his family have come to area to help in the search and hand posters through out New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

Mr. Murray no longer believes his daughter is in the area, adding to his frustration that the police lack the resources to do more.

Mr. Murray is convinced foul play is involved, thought authorities have yet to find evidence of it. Still, he holds out hope that perhaps she just needed to get away.

He wants the FBI to get involved, but was told there needs to be evidence of foul play first.

**Burlington Free Press from below. **

"But you can't get evidence because you don't have the force enough to go out there and get it." he added "Do you wait until you have a body to have evidence and you can call the FBI in? Isn't is possible to expand a little and pound a little harder?"

A spokeswoman for the Haverhill Police Department which is handling the case, would not comment except to say that the investigation was ongoing.

"Just tell us you're OK," he urged her. "Don't come back if you don't want to. Just tell us you're OK. ... She would if she could but I don't think she is able to, for whatever reason that is."


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Newspaper Articles # 20
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2019, 07:52:11 pm »
The Caledonian-Record

February 18, 2004

Missing Woman

Police Chasing Regionwide Leads

By Gary E. Lindsley

HAVERHILL NEW HAMPSHIRE - Haverhill police officers and detectives from New Hampshire State Police Troop F are receiving leads from all points in New England regarding a missing 21-year-old Massachusetts woman.

"This search has gone nationwide," Haverhill Police Chief Jeffery Williams said in a phone conversation late Tuesday afternoon.

Williams' four-person police department, which includes himself, has been investigating the disappearance of Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass. They, along with detectives from Troop F, have been receiving leads from all over New England.

Murray is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds and has long dark brown hair and blue eyes, She was involved in a one-car accident about 7 p.m. Feb. 9.

Her car failed to negotiate a sharp curve and went off the road. Her father, Fred Murray, said it was a minor accident.

A resident who lives near the accident scene told police Murray was asked if she wanted police or emergency medical services called. She reportedly said no. That was the last time anyone has seen the young woman, who reportedly crashed her father's vehicle two days before she crashed her own car, a black 1996 Saturn bearing Massachusetts plates.

According to police, Murray was not injured in the accident. However, she was reportedly impaired due to alcohol consumption when she was seen by her car after her accident.

Williams said his department has received a number of calls in connection with Murray's disappearance, but he will not comment on them because of the ongoing investigation.

The person who saw Murray after the accident also was at the scene when officers arrived.

Williams wouldn't comment concerning what the witness had said about Murray's disappearance between the time of the accident and the time officers arrived.

"We don't know if someone picked her up," Williams said. "We are certainly concerned about that (possibility). We are getting leads from all over New England. It's a national investigation at this point."

Maura's father and her fiance, Bill Rausch, who is a second lieutenant with C Battery, 119th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla., have been joined by relatives and friends in their search for the 21-year-old woman. She is a student in the University of Massachusetts nursing program at Amherst.

They have been scouring areas on both sides of the Connecticut River, hoping to find someone who may have seen Maura or have information as to what happened to her after the accident.

Williams said although a search for her was called off last week, the investigation is continuing. He said New Hampshire Fish and Game is in charge of searches. "I don't see a need for a search until we have a (solid) lead," Williams said.

In addition to officers from his department, and detectives, including Sgt. Bob Bruno from Troop F, Vermont State Police also are playing a part in the investigation.

Williams said information about Murray as been entered into the National Crime Information Center computer systems.

Anyone who has seen Murray is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333 or 603-271-1170. People also can call the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.


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Newspaper Articles # 21
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2019, 07:55:07 pm »

February 19, 2004

Police Suspend Search for Missing Woman

Haverhill, New Hampshire - Police used a helicopter and scent dogs to search two square miles of the wooded area where 21-year-old Maura Murray was last seen. But still, no sign of the missing college student.

"We were not able to come up with any conclusive clues for us to continue,"said Lt. Todd Bogardus of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Police say Murray told her employer she'd be gone for a week to deal with some family issues. She drove to New Hampshire and crashed her car on this sharp curve on Route 112 in Haverhill. She told witnesses she did not want help and took off before police arrived, leaving her car behind.

"This is unprecedented. She's not irresponsible. For her not to call, means to me she is not able to call, and that frightens me," says Fred Murray, Maura's father.

Maura's family and friends have plastered her picture on 1,500 posters all over New Hampshire and Vermont, hoping someone has seen her.

"The way we're getting through is the same way we want Maura to get through, just not giving up. We're not giving up and we don't want her to give up," says Bill Rausch, Maura's boyfriend.

The search party has taken over a Wells River motel, looking for leads, waiting and hoping. They say they're frustrated Maura was last seen on February 9th, but police didn't start looking for her until February 11th, 36 hours later.

"This is a rural area, not many people, not much crime, so when something big comes up, it's a strain on the capabilities of the local police," says Fred Murray.

Police stress that even though their formal search has ended, this case is still very much open. They want to hear from anyone who may have seen Maura Murray.


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Newspaper Articles # 22
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2019, 07:56:57 pm »
Valley News

February 19, 2004

Family Searches for College Student Missing Since Feb. 9

Bob Hookway, Valley News Staff Writer

North Haverhill -- Fred Murray sat in his room at the Wells River Motel yesterday morning and recalled when his 21-year-old daughter, Maura, was a little girl in third grade, and he'd teach her and her friends to play basketball.

“I'd say, ‘Run over there and stop!' and she would. Then I'd say, ‘OK, now run back over here and stop on this mark!' and they all would,” he said, laughing as he remembered the little girls being so eager to do everything just right and learn the game properly.

Murray, a nuclear medical technician from Hanson, Mass., is trim and well groomed. It's easy to see the father of four usually doesn't look anywhere near his 61 years. But that’s not true this week. As the days pass with no word from his daughter -- a University of Massachusetts nursing student who vanished from Route 112 in North Haverhill on the night of Feb. 9 -- Murray is a very worried man. His face shows the strain. He's worried that Maura Murray got into the wrong car after she plowed her black, 1996 Saturn into a snowbank on a sharp curve and apparently decided not to stick around until police showed up to investigate the crash.

He's worried because police are virtually certain that she left the area in a vehicle. Haverhill Police Chief Jeff Williams said Tuesday there were no tracks in the snow around the crash site, and a state police search dog lost Maura Murray's scent quickly.

“It seems likely she got in a car. It could've been a good guy. It could've been a bad guy,” said Fred Murray, who is worried primarily that something bad has happened to his daughter to prevent the normally reliable former West Point cadet from contacting him, her boyfriend, her friends or any of the people she usually keeps in touch with regularly.

Two days before the North Haverhill accident, Maura Murray had smashed up her father's new car in an accident in Hadley, Mass., not far from the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst where she's a junior.

Fred Murray said yesterday that he and his daughter's boyfriend, Bill Rausch of Marengo, Ohio, as well as her friends and siblings have been trying to figure out if her stress over the first accident would have been enough to cause her to withdraw $280 from her bank account and tell her employers at an art gallery that she'd be away for a week.

“She was upset because of the accident in my car. She felt she had disappointed me, let me down like any kid would. I don't think it was anything serious.”

He said Maura headed for the North Country because it was familiar territory for her.

The family had vacationed for years in the Lincoln, N.H., and Conway, N.H., area, he said, and liked to climb 10,000-foot peaks. Asked if there was one special place she might have headed for, her father said “Yes,” in Bartlett, N.H.

“I've checked. Nobody's been there,” he said.

He and his son, Fred Jr., 33, also of Hanson, Mass., have hit all the campgrounds they could find that their family used over the years. They were all locked down and snowed in.

Maura's boyfriend, Bill Rauch, 23, is an Army lieutenant stationed at Ft. Sill, Okla. He's in another room at the Wells River Motel.

Last night, he dropped in on his parents, Bill and Sharon Rauch of Marengo, Ohio, in their room there, and said he's dreading reporting back for duty some 2,000 miles away if Maura hasn't turned up by the weekend.

“We were just talking about the future the other day,” he said, during one of the regular phone calls he had with Maura.

Though not officially engaged yet, he said it was clear to everyone the couple planned to marry, and he was going to get out of the service so they could start a family.

New Hampshire State Police let family members retrieve Maura's belongings from the Saturn.

Bill Rauch is holding on to her favorite stuffed animal, “Joseph,” a monkey that she had in the car with her.

The Rauches said they're doing their best to remain upbeat and positive.

Sharon Rauch said she thinks often of Elizabeth Smart, the Utah girl who was kidnapped and was missing for months before police found her and brought her home.

“He misses her terribly,” she said of her son. “It's strange, but when I see her picture on the television, it's hard to believe we’re in the middle of this. Is this just a really bad dream, or is it real?” she asked.

Fred Murray and his son returned to the motel last night after spending much of the day combing the snowy woods in the White Mountains National Forest not far from the Haverhill site where Maura was last seen. Her father said he followed boot prints over about a half-mile of rugged terrain before he saw a clear enough print to determine that they had been made by boots larger that his daughter's size 8(e?) shoes.

Murray said his and Rauch's family members had, in the past week, papered the area with posters bearing his daughter's photos, from central Vermont to Fryeburg, Maine. and searched behind miles of roadside snowbanks.

No one could fail to see the “missing person” notices at the Swiftwater Stage Stop, a log-cabin style convenience store not far from the spot where Maura Murray vanished.

Owner Wini Matteson has them posted on her front door and at the checkout counter. She said yesterday that the disappearance has been a major topic of conversation among customers.

“Everybody has an opinion. There just isn't anything concrete. But the more time that goes by, the worse it looks,” she said.

Meanwhile yesterday, a school bus driver, Butch Atwood, whose home is within sight of the crash scene, said he was just about to park his bus on that Monday night at about 8 p.m. when he spotted a car nearly sideways on the road. He rushed down to see if he could help.

“She spun on the curve. She had no lights on, and it was a dark car. I could just about see it. I put my flashlight in the window. She was behind the airbag. All I could see was from her mouth up,” Atwood said yesterday as he stood in his driveway and pointed to the accident spot.

“I yelled in, and she said she was OK. She was shaking, as anyone would be if they'd just been in an accident,” the 57-year-old Atwood said. He described Murray's struggle to squeeze her way out through the driver’s door of the car that he said had sustained considerable front-end damage.

“I told her I was going to run up to the house and call the police. She said, ‘No, no, no, please don't! I already called triple A.' Well, under my breath, I said, that’s a lie. You can’t make a cell call from here,” Atwood said. Cellular reception is poor throughout the area.

Despite the young woman's protests, Atwood said he did summon police, but when he went back outside, she was gone.

“I guess I was the last one to see her. I heard a couple of cars go by when I was on the phone. But I didn't see her get in a car, and I don't know which way she went. We’re all just dumbfounded by this,” Atwood said.

A couple of drivers along Route 112 yesterday afternoon got a surprise when they took a curve then had to hit the brakes quickly as they encountered one tall police chief and two state troopers walking toward them in the roadway.

Williams and Lt. John Scarinza, the Twin Mountain troop commander, plus his second-in-command, Sgt. Tom Yorke, examined the crash scene and the surrounding area once again.

The Haverhill chief declined to say exactly what the three were doing.

But he did say, although there were no new developments yesterday, he was not ready just yet to go along with the fears of family members that Maura Murray has been the victim of foul play.

“If any Good Samaritan picked her up, please call us. If that's all it is, that person hasn't done anything wrong. She’s an adult, and if she wants to be missing, that's fine. We’d just like to know what happened,” Williams said.


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Newspaper Articles # 23
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2019, 07:59:24 pm »
The Boston Channel

February 19, 2004

Police, Family Search For Missing Woman

Woman Disappears After Car Crash

HAVERHILL, N.H. -- Police and relatives in Grafton County are searching for a Massachusetts woman who disappeared after a car crash.

Maura Murray, 21, hasn't been seen since Monday night, when she crashed her 1996 black Saturn on Route 112 in the Woodsville neighborhood of Haverhill. Police arrived at the scene to find her care but no sign of the University of Massachusetts student. A witness reported seeing Murray looking impaired the night of the accident.

"She might be afraid she might get in trouble, but we just want to let her know it is fine," said her sister, Kathleen Murray. "We just want her to come home." Police said they were able to find few clues at the scene of the accident.

"We did an intense search of the crash scene area for evidence that she may have walked into the woods, but nothing like that was uncovered," Police Chief Jeff Williams said.

Haverhill police have been working with state police and the Fish and Game Department to find Murray while her family and friends have been driving around the region posting signs hoping someone may give them a clue to where she is. "I feel badly for the family and hope that she is OK," resident Winnie Matteson said.

Searchers are canvassing an area from Haverhill along the Kancamangus Highway to North Conway. The area is like a second home to Murray. She has come to the region with her family since she was a child. Relatives said they believe Murray may have been upset about something.

"We love her. She is the best," Kathleen Murray said. "She has a lot of family and friends. We love her. We just want to see her come home safe."

Maura Murray is described as 5 feet, 7 inches, weighing 120 pounds, with shoulder-length, brown hair. She was last seen wearing jeans and a dark coat.

Anyone with any information on the case is asked to contact police at (603) 787-2222.


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Newspaper Articles # 24
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2019, 08:01:46 pm »
The Patriot Ledger

February 20, 2004

FBI seeking clues to disappearance from Hanson family

By Joe McGee

Boston FBI agents have joined in the search for Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student from Hanson who disappeared more than a week ago after an accident on a snowy New Hampshire road.

New Hampshire search and rescue teams, meanwhile, made one last attempt at searching the mountainous, rural area of Route 112 in Woodsville, N.H., where the 21-year-old was last seen on Feb. 9.

For reasons that remain unclear, Murray had driven to northern New Hampshire that day from the UMass campus in Amherst, where she went to school.

Authorities have suggested from the information they have that Murray may have run away and doesn't want to be found, while family members say she may have been kidnapped.

The terrain in the area where she was last seen is rough and wooded, and the National Forest Service has warned that anyone lost there in the winter cold could perish.

Police, however, said they still consider Murray a missing person, while they don't believe foul play was involved in her disappearance.

‘‘What we asked the FBI to do was to do a background investigation, talking to family members, so hopefully we can generate ideas as to what she was thinking or where she was going. Other than that, we're doing all we can,'' Lt. John Scarinza, commander of New Hampshire State Police Troop F, said.

According to police, sometime before Feb. 9, Murray downloaded directions to Burlington, Vt., from her dorm room computer. She sent an E-mail to her professors and place where she work saying she needed a week off because of ‘‘family problems,'' and left Amherst with $280 cash and a few personal items.

At about 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, the car she was driving hit a snow bank in Woodsville, a town near the Vermont border on Route 112, which locals call Wild Ammonoosuc Road. She refused help from bystanders and was gone when police in the rural town arrived.

At the accident scene, there were no footprints left in the snow and bloodhounds could not pick up her scent.

While there may be clues suggesting Murray wanted time alone and away from campus, family members believe someone picked her up from the accident scene. Running away isn't like Maura, they said.

‘‘She would've contacted someone, her boyfriend or someone. I can't see her running away. She knows how I worry,'' Lauri Murray, Maura's mother, said.

The only personal problem Murray had recently was that the accident was the second vehicle accident she had had in three days. Friends said little things like that might set off a focused person like Maura, a former standout athlete and honors student at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School who attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for a year.

‘‘Top notch. She was one of my brightest students,'' said John Souther, Murray's advanced placement calculus teacher at Whitman-Hanson.

Souther offered to help family members search in New Hampshire this week, one of many who have called the family to lend their support.

Erin Devine, a George Washington University student and high school classmate of Maura's, said she is doing what she can from Washington, D.C.

‘‘I haven't lost hope. I've been working with a criminal psychology professor. We talked about it all day during class today and we're trying to do something about it. I called the police up there and even the U.S. Embassy in Canada,'' Devine said.

Although Murray's father has expressed concern that not enough has been done to help find his daughter, police said they have followed procedures normal to investigating a missing adult case.

Scarinza said search efforts began 36 hours after the accident. That may seem like a long time, but it was for good reason, he said. Witnesses reported that Murray was drunk and so it was thought she fled the scene to avoid arrest. A further complication, authorities have said, was that the vehicle was registered to her father, not her.

‘‘With all those facts, it's not unusual that the person wanted to leave and did not want to be found,'' said Scarinza.

Crews fanned out for three days in the mountainous region before the search was called off.

A dozen people resumed the search yesterday on foot and in a helicopter. Scarinza said that was more than enough manpower to scan the rural terrain.

It was likely the last time a search crew will venture into the woods. If Murray had wandered off the road, finding her would be easy because there is about 1½ feet of snow on the ground, Scarinza said. and it has not snowed since Feb. 9.

Anyone with information that might help investigators is asked to call state police at 603-846-3333, or Haverhill police at 603-787-2222.


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Newspaper Articles # 25
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2019, 08:04:08 pm »
The Brockton Enterprise

February 20, 2004

Investigators say Murray probably left in another vehicle

By Elaine Allegrini, Enterprise staff writer

HANSON The 21-year-old college student who disappeared after a minor car crash in New Hampshire last week probably left the area in another vehicle, investigators said Thursday after a search near the crash scene failed to produce evidence she had walked into the woods.

Police say they have considered that someone whom Maura Murray knew was traveling with her in another vehicle, but that remains unknown. She is a junior at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the Feb. 9 disappearance widened Thursday when the FBI joined the probe at the request of New Hampshire State Police. FBI agents spent Thursday morning interviewing Murray's mother, Lauri Murray, at her Hanson home.

"They want to talk to everybody that knows her, any clue," said a distraught Lauri Murray. "We're pushing, now, two weeks and there's not a word or a sign of this girl."

Maura Murray excelled in academics and sports at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, went on to the West Point military academy and left after a year and a half to pursue a nursing degree at UMass, where she was on the dean's list.

"She's a very academically talented, gifted student," said Jim Daley, Whitman-Hanson basketball coach and social-studies coordinator. "She's very organized, very diligent. She was a steady-eddy, very consistent, very focused, a lovely young girl.

"It's more than sad, it's tragic," added Daley, a Hanson resident who is hopeful Murray will let people know she is safe.

"She definitely was very responsible," said her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch, a West Point graduate who has been in New Hampshire since last week with his parents and Murray's family.

From a small motel over the Vermont border, the families have been searching the area, keeping in touch with investigators and talking to the media.

Rausch said he cannot explain Murray's disappearance in the rural area where she has climbed mountains and vacationed with her family.

Her father, Fred, of South Weymouth, and older brother, Freddy, also searched the woods along Route 112 in the past week and have not found any footsteps to indicate she had been there, Rausch said.

The family has established a Web site with photographs of Murray, hoping someone will recognize her.

"She has that intense radiant smile in every photo," Rausch said. "She's such a radiant, happy girl that you just can't help falling in love with her."

He said his parents, who drove from Ohio to join the search, feel the same way.

Rausch said Murray was excited about the challenges she faced in a new semester at school after they spent the holidays together. Her desire to follow her parents into the medical field prompted her transfer from West Point to UMass, he said.

Although they are separated because of his military assignment in the South, Rausch said he and Murray spoke regularly, sharing a cell phone account.

"We talked about marriage quite a bit, when we were going to be engaged," Rausch said.

He said he received a voice mail from Murray on the afternoon of Feb. 9.

"Regardless of why she went up here, I'm certain that she wanted me to know," he said in a telephone interview from the Vermont motel. "She told me she missed me, she loved me."

She also asked him to call her or, if she did not hear from him, she would call him again, he said. The call never came.

Now, Rausch and Murray's family call her cell phone many times each day, but she does not answer. The calls go to voice mail. They also access the voicemail, but he said, there are no messages related to her disappearance or her whereabouts.

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said investigators are as frustrated as Murray's family and friends. He hopes the FBI will uncover some information to shed some light on her disappearance while New Hampshire state and local police continue their probe.

"We're trying to learn as much as we can about what Maura was thinking, who she may have for friends or why she may have headed north," Scarinza said Thursday.

He was in the area Thursday for the ground and air search of the area along Route 112 where Murray was briefly seen after crashing her vehicle and urging a witness not to contact police.

There are several houses along that stretch of the otherwise lonely road that Murray could have gone to for help, Scarinza said.

If she entered a vehicle to get away from the scene, as police believe, they wonder if she knew the driver or if she went with a stranger.

There is also new information indicating that Murray may have intended to leave school for longer than a week.

"Clearly, her intention was to leave school for, at this point, a destination unknown," Scarinza said. "Why she went through Haverhill is unknown."

Many of her belongings had been packed and left behind in her dorm room at the school, Scarinza said after talking to campus police.

The school newspaper, The Daily Collegian, also quoted a classmate who said Murray's room was packed like she was planning to move out.

Murray was believed to have a single room in the dorm, school spokesman Patrick J. Murray said.

She was also quiet and did not socialize with other students, according to a report published in the school newspaper.

On the day she disappeared, Murray e-mailed the art gallery where she worked and her teachers to say she would be gone for a week to attend to a family emergency, Scarinza said.

Although there have been reports that Murray may have been suicidal, that she had a family problem during the weekend before she disappeared, those close to the young woman said she was upbeat and did not have a history of depression.

She had crashed her father's car in Amherst on the Saturday night before she disappeared, but Rausch said it was nothing serious, that she skidded on ice. Police, however, said it was a significant accident.

A witness at the New Hampshire crash site said she appeared to be impaired by alcohol. Police have not provided information to support that, but Lauri Murray said she believes there was some wine in her daughter's car, though she is unsure if it was open or broke when the two airbags deployed in the crash.

That is not an issue, Lauri Murray said, as she tries to cope. Her son Curtis, 15, remains with her at the family home after spending several days searching the New Hampshire woods last week.

Police have scaled back the ground search after making a third and larger sweep through the area Thursday, Scarinza said.

"That's not the case for the rest of the investigation," he said.

The search for Maura Murray will continue in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts, both on an official and personal basis.

"If Maura is not contacting us because she's unable to, we most certainly don't want her to give up," Rausch said. "We won't give up. Our mission right now is to find her."


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Newspaper Articles # 26
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2019, 08:06:30 pm »
New Hampshire Union Leader

February 20, 2004

Ground search ends for Bay State woman

By Lorna Colquhoun

HAVERHILL -- A second search of a rural part of Swiftwater for a woman who vanished from there after a car accident 10 days ago will be the last one, at least for now.

State police, Fish and Game conservation officers, three search dogs and a helicopter fanned out across a two-square-mile area along the Wild Ammonoosuc River and Route 112 yesterday in search of Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass.

But, officials said, the woods gave no clues as to what happened to the woman, who was last seen Feb. 9 at about 7 p.m., after she had a minor car accident in the area of the Weathered Barn on Route 112.

"Ground teams checked trails and roadways . . . there are no conclusive clues to continue," said Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus at a news conference yesterday.

It was disappointing news for the family of Murray, who have vigorously searched throughout the area for the past 10 days, traveling as far as Conway and Bartlett to put up posters asking for information about the woman, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

"She loved her family and friends, and there is no way she would put the two most important people in her life -- her father and my son -- through this nightmare," said Sharon Rausch, the mother of Murray's boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rausch.

Her son must report back for duty in Oklahoma tomorrow, she said, and other family members who have put their lives on hold must also return to their homes. But, she said, that does not mean they are giving up trying to find her.

"There are countless friends clamoring to help," Rausch said.

Authorities are not going to stop trying to locate Murray, either, said State Police Lt. John Scarinza.

"We understand the family's frustration in not being able to find Maura," he said. "At this point, we do not see anything on a search on the ground, but it does not mean we are not searching for her. It's more appropriate now to look elsewhere and gather information."

New Hampshire investigators, which include the Haverhill police department, state police and Fish and Game, also have been working with Massachusetts law enforcement, including the UMass campus police. The FBI also has been providing assistance in Massachusetts in developing a timeline of Murray's actions in the week before her disappearance.

But the case is puzzling. Murray had e-mailed her professors telling them she would be out of classes for a week, while she tended to some family business. Rausch said Murray was in contact with her son during the day on Monday, leaving him a telephone message that said, "I love you, call me," she said.

Murray, who had spent many family vacations visiting and hiking in the White Mountains, also had packed a suitcase.

She had a minor car accident on Route 112 that night. Witnesses said she asked them to call a wrecker, but not the police. Police were called and an officer was on the scene in less than 10 minutes after the emergency call, Scarinza said.

In that time, however, Murray vanished.

"How or why is unknown at this point," Scarinza said. "We are reasonably confident that she did not enter the woods near the accident scene -- that area was searched several times."

While Haverhill police conducted a search of the area when they responded to the accident scene, nothing was found. Scarinza said it was Tuesday before the police were able to determine and contact Murray's father, the owner of the car, who then discovered that his daughter was missing.

A search of the area began that Wednesday, but nothing was found. Because there has been no snow or other weather to radically change the landscape, the second search went over the same terrain yesterday.

The accident scene was in sight of several homes, although the area becomes remote after that. Scarinza said she did not seek help from any of the homeowners, so it may be that she accepted a ride somewhere, but, he said, "there is no indication that anyone picked her up."

There is no evidence of foul play, either, he said.

"There is absolutely no indication that any harm has come to her," he said.

After more than a week of heartbreaking days, Rausch said the family can only conclude that Murray is unable to contact them.

"It's been a very long 10 days, and we are very worried," she said. "We are all convinced in our hearts that she is somewhere and someone is preventing her from contacting us."

Scarinza said that despite the posters seeking information and media coverage of Murray's disappearance, there has been little public response. He would not say if any of her accounts have been active since the disappearance.

Rausch and her husband must return to their Ohio home on Monday, but she said their efforts would continue to find Murray.

"Maura, we love you," she said. "We are never going to give up hope and don't you give up hope. We'll bring you home."

Anyone with information can contact the Haverhill police department at 747-2222.


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Newspaper Articles # 27
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2019, 08:08:52 pm »
Boston Globe

February 20, 2004

With no new leads, FBI joins search for missing student

By Peter DeMarco

The FBI has joined in the search for missing college student Maura Murray, but without a single lead in the nearly two-week old case, New Hampshire authorities said the additional investigators might not make a difference.

Murray, a 21-year-old Hanson native and nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, vanished the night of Feb. 9 after crashing her car into a snowbank on a rural road in Woodsville, N.H.

Police in helicopters and with their dogs searched the area for a second time yesterday, but with no evidence that Murray fled into the woods, her family and authorities believe she either hitched a ride and is on her own, or was abducted.

Missing persons cases are typically handled by local and state authorities unless a federal crime has been committed.

So far, investigators have found no evidence that Murray was kidnapped or taken across state lines.

Nevertheless, at the urging of Murray's father, Fred, New Hampshire State Police are now working with Boston-based FBI agents on the case, officials said.

Though police have questioned many of Murray's family members and friends, FBI agents will probably return to UMass-Amherst and Hanson for further interviews and background checks, said Lieutenant John Scarinza, commander of State Police Troop F.

"We're now at the phase where we need to learn more about the week before Maura headed north," he said. "If any friends or associates or classmates had any discussions with her about her wanting to come up north, or places she'd like to visit, or important destinations, we'd like to hear from them. Maybe that would help us understand where she went, or why."

Hours before she departed for New Hampshire on Feb. 9, Murray e-mailed a professor and her part-time campus job to say she was heading home for the week because of a death in the family, according to school officials and the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, a student newspaper.

Withdrawing $280 from an ATM, she loaded her Saturn with clothing, a book, and a stuffed toy monkey and headed to New Hampshire, where she had frequently hiked with her father. She told no one of her plans.

About 7 that evening, she lost control on a sharp bend on Route 112 in Woodsville. Unhurt, but appearing to be intoxicated, she refused help from a motorist who offered assistance and was gone when police reached her car about 10 minutes later, officials said.

Fearing that Murray may have been taken across state lines and unaware of any major issue she might have been struggling with, her family urged the FBI to get involved.

Woodsville is about 5 miles from the Vermont border and about a two-hour drive from New York, Maine, and Canada.

Fred Murray, who is scheduled to appear on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" today to discuss his daughter's disappearance, said the FBI involvement is a good start, but not enough.

"They're saying the FBI is in, but that's a very limited scale," he said. "I'd like to see the best case scenario -- agents crawling all over the place up here."

Scarinza said investigators, including detectives at UMass-Amherst, share Murray's concerns. At the same time, he cautioned that people sometimes escape to the White Mountains without telling their family or friends.

"She's an adult. If you want to go on vacation for a few weeks, you have a right to do that. But even the FBI is not going to go to California to see if she's on vacation there," he said.

"Hopefully, by the close of [today] we will have talked to everyone at least twice within a reasonable radius of the area. We're talking 5 miles, give or take," he continued. "There's no evidence of a struggle near or around the car. No witness says there was an altercation. No evidence that any criminal offense has happened to her. Yes, she's missing. It's frustrating for the family. And law enforcement officials are frustrated too. We have no idea where she is."


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Newspaper Articles # 28
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2019, 08:11:14 pm »
The Caledonian-Record

February 20, 2004

Area Man Laments The Events Of Feb. 9 - Missing Woman Didn't Accept His Help

By Gary E. Lindsley

Butch Atwood wishes the events of the night of Feb. 9 had gone much differently for a missing 21-year-old Massachusetts woman.

Atwood was on his way home, about a mile from Swiftwater on Route 112 in Haverhill, when rounding the sharp left-hand curve by The Weathered Barn, he saw a black Saturn partially in the roadway and partially mired in the snow. It was about 7:30 p.m., he said.

The driver had failed to negotiate the sharp curve after passing the barn, gone off the road and struck a stand of trees on the right side of the highway. The car sustained extensive front-end damage.

Atwood, a school bus driver for First Student, was returning from dropping off students after a day of skiing at Wildcat Mountain.

He stopped the school bus by the Saturn to see if he could help. "She was still in the car," Atwood said, referring to Maura Murray.

Murray, who is from Hanson, Mass., and is a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been missing since the night of the accident.

Atwood said the Saturn's lights weren't on. "I shined the light in (her car)," he said. "I said, Are you OK?' She said she was."

Atwood said he got a good look at her. She looked to be about 20 and had dark hair.

As a matter of safety, he told her to turn her car's lights on so no one would strike her vehicle coming around the curve.

"I saw no blood," he said. "She was cold and she was shivering. I told her I was going to call the police."

Murray, according to Atwood, told him not to because she had already called AAA.

"I said, OK. I will make a call to the police department and the fire department to check you out,'" he said. "I said, Why don't you come to my house? You can get warm and wait for the police and EMS.'" Atwood said she just told him to go.

He drove to his house, about 75 yards from the scene of the accident, and backed it his driveway before running into the house to call police.

However, he couldn't get through to the Haverhill Police Department and the Grafton County Sheriff's Department.

He called 911 and the operator couldn't either. Atwood said another 911 operator was able to get through.

While he was talking on his phone on his front porch, Atwood could see the road, but not Murray's disabled car. He saw several vehicles drive by, but couldn't tell any makes or models because it was so dark.

After about seven to nine minutes, he looked out and saw the Haverhill Police. Atwood believed the situation was under control and went to the school bus to tend to his paperwork.

The next thing he knew, Haverhill Police Department Sgt. Cecil Smith was banging on his bus window. Smith asked him if he had called in the accident and seen anyone at the scene. Atwood told Smith he had seen a girl about 20 with dark hair.

Smith said when he arrived, Murray was no longer with her car. In the seven to nine minutes between the time Atwood had left Murray to call for help and the time Smith arrived, Murray had vanished.

"I took a ride around the back roads," Atwood said. "I was gone about 15 minutes. Then I took a ride to French Pond."

He even drove about a mile down the road to the store in Swiftwater to check and see if she was there. She wasn't.

When he returned to the accident scene, a New Hampshire State Police trooper was there.

Atwood said they checked the woods in the immediate area to see if Murray had gone into the forest. There weren't any tracks.

He said there wasn't any way Murray could have driven the car after the accident. He said the radiator had been pushed back into the fan. The air bag also had been deployed.

However, he said it didn't appear Murray had been injured, just shaken up.

"I just wish I could have gotten her to come with me," he lamented. "But I am a big man, over 350 pounds. She may have gotten into a car with someone who was clean cut."

Atwood believes one of the vehicles which had passed his house could have stopped and picked her up. "She could be anywhere, absolutely," Atwood said.

He said whoever may have picked her up could have driven toward the area of Lincoln, or back to Route 302 and over to Vermont.

Anyone who has seen Murray is asked to contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333 or 603-271-1170. People also can call the Haverhill Police Department at 603-787-2222.


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Newspaper Articles # 29
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2019, 08:13:36 pm »
The Caledonian-Record

February 20, 2004

Air, Ground Search Futile - FBI Called Into Case

By Gary E. Lindsley

Nancy Lyon and her canine partner, a 3-year-old malinois, Quicklie, spent most of Thursday morning scouring a section of Route 112 for a missing 21-year-old Hanson, Mass., woman.

Lyon and Quiklie are members of the New England K-9 Search and Rescue group. They were one of three canine teams taking part in the search for Maura Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

They were unable to turn up any sign of the missing college student.

A ground and air search coordinated by New Hampshire Fish and Game failed to turn up any clues in Murray's disappearance Thursday.

Murray unexpectedly left her college and her job at an art gallery Feb. 9 and headed to New Hampshire in her black 1996 Saturn.

She was traveling on Route 112 around 7 p.m. in Haverhill when she failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand curve past The Weathered Barn and crashed into a stand of trees on the right side of the highway.

The front end of the car suffered extensive damage upon impact. The car's radiator was pushed back into the fan, making the vehicle inoperable.

Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus, in a press conference at the Haverhill Police Department Thursday afternoon, said the three canine teams, two of which were part of the New England K-9 Search and Rescue group, and the other from the state police, were unable to come up with any clues. Two of the canines were air scent dogs.

"The results today were non-conclusive," Bogardus said. "We were unable to locate anything within a 2-mile square radius."

Between the air and ground searches, he said there weren't any conclusive clues to enable a continuation of the search.

"Tracks are prevalent out there, but none connected with Maura," he said. "So, now our ground search is suspended."

Lt. John Scarinza of New Hampshire State Police Troop F said police know Murray had e-mailed her employer she was taking a week off for a family emergency.

"How and why she ended up in Haverhill is unknown," he said.

However, Maura's father, Fred Murray, has said the family used to camp in the area and Maura was familiar with New Hampshire.

"We are reasonably confident she did not enter the woods near the crash scene," Scarinza said.

He also said police don't have any indication any harm has come to her.

"There is no indication someone picked her up," Scarinza said. "At this point, I have no reason to believe that (she was taken against her will)."

The FBI, he said, is now involved with the case and is conducting a background investigation in Massachusetts.

"We have not asked them to do that," Scarinza said, referring to checking her computer for any information which would help move the investigation along. "We have been working with the University of Massachusetts police at Amherst. They have been a tremendous help."

Police have checked bus companies and questioned bus drivers to see if Murray had caught a bus somewhere. Nothing has proven that was the case.

Authorities are also conducting background checks of "people of interest" in the area.

When asked why a second ground and air search was conducted Thursday, nearly a week and a half after the accident, Scarinza said, "We wanted to make sure we had done everything twice. We have a very good feeling we have done everything we can do at the crash site."

Police in the meantime have been tracking Murray's credit cards and bank accounts. But they aren't revealing anything they have learned.

Sharon Rausch, the mother of Bill Rausch, who is Murray's fiance-to-be and a second lieutenant with C Battery, 119th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla., was present at the press conference.

"It's been a long, long 10 days," Rausch said. "We are very worried. We believe she is somewhere and someone is preventing her from contacting us.

"She loved her family and there is no way she would put her father and my son through this."

Rausch, who is from Marengo, Ohio, wanted to send a message to Murray.

"Maura, we love you," she said. "Don't you give up. We will never give up. We will find you."


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