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Author Topic: Newspaper Articles  (Read 7192 times)


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Newspaper Articles #177
« Reply #180 on: December 15, 2019, 08:36:37 am »
Boston Globe

January 28, 2006

Father's request to see police files denied

Haverhill, N.H. -- A judge denied a Massachusetts man's request to see police files in the case of his daughter's disappearance nearly two years ago. Maura Murray went missing after a minor car accident in Haverhill in February 2004.

Fred Murray of Hanson, Mass., believes his daughter was a victim of foul play and that police have not paid enough attention to the case.

He sued to get access to files from the investigation, but a judge rejected the request on Thursday. The state resisted on grounds that a missing person investigation has the potential to become a criminal case. State lawyers said that disclosing details could compromise a future investigation. Grafton County Superior Court Judge Timothy Vaughn agreed.


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Newspaper Articles #178
« Reply #181 on: December 15, 2019, 08:37:04 am »
Boston Globe

January 29, 2006

Father seeks data on a lost daughter - After two years, an appeal is filed

By Russell Nichols

The father of Maura Murray, the Massachusetts woman who vanished on a rural New Hampshire roadside almost two years ago, will file an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court in an effort to get case records that could help him find his daughter, his lawyer said.

Last week, a Superior Court judge denied Frederick Murray access to the records, saying releasing them may impede the probe.

But the lawyer, Timothy Ervin of Chelmsford, argued that the information falls under the state's right-to-know law and should be disclosed.

''They can't just, with a broad stroke, say everything's exempt," Ervin said. ''This is a missing-person's case. It's not a criminal investigation."

Murray had sued a number of agencies, including the attorney general's office and the State Police, after he was denied accident reports, an inventory of items taken from her car, and a copy of his daughter's computer hard drive, among other records.

Grafton County Judge Timothy J. Vaughan wrote that ''review of the records is not warranted because the evidence proffered confirms that Maura's case is an on-going criminal investigation and because disclosure of the records could interfere with law enforcement proceedings."

But Murray knows his daughter better than anyone, Ervin said, and somewhere in the stacks of 2,500 pages of records may be a phone number, an e-mail address, or a name that gives him a clue.

''We want to add to what the police have done and see if we find something new," Ervin said.

Right now, he said, Murray doesn't even have a complete timeline of events for Feb. 9, 2004, the day Maura Murray, a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, disappeared after a minor car accident on Route 112. With the appeal, he said, Murray hopes that the court will release at least some of the documents so Murray and the private investigators he hired can try to figure something out.

Maura Murray's boyfriend does not understand the decision either. ''I really don't see why such a request would not be granted," said Army Captain Bill Rausch, 25, now stationed in Lawton, Okla. ''If nothing else, we're just asking to be put on the same playing field."

The day Murray disappeared, officials and family members had said she lied to a professor and the campus art gallery where she worked, informing them through e-mails that she needed to return to her hometown of Hanson because of a death in the family.

Driving on the rural highway, she crashed into a snowbank. A witness offered to help Murray, but she declined, and the witness alerted the police. When police arrived, she was gone. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Murray, a former top student and track standout at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, was described by friends and family as a responsible young woman who was very close to her family, particularly her father. She spent three semesters studying chemical engineering at the US Military Academy at West Point before transferring to UMass.

Family and friends have a website with news about the inquiry, and with data to remember her, at www.mauramurray.com.

Russell Nichols can be reached at rnichols@globe.com.


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Newspaper Articles #179
« Reply #182 on: December 15, 2019, 08:37:30 am »
Massachusetts Daily Collegian

January 31, 2006

New developments in search for missing UMass student

Almost two years after her disappearance, University of Massachusetts Amherst students can still see flyers posted around town, the word “Missing” printed above Maura Murray’s now-familiar face.

Her story remains at a grisly stand-still as her family voices disappointment with New Hampshire authorities.

The 21-year-old nursing student disappeared on Feb. 9, 2004 after leaving her dorm room in Kennedy Hall at UMass and heading through New Hampshire. Maura’s parents suspected foul play from the beginning, yet many investigators still say Maura ran away, or took her own life.

Prior to her disappearance, Maura withdrew $280 from an ATM and e-mailed her professors to tell them she was going home for the week because of a death in the family, although there had been no death.

Around 7 p.m. that evening, she crashed her car into a snow bank on Route 112 in New Hampshire, several miles from the Vermont border. Police say a witness offered help, but Maura refused and told the witness not to call police. The witness also told officials that she seemed to be intoxicated, but uninjured. When emergency workers arrived, Maura had vanished, and most of her belongings were left behind in the car.

Police said they see no evidence of foul play after searching the scene of Maura’s minor car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. However Maura’s parents feel that investigators should take a fresh look in efforts to recover their daughter. The Murray family feels police do not take seriously the possibility that Maura may have been abducted.

Maura’s father, Fred Murray, met with Gov. John Lynch last year to ask for his help in getting records of the investigation. Since then, Murray has sued Lynch, state police and other law enforcement agencies in the hope of obtaining information from the investigation, such as accident reports, an inventory of items taken from her car, a copy of her computer hard drive, and a surveillance tape from a liquor store where she made a purchase.

The lawsuit claims that Murray was denied this information because the records are confidential, and their release would constitute an invasion of privacy. On Thursday, a New Hampshire judge ruled against Murray in the lawsuit.

“Release of the records could jeopardize the investigation and lead to, among other things, destruction of evidence, intimidation of witnesses and loss of communications with entities providing confidential information,” wrote Grafton Superior Judge Timothy Vaughn in his ruling.

Police have said that they talk with Murray on a regular basis when new leads appear. However, Murray says that he hasn’t gotten any feedback from the governmental investigators in several months. This leads the family to wonder if the investigation into Maura’s disappearance is ongoing.

The idea that Maura could still be in danger is the most compelling reason for disclosing the information because it could aid in locating her, according to the suit.

Though investigators might write off this notion because it is based on a “gut feeling,” Murray insists that he knew his daughter too well to believe that she would go missing on her own accord. He believes it more likely that she was the victim of foul play.

Skepticism of the New Hampshire authorities’ fortitude in finding their daughter has led the family to take the investigation under their wings as best they can. Along with continually searching the wooded area where Murray disappeared, Fred Murray has gone in search of clues in the area’s local bars, hoping to overhear any information that could lead him in the right direction.

Additionally, licensed private detectives took on the case, thanks to the Molly Bish Foundation, which has partnered with the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts. Since last year, the program has offered free investigative services to the unsolved cases of missing women, some of which date back to 1984.

The new private investigations intend to re-examine the angles of Maura’s case, and re-interview everyone involved.

There is also new publicity being focused on Maura’s disappearance, which might lead to a greater public outreach and efforts to help her safe recovery. ABC newsmagazine “20/20” will feature Maura’s case next month.

A Web site being maintained for Maura at www.mauramurray.com says that a $40,000 reward is being offered for any information that might help Maura’s safe return.

Maura had transferred to UMass from the U.S. Military Academy after spending three semesters at West Point. She was on the roster of the UMass women’s track and field team and worked in a local art gallery. Friends and family described her as a quiet woman who didn’t mingle much with classmates.


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Newspaper Articles #180
« Reply #183 on: December 15, 2019, 08:38:01 am »
The Patriot Ledger

February 8, 2006

Ledger Update: Where is Maura? 2 Years Later, Missing Hanson Woman’s Family Clings to Hope, Waits for Answers

By Joe McGee

Laurie Murray has had the same bedtime ritual every night for the past two years. She prays to the Catholic patron saint of lost things, hoping that she’ll awaken to good news. ‘‘What I do every night is pray to St. Anthony,’’ Murray said. ‘‘I have a statue right here.’’

It will be two years tomorrow since Laurie’s daughter, Hanson native Maura Murray, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, disappeared after a minor traffic accident in Haverhill, N.H.

Police, who have treated her disappearance as a missing persons case, stopped talking about leads long ago.

Even now, as the family clings to hope and waits for answers, they stand firm in their belief that wherever Maura went, she did not go willingly.

They are hoping renewed media attention and the work of a private investigator will yield results.

‘‘Someone doesn’t just disappear. ...She called me every night,’’ Laurie Murray said. ‘‘Something went horribly wrong.’’

A Web site, mauramurray.com, keeps her memory alive. It also has provided the family with tips and theories about the case, none of which has been confirmed by police. One tipster suggested that drug dealers in the rural area knew something about her disappearance.

Maura’s story has been mentioned on CNN, Fox News and ABC in reports about the mysterious disappearances of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway during a post-graduation trip to Aruba and honeymooner George Smith during a Royal Caribbean cruise. Maura’s story will be told again in a segment of ‘‘20/20’’ that the news program is calling ‘‘Vanished.’’

‘‘At this stage of the game, we have to put her in God’s hands and pray he’ll guide us to wherever it is to find her,’’ said Barbara McDougall of Weymouth, a cousin to Maura.

Tomorrow, while Laurie Murray is at church saying more prayers to St. Anthony, a private investigator will be retracing Maura’s steps from the time she left UMass on Feb. 9, 2004, to the time of the accident in New Hampshire that night.

‘‘You just go back and put yourself at the scene and imagine what could have happened that night,’’ said Tom Shamshack, a former Winthrop police chief and an investigative consultant to the Molly Bish Foundation who became involved with the Murray case in December.

Shamshack, -who says missing property often gets more attention than a missing person, - wants to interview those who were last in contact with Murray, including college friends, relatives and Butch Atwood, a bus driver who was the last to see her.

Atwood, who has since moved to Florida, was driving by in a bus that night and offered Murray help. He said she refused his help, saying she would call for roadside assistance with her cell phone even though there is no coverage in the area.

Atwood told New Hampshire newspapers that he went back to his home, about 100 yards from the accident scene, and called 911. Police arrived minutes later, but Murray had vanished.

Atwood said he saw other cars go by while he was calling for help, but that it was too dark to tell their makes or models.

Police found no footprints or other evidence to suggest Murray had walked away.

‘‘You just think about the different scenarios, number one being that she could’ve easily walked down the road to try to get cell phone coverage,’’ Shamshack said. ‘‘Somebody else could’ve driven by who nobody saw, and offered help. She got into that automobile and then left the scene and that’s it.’’

A New Hampshire Superior Court judge recently denied the family access to official police records, making it almost impossible to draw a timeline from when Murray left school to when she arrived in Haverhill.

But Shamshack said visiting Haverhill, a mountainside community of 4,400, would help him get a sense of where Maura could have gone.

The area of the accident scene, on Route 112 at a hairpin turn marked with a big red barn, should be the best source of what happened, he said.

‘‘I’m a Somerville guy and I have some understanding of what goes on on the streets, and my sense is what happened is right there in that neighborhood,’’ he said.

Murray’s boyfriend, Army Capt. William Rausch, said he still has a special place in his heart for Maura, the girl he planned to marry.

Still single, Rausch, 25, said he finds strength by dedicating himself to his job at Fort Sill, Okla., and staying close with friends from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he and Murray met. Some of his colleagues knew Murray from the year she spent at West Point and have fond memories of her, Rausch said.

‘‘It seems evident that whatever happened is concrete,’’ Rausch said, ‘‘but I still love her like many others do, and I feel lucky to have had what we had.’’

Joe McGee may be reached at jmcgee@ledger.com.


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Newspaper Articles #181
« Reply #184 on: December 15, 2019, 08:38:43 am »
Eyewitness News

February 9, 2006

Mass. woman disappeared in N.H. two years ago today

CONCORD, N.H. It's been a painful two years for the family of a Massachusetts woman who disappeared after a minor car accident in northern New Hampshire.

U-Mass student Maura Murray of Hanson, Massachusetts, was last seen on February ninth, 2004, walking away from her car on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire. Police have said they don't believe foul play was involved, and have searched the area several times.

Murray's family believes someone picked her up on the road. They have searched the area many times and so far have been unsuccessful in court to get information police have collected in the disappearance.


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Newspaper Articles #182
« Reply #185 on: December 15, 2019, 08:39:07 am »

March 17, 2006

'20/20' Examines Maura Murray Disappearance - Report Compares Case With Missing Oregon Woman

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The unsolved disappearance of college student Maura Murray is well-known in New Hampshire, and now, the story is hitting the national airwaves.

Friday night, "20/20" will attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery. Murray vanished in 2004 after her car broke down, and anchor Elizabeth Vargas will take viewers through the events right before her disappearance.


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Newspaper Articles #183
« Reply #186 on: December 15, 2019, 08:39:33 am »
Worldnet Daily

March 18, 2006

Serial killer behind 'disappearing' women? - Frustrated parents of 2 girls suspect cases connected, killer on the loose

By H. P. Albarelli

Brianna Maitland - On a freezing cold March 19, 2004, night at 11:20 p.m., 17-year old Brianna Maitland clocked out of her job at the historic Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery Center, Vermont.

Maitland had to get up early the next morning for her second job as a waitress in nearby St. Albans. Business at the Black Lantern had been bustling that night, and earlier that day she had spent several hours shopping with her mother Kellie. She was tired, she told fellow workers, and couldn’t stay for an after-closing dinner.

Less than two hours later, her car was spotted a mile from the inn, backed into the clapboard siding of an abandoned, roadside farmhouse. The vehicle, with its headlights still on, was empty except for two un-cashed paychecks and personal items on the front seat. Brianna Maitland had vanished.

Five weeks earlier, and 90 miles south of Montgomery Center, on a cold, snowy Feb. 9 evening at about 7:20 p.m., Maura Murray, a 21-year old University of Massachusetts student, drove her car into a snow bank on a sharp curve on Route 112 near Haverhill, N.H.

Maura Murray * Within a few minutes, a school bus driven by Butch Atwood stopped alongside Murray’s vehicle. Atwood, who told reporters he is a former police officer, asked Murray if she was okay and if she wanted him to alert local police. Murray, according to Atwood, said that she was fine and that she had already used her cell phone to call AAA for assistance.

Still concerned, Atwood continued up the road to his house, only about 100 yards away, and, once inside, telephoned police to report the accident. About 10 minutes later, a Haverhill police officer, and then a New Hampshire State Police trooper, arrived on the scene. Maura Murray’s car was empty and she had vanished.

The still unsolved disappearances of Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray have caused widespread feelings of insecurity among women throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, and have renewed fears that a serial killer may be on the loose.

The disappearances have served to shatter the long-standing reputations of the two states as geographically safe and tranquil havens from the ills of urban America. Both disappearances also have created deep concerns about law enforcement response procedures, as well as friction between the families of both missing women and the New Hampshire and Vermont State Police departments.

No longer safe

Throughout the 1900s, Vermont and New Hampshire were at the top of the nation’s list of states that were near-free from violent crimes and murder. Indeed, in the 1950s and early 1960s, Vermont experienced murder rates that were in the low single digits, sometimes escaping annual counts without any recorded killings. All that began to slowly but steadily change in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By the late 1970s and 1980s, murders doubled and tripled in the two states. In the 1990s, and thereafter, violent crime and murders rose astronomically, and much of it was directed at young women.

From 1970 to 2004 nearly 30 women vanished in the tiny states of Vermont and New Hampshire. Of that number, 10 eventually were found, most having been brutally murdered. In total, 19 women remain unaccounted for between the two states. By most authoritative counts, there are over 60 unsolved homicides in Vermont and New Hampshire that occurred during that period.

Over the past several decades, law enforcement authorities in both states repeatedly have claimed that the murdered and missing are the victims of a wide variety of causes, including runaways, domestic violence and crimes of passion and sexual predators. Law enforcement officials argue there is no evidence a serial killer is on the loose, but many people take exception with this.

These people point to the series of young women murdered in the two states during the 1970s and 1980s by a person the media dubbed the “Valley Killer.” The Valley Killer, who never has been apprehended or identified, is responsible for attacking at least seven women and for murdering at least six women. Included in the Valley Killer’s death count are several young women, who physically resemble Maitland and Murray.

With the recent disappearances of the two women, police continue to insist there are “no reasons to believe that a serial killer is on the loose.” Police maintain the unsolved cases are not connected in any way. But many people remain skeptical of that claim.

Says Maitland’s father, Bruce, “Just because there isn’t any evidence is not a reason to close the door on that theory, or any other. If you look at the vital statistics on all of these missing women, you’d see right away that most are startlingly similar. If none are related, then that means there are a good 100, or so, individual murderers out there roaming about free to do anything they want.”

‘She had a special charisma’

By all accounts, Brianna Alexandra Maitland was an extraordinary young woman. Beautiful beyond her years, creative, caring and fiercely independent, she was the envy of many of the girls who knew her. Maitland was as good as any man at shooting skeet, riding a snow mobile or all-terrain-vehicle, and she could track a deer for miles through the woods.


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Newspaper Articles #184
« Reply #187 on: December 15, 2019, 08:40:10 am »

About April 2006

A Circle of Hope

Family, friends and loved ones of Maura Murray met on May 2nd throughout parts of the country in ‘Circle of Hope’ ceremonies. Maura is the missing UMass nursing student who vanished from her one car accident on the evening of February 9, 2004 on Route 112 near Woodsville NH. Maura has not been seen since that evening.

Fred Murray, Maura’s father held a ‘Circle of Hope’ on Route 112 at the accident site in New Hampshire. A ‘Circle of Hope’ met in Maura’s hometown of Hanson, MA and was attended by Maura’s mother Laurie Murray, sister Kathleen, brothers Freddie and Kurtis, Grandmother Ruth Mehrman, aunts, cousins, numerous dear friends and neighbors. A ‘Circle of Hope’ was held by Fred Murray’s family and friends in Weymouth, MA. Laurie Murray’s brother, Ricky Mehrman, family and friends met in their ‘Circle of Hope’ in Yankton, SD. Maura’s sister Julie and Maura’s boyfriend Bill Rausch, both lieutenants in the army, joined in their ‘Circle of Hope’ at their respective army posts of Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Sill, OK. In Marengo, OH, Bill’s parents Bill and Sharon Rausch invited their family along with friends of Maura for a ‘Circle of Hope’ at their home. The UMass Track Team also met in a ‘Circle of Hope’ while participating in The Atlantic 10 Track Meet in Richmond, VA.

The ‘Circle of Hope’ ceremonies are expressions of Maura’s loved ones devotion and determination to bring her home. The date selected is to commemorate Maura’s 22nd birthday on May 4th. A large laminated photo of Maura adorned by a blue bow was displayed at each site as family, friends and loved ones joined hands to create a ‘Circle of Hope’. They also wore blue label ribbons and photo badges of Maura. Many shared their ‘hopes’ in bringing Maura home, recited poetry or special quotes. A prayer was offered to bring her home safely. At the conclusion of the ‘Circle of Hope’, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” by Iz Kamakawiwo’ole was played as 22 blue helium balloons were launched. The blue, soaring balloons are symbolic of Maura’s 22nd birthday and her loved ones hopes to bring her home. The color blue was chosen because it is Maura’s favorite color. Child Seek Network located in Mount Angel, OR donated many of the blue, label ribbons and photo badges.

The UMass Police in the National Center has listed Maura for Missing Adults as an endangered missing person. Maura has not used her cell phone, her ATM or other bank cards since the afternoon of her disappearance. The New Hampshire State Police are in charge of the investigation, although they refuse to investigate her disappearance as a criminal matter because they say there is no evidence of foul play. If you have seen Maura or have any information regarding her disappearance, please call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636 or notify your local law enforcement. You can visit Maura’s website at www.spbowers.com/mauramissing.html. In addition, you can also click on the following link to print a poster with Maura's photo and description.


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Newspaper Articles #185
« Reply #188 on: December 15, 2019, 08:40:40 am »
New Hampshire Sunday News

April 16, 2006

Human remains found

By Garry Rayno and Shawne K. Wickham

CONCORD--A forensic anthropologist is being called in to help identify the man whose skeletal remains were found in a wooded area just off Interstate 93 Friday afternoon.

State and local authorities were excavating the area, down a steep embankment near Exit 12 southbound, for much of the day yesterday.

Assistant Attorney General David Ruoff, who is investigating the case for that office, said the remains, later determined to be those of an adult male, were found by a man walking in the woods shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. Police sealed off the area overnight, and authorities began searching the area and removing the remains yesterday morning.

The remains, Ruoff said, "appear to have been there a while, so it's going to take a while to make any kind of identification."

Ruoff said while there was once excavation required to uncover all the remains, the area "did not appear to be a burial site."

"It just seemed that it was leaves, and it has been there for a while, so there was some amount of soil covering."

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin said clothing found at the scene and dental records will aid in determining who was found dead.

"We expect the earliest the identification will be made will be Monday," Strelzin said.

Asked if officials have an idea who the dead man may be, Ruoff said investigators have consulted the state police database on missing persons. "What we know has been run against the database and we have some hunches and suspicions, but we really have to wait until we know more," he said.

There are four individuals from New Hampshire posted on the New Hampshire State Police Web site's missing persons page. Three are women: Maura Murray, and Tina and Bethany Sinclair.

The only male is Lorne Boulet, born March 27, 1980. According to the Web site, he has been missing since July 29, 2001 from Chichester _ one town east of Concord. Asked if the remains discovered yesterday could be those of Lorne Boulet, Ruoff yesterday replied, "No comment."

Strelzin said, "We don't speculate on who we think those remains will be."

Louise Holmburg, Boulet's aunt, said last evening that she hadn't received word on whether the remains might be those of her nephew.

"I'm sitting here with a weight in my stomach," the Bristol woman said. "I've already chewed off my fingernails.

"The not knowing is very difficult," said Holmburg, who wears a sterling silver ring of Boulet's with blue stones. "Like everyone, we want positive answers. We want to find Lorne safe and that's how we keep searching."

Should it turn out to be him, she said, "It's going to be devastating."

Boulet's parents could not be reached. An answering machine at their home in Chichester contained this message: "If this is you, Lorne, we need to hear from you. We love you and we miss you."

His family has posted a Web site (www.findlorne.faith-web.com), worked with several missing persons organizations and even taken their search to the "Larry King Live" show on CNN.

According to the published reports, Lorne Boulet was diagnosed with schizophrenia just before he turned 20. A graduate of Pembroke Academy, he worked at the Concord Wal-Mart and lived with his parents in Chichester. The evening he disappeared, Boulet left home for a customary walk, taking no identification, cash or cell phone with him, according to his family.

Concord police are conducting the investigation into the body found Friday. The state police major crime unit was not called in, but Ruoff said that does not mean no crime was committed, as Concord is one of the cities that investigates its own homicide cases.

A deputy medical examiner initially examined the remains Friday evening, Strelzin said.

The state's chief medical examiner, Dr. Tom Andrew, was at the scene yesterday. The remains were to have been brought to the medical examiner's office at Concord Hospital for a forensic examination, which Ruoff said differs of the condition of the remains.

Ruoff said Andrew expects to call in Dr. Marcella Sorg, a Maine forensic anthoropologist who has worked with New Hampshire authorities on prior cases, to consult in the case. He was also planning to consult a forensic "odontologist," an expert in dental records.

Asked is the area was being treated as a crime scene, Ruoff said it was too soon to say whether the death appeared to be a homicide or accidental. The medical examiner, he said, "is not going to be able to make a determination on cause and manner" of death until he consults with Sorg.

Yesterday, a light-colored tarp could be seen at the bottom of the steep, 20-foot embankment near Exit 12 to South Main Street. Yellow police tape was placed along a short section of the woods, which are between the highway and the South End Marsh.

While investigators worked, police blocked off the right travel land of I-93 southbound from above Exit 14. Traffic was backed up and slowed to a crawl through the city at noontime.

--Staff Reporter Michael Cousineau contributed to this report.


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Newspaper Articles #186
« Reply #189 on: December 15, 2019, 08:41:12 am »
The New Hampshire Union Leader

June 11, 2006

When adults disappear

By Elise Castelli

Derry -- When Pail Gaffney vanished after leaving his Derry home for work in Massachusetts last month, there was no sign of foul play, no indication of an accident.

Derry police filed a report, followed up on leads gathered from interviews with friends and family of the 43-year-old, and put out a statewide attempt to locate" bulletin.

Gaffney's wife and six children were waiting and worrying. The disappearance was out of character, they said, for a man you could set your watch by."

But without evidence of a crime, police said, there was little more they could do because Gaffney, as an adult, had the right not to return home.

Bedford police found Gaffney -- unharmed, in his car -- on May 30, four days after his disappearance. They told him his family was worried and he should return home. He did.

The Gaffney incident typifies the missing-persons cases they run across each year, police say. But other cases -- such as those of college nursing student Maura Murray, who disappeared after a single-car crash in Haverhill more than two years ago, and Goffstown teen Laura Mackenzie, who was due to appear in court on shoplifting charges when she disappeared March 8 -- underscore the fact that New Hampshire has no standard reporting requirements or procedures in missing-adult cases.

State Police Sgt. Robert Estabrook, who handles missing persons cases, said procedure is based circumstances. If a person appears to have disappeared voluntarily and without having committed a crime, he said, the person has the legal right to remain missing.

(Adults) have the legal right to up and leave," Estabrook said. I can see how a loved one would be concerned with that, but you have a right to be missing."

In some instances, Derry Police Capt. Vernon Thomas said, the person who filed the report poses a risk to the missing person.

We have to be cautious about the source of the report," Thomas said

Erin Bruno, director of case management for the National Center for Missing Adults, said 99 percent of all adults reported missing are found safe -- and many don't want contact with the family they deserted.

For families of the missing, that may be hard to accept, Bruno said. In the family's defense, every minute a loved one is gone is a minute too many," she said. They're thinking the worst."

As of May 1, there were 108,801 people listed as missing in the National Crime Information Center database, including 50,177 adults. Because the NCIC has certain criteria for entering adults in the database, there may be many more missing adults who aren't included in the center's statistics, Bruno said.

According to the NCIC Web site, a missing adult can be entered into the national database if one of the following criteria is met:

The adult has a proven physical or mental disability;

The situation indicates physical danger;

The situation indicates the person is not missing voluntarily;

The person is missing after a catastrophe; or

There is reason to be concerned for the missing person's safety.

Unless the missing fall into one of those categories, some police agencies are reluctant to take reports on adults, Bruno said.

New Hampshire law does mandate that adults falling into any of the NCIC categories be reported to NCIC within 72 hours of the initial report. Federal law mandates all missing children be entered in the database regardless of circumstance.

At any given moment, there are at least 70 to 90 cases missing New Hampshire children and adults listed in the NCIC, said Estabrook.

When the disappearance is voluntary, the reasons for disappearing may be as disparate as the missing themselves, Bruno said. It could stem from family or marital troubles, from abuse, from debt, from addiction or crime.

Sometimes we don't know what's happened," she said.

Thomas, of the Derry Police, said the nature of the investigation depends on the circumstances.

Reports, bulletins, and interviews with relatives and friends are the standard in Derry on adult cases, he said. Family members are also told they should monitor bank, credit card and cell phone activity on statements, as the information can provide leads to the missing adult, Thomas said.

Often the investigation doesn't get very far before there is a break. Most (missing persons) turn up fairly quickly," Thomas said. But not all cases turn out like the Gaffney case.

Maura Murray remains missing more than two years after vanishing at age 21 after crashing her car in Haverhill.

Her father, Frederick Murray, recently filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court to unseal police records on her case. In an interview this week, he said reports from the early days of the case hold important clues that could be used by his team of private investigators to find his daughter.

Murray alleges the police are using claims of an ongoing investigation to avoid disclosure. In fact, he said, there is no active police investigation.

Bruno, the missing adults caseworker, said she would like to see national standards adopted that would require uniform investigation procedures for children and adults.

If there is not clear evidence of a crime, it doesn't mean the person was not a victim; there is just no evidence of it," she said.

One of the leads on Goffstown Police are pursuing in the Mackenzie case involves the timing of the teen's disappearance: the same day as her scheduled court date. Nevertheless, Goffstown Police Detective Kevin Laroche told the New Hampshire Union Leader, the case is baffling."

Laroche said a yearbook message Mackenzie wrote last fall sounded like much of what she had written in diaries and poetry, and seemed to forecast her disappearance. But, he added, it was so long before Mackenzie actually disappeared, We still think it was the arrest that made her run."

What exactly made Gaffney run, the family hasn't said definitively. On the day he returned his daughter Pauline said, We're just happy to have him home and want to spend as much time with him as possible."

For many families of the still missing that is all they want.


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Newspaper Articles #187
« Reply #190 on: December 15, 2019, 08:41:47 am »
Northcountry News

Around July 28, 2006

Maura Murray, 2 1/2 Years After Her Disappearance

A Letter From Her Family

A Northcountry News Exsclusive

Our thanks to the Northcountry News and its Publisher Bryan Flagg for allowing the family of Maura Murray to 'speak' to its readers. As many of you know, Maura disappeared on February 9, 2004. She was last seen on Route 112 after a single car crash. Much has been said about Maura in the media and local coffee shops over the last two and a half years. Many of you have formed opinions of what happened and of Maura and her family based on what has been presented in the media and sometimes based on inaccurate rumors.

Maura is so much more than what has been presented in most of the papers. She is more than a missing person. Maura is a Missed Person, she is a daughter, a sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend. My favorite quote about Maura is by one of her friends: "If you wanted to make a person, you would make her just like her." said Katie Jones a close friend of Maura's since grade school."

She is an accomplished athlete, a very intelligent young woman who was attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst on a scholarship while working two part-time jobs to help pay her expenses. She had scored 1420 on her SAT (740 in Math) and had been majoring in Chemical Engineering at West Point when she transferred to UMass in late January 2002. Maura continued her pursuit of Chemical Engineering Degree through her first two semesters at UMass until she decided she would rather be in the medical field.

Maura had been recruited by many schools to run track and cross country. She competed in Track and Cross Country for both West Point and UMass Amherst until the fall of 2003. As a high school freshman, she played point guard on the girls' varsity basketball team and was a good softball pitcher.

Maura also loved to camp and hike, and her favorite camping and vacation spot is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Her father had been taking the family there since she was a small child. Fred, Maura and Billy had spent a vacation together in the White Mountains in July of 2003. We know that Maura loved your area.

Was Maura perfect--no. Did she have alcohol in the car--it appears so. Was she drinking--quite possibly. Does it matter??? Maura has been missing for almost two and a half years. Our family will continue to look for her as long as we have the ability to do so. There are those who speculate that Maura took off to start a new life. Our family does not discount anything, but believes this to be the least likely scenario for many reasons. We have no idea why Maura left Amherst, or how she came to be in your area. We know that she had hand written directions to Burlington in her car, and we know she made a call to a person who rents a condo in Bartlett that afternoon. We also know that she placed a call to a Stowe, VT information line. The car she was driving had had some mechanical problems. We're not sure whether she had not yet decided which area to head to or whether she had car trouble. Because of the way her car was found with the front end facing west, but in the east bound lane, we don't even know for sure whether at the time of the accident she was headed east or west.

Though there was apparently something bothering Maura, we believe that based on the fact that she only took a couple of outfits and things like tooth whitener and text books she was going away for a couple of days to think things through. Despite some of what was in the newspapers, she was not having difficulty in her relationship with her boyfriend, Billy Rausch. In fact had sent him an email that day telling him I love you more--". Although Billy had not yet given Maura her diamond, they were openly making plans to be married after she graduated in 2005. Maura had made arrangements in January 2004 to be employed for the summer of 2004 at a hospital near Billy in Lawton OK.

We have been so focused on finding out what happened to Maura, we don't always take the time to voice our appreciation for those who have helped us in our search, those who have had the courage to tell us about rumors, those who have given so freely of their time and energy. Because we have made friends in the area, we are aware of a particularly ugly rumor being spread very effectively. I won't discuss it except to say that it is false and may hamper our ability to find out what happened--and I for one have to ask why someone would spread such malicious rumors? Why does someone feel it is necessary to add to a family's pain? Why would anyone want to put down a family searching for a missing loved one?? To me it appears that someone sees some benefit from refocusing the attention away from the essential fact--Maura Murray hasn't been seen or heard from since February 9, 2004. Her credit cards have not been used, her cell phone was never used again, and it is our understanding that there has been no activity on her social security number.

Maura wasn't perfect and yet her disappearance has touched more people than we could have imagined. Originally, our family put up a website in the hopes of providing her friends a place to talk about her. What we found is that most of her family and friends found it too painful. Instead, we have drawn many wonderful people from Haverhill and the surrounding areas. We have people posting from all over the country and Canada. We have attracted others who have lost loved ones or had painful experiences such as being abducted. Sometimes what is said on the website is controversial and sometimes there is a post that makes us realize that there is more than the controversy--such as this post by the daughter of Audrey Groat who has been missing for 13 years: thank you all for your support, this has been a good place for me to let out some of the feelings I have been carrying for so long. It means a lot to me that so many people care, and are supportive. I really appreciate it as an adult and really wish something like this could have helped us years ago, as kids."

As with Maura, Audrey Groat is more than a missing person--she was a mother whose six young daughters were left without a mom. Though there is much more information on Maura's site, I hope you will read the info presented by the Vermont State Police at http://www.dps.state...ssing/groat.htm . As with Maura--somebody knows something, not only about Audrey Groat, but others who are missing or whose murderers have not been apprehended--Tina and Bethany Sinclair, Brianna Maitland, Laura MacKenzie and so many more. It is time to come forward, even if it has to be anonymously, our families need answers.

We would like to thank the Molly Bish Foundation for their efforts on behalf of Maura and our family and those private detectives, who through the Molly Bish foundation have volunteered their time and expertise to help find out what happened to Maura; those who have spent so much time and effort trying to figure out what happened to Maura; those who have taken the time to speak with Fred or others helping us. As Maura's dad, Fred, has said, So many people have selflessly and enthusiastically given of themselves and their time, that if force of will were enough by itself, then Maura would have been back with us many months ago. When people ask me if there is anything that they can do, I tell them that I know they would already have done it if there were.

Your universally overwhelming support is a striking demonstration, yet again, of the inherent goodness of people. You can sense my gratitude, but I want your thank you" to come to you when you look in the mirror and see reflected a person who, by choice, interrupted his or her life to try to help another human being in trouble. If there is any worthier motivation than that, we'd all be hard pressed to name what it is.

In Deep Appreciation,

Fred Murray"

If you know anything or saw anything no matter how insignificant you might believe it to be, it might be the one piece of the puzzle that we are looking for. Please contact us. We can be reached at two email addresses MauraMissing@hotmail.com or MissingMaura@comcast.net. We can also be reached at MauraMurray.com, P.O. Box 466, Humarock, MA 02047. If you have a significant piece of information, you can also contact Lt. Mark Mudgett of the New Hampshire State Police, Major Crimes Unit at (603) 271-2663 and NH State Police Headquarters (603) 271-3636.

(A note from the publisher - I would like to thank the family of Maura Murray for contacting the Northcountry News and allowing us the opportunity to help in their continued efforts of finding out just what happened to Maura. The loss of a friend, a loved one, a family member is never easy for any of us, but to lose one under such bizarre circumstances is surely difficult -and the continued void of the unknown for friends and family is something that most of us will hopefully never have to come to know. It is our hope that someday soon, the family and friends of Maura Murray can at the very least have a closure to this very long and undaunted chapter in their lives.)


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Newspaper Articles #188
« Reply #191 on: December 15, 2019, 08:42:37 am »
The New Hampshire Union Leader

September 2, 2006

Mackenzie says she's sorry

By Stephen Beale

Laura Mackenzie apologized this week for the pain she caused when she disappeared from Goffstown last March, only to turn up five months later living and working as a waitress in St. Augustine, Fla.

"I am sorry, and I need to ask everyone to forgive me for what I did, putting them through the hardships and pain of 5 long months where I was missing," Mackenzie said in an online statement.

Mackenzie posted her written apology on a Web site dedicated to Maura Murray, a 22-year-old who was last seen in Woodsville on Feb. 9, 2005.


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Newspaper Articles #189
« Reply #192 on: December 15, 2019, 08:43:03 am »
The Hew Hampshire Union Leader / Lowell Sun / Nashua Telegraph

September 4, 2006

Note: The Nashua Telegraph has a different headline and additional information in italics below.

Goffstown teenager apologizes

Mackenzie says shes sorry on site dedicated to missing Mass. woman

Teen apologizes on site dedicated to missing Mass. woman

GOFFSTOWN, N.H . (AP) — A Goffstown teen found in Florida last month after a five-month search is apologizing — on a Web site set up to help find a young Massachusetts woman who disappeared in New Hampshire two and a half years ago.

Laura Mackenzie does not say why she left New Hampshire in March, but she asks for forgiveness in a message posted on a Web site dedicated to the search for Maura Murray, the Hanson, Mass., woman who disappeared in northern New Hampshire after a minor car crash in February 2004.

“I am sorry, and I need to ask everyone to forgive me for what I did, putting them through the hardships and pain of five long months where I was missing,” Mackenzie wrote.

Mackenzie disappeared from Goffstown in March 8, the same day she was scheduled to appear in on shoplifting charges. As authorities began a nationwide search and her anxious family pleaded for information on her whereabouts, Mackenzie moved to Florida, where she was found on August 7.

Mackenzie’s message says she did not realize authorities were engaged in an all-out search for her for five months as she tried to avoid detection by not using her bank card or checking e-mail and keeping her driving to a minimum.

“I never knew there was a search for me going on, and I had never dreamed of something to the extent that there was,” she wrote online.

Mackenzie is entering New Hampshire Community Technical College in Manchester this fall, focusing on business and marketing.

Mackenzie said she heard about Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, from a friend and had been reading articles about other missing people from New Hampshire. “I just wanted to give them a little hope because I was found,” Mackenzie said of Murray’s family. “There are a lot of different ways that could be looked at. I just thought that I might have a different perspective.”

Mackenzie said people should realize that, like herself, Murray could turn up anywhere.

Mackenzie also said she regretted the effort and expense Goffstown Police put into the search. The department has asked that the Superior Court to consider making reimbursement part of any sentencing on the shoplifting charge.

“I know they’ve spent a lot of money they shouldn’t have spent because it was a stupid mistake,” she said. If her parents end up compensating police, Mackenzie said she will pay them back after she graduates from college and has a job.


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Newspaper Articles #190
« Reply #193 on: December 15, 2019, 08:43:27 am »
The Patriot Ledger

September 4, 2006

New Hampshire teen offers apology to searchers; Laura Mackenzie’s message on Web site for Hanson woman

By Patriot Ledger News Services

The Web site set up to help find Maura Murray, the Hanson woman who disappeared in northern New Hampshire after a minor car crash in February 2004, contains an apology from a Goffstown, N.H., teen found in Florida last month after a five-month search.

Laura Mackenzie does not say why she left New Hampshire in March, but she asks for forgiveness in the message.

‘‘I am sorry, and I need to ask everyone to forgive me for what I did, putting them through the hardships and pain of five long months where I was missing,’’ Mackenzie wrote.

Mackenzie disappeared from Goffstown on March 8, the same day she was scheduled to appear in court on shoplifting charges.

As authorities began a nationwide search and her anxious family pleaded for information on her whereabouts, Mackenzie moved to Florida, where she was found Aug. 7.

Mackenzie’s message says she did not realize authorities were engaged in an all-out search for her for five months as she tried to avoid detection by not using her bank card or checking e-mail and keeping her driving to a minimum.

‘‘I never knew there was a search for me going on, and I had never dreamed of something to the extent that there was,’’ she wrote online.

Mackenzie said she heard about Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, from a friend and had been reading articles about other missing people from New Hampshire.

‘‘I just wanted to give them a little hope because I was found,’’ Mackenzie said of Murray’s family. ‘‘There are a lot of different ways that could be looked at. I just thought that I might have a different perspective.’’

Mackenzie said people should realize that, like herself, Murray could turn up.


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Newspaper Articles #191
« Reply #194 on: December 15, 2019, 08:44:04 am »
The New Hampshire Union Leader / North Adams Transcript / Boston Globe

September 22/23/24, 2006

Missing woman’s dad seeks information

By Associated Press

Concord, N.H. - It’s been over two years since Maura Murray disappeared after her car got stuck in a snow bank in Haverhill, and her father hasn’t given up his quest for information.

Fred Murray is asking the state Supreme Court to rule on his right to-know request for police records.

Since his daughter’s disappearance, Murray, of Weymouth, Mass., has repeatedly attempted to obtain reports, log files and all information collected from Feb. 9,2004, to the present.

His requests were made to the Grafton County attorney’s office; the attorney general’s office; Gov. John Lynch; the Hanover Police Department, state police; Major Crimes and the Historic Case Unit; the Fish and Game Department; and the University of Massachusetts Police at Amherst. Maura Murray was a student at UMass.

The defendants have denied the request, citing an exception in the law created by the New Hampshire Supreme Court for law enforcement investigative files. Police and the attorney general’s office maintain that the release of other records could result in the destruction of evidence and witness intimidation.

Murray claims that invoking the exception is misplaced, as police have characterized Maura’s case as a missing person matter and not a criminal investigation.


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