On February 9, 2004, the 21-year-old nursing student emailed her professors at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her employer requesting time off after a death in her family. The death turned out to be made up. That night, she crashed her car into a tree in northern New Hampshire. A few witnesses called the police, and when they showed up, Maura was gone.
Last week, Oxygen.com published some of the most compelling theories of what might have happened to Maura. On the first episode of the “Disappearance of Maura Murray,” Maura’s own family members, who rarely speak to the media, talked about what they think happened.
Maura’s older sister by two years, Julie, said that she was very close to Maura. She revealed on Saturday’s premiere of the show what she thinks might have happened.
“Something bad happened. Something went wrong. Her initial plan was maybe to go up there for whatever reason, no one knows, but then something happened and derailed that plan. If she was able to reach out and contact us and say, ‘hey guys. Stop worrying. I’m here. I’m fine,’ she definitely would have but that didn’t happen.”
When asked by investigative journalist Maggie Freleng why Maura left school and was driving up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Julie responded, “My guess would be to take a couple days and clear her head but it doesn’t make sense to go up there alone.”
Julie said the last conversation she had with Maura appeared normal. In fact, she said Maura seemed excited about Spring Break plans, a trip to Myrtle Beach, that the sisters had together. That phone conversation took place less than two days before Maura vanished.
“That’s why, when all this stuff happened, it completely surprised everyone,” Julie admitted. She said she thinks the FBI should have been brought in from the beginning.
“Nobody had any answers and there were changes in the police reports and it took forever for the police reports to be published. … None of the police contacted me. I’ve never talked to the police and I’m her sister who was closest to her.”
Maura’s father, Fred, also thinks something bad happened to his daughter. On the show, he told journalist Maggie Freleng his own theory.
“A guy grabbed her walking down the road and killed her. Probably that night,” Fred said before getting emotional. He said he wishes he could see her just one more time.
“I think she was really upset about something and drove there. I don’t know why she went.”
Fred described his daughter as funny and likable. She was determined, even as a little girl. He brought out report cards revealing that she was a straight A student.