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Authorities announced Friday that bone fragments have been discovered in New Hampshire in the same area where Maura Murray vanished in 2004, giving her family hope for answers about what happened to the missing college student after a car accident 17 years ago.
Construction workers came across the human bone fragments on Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire State Police announced on Monday.
“[The] investigation is ongoing and diagnostic testing on the bone fragments is pending,” police stated, indicating that tests should determine the historical nature, age, and possible gender of the fragments to whom they belong.
Lincoln is just a little more than 20 miles away from where Murray crashed her car into a tree on Feb. 9, 2004. A few witnesses called the police immediately following the collision, but by the time authorities arrived on the scene, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst student was gone.
The mysterious case has been the theme of at least one book and several podcasts, including "Missing Maura Murray," as well as "The Disappearance of Maura Murray,” a docuseries that aired on Oxygen in 2017.
“The situation is pretty remarkable,” Lance Reenstierna, one of the hosts of the “Missing Maura” podcast told Oxygen.com on Friday. “We have seen this happen in the past, these moments where something is found or a promising tip comes in but it turns out to be fruitless. This, however, has a different feel to it."
In 2019, investigators searched a home in Woodsville looking for evidence but found nothing. Before the search was conducted, Murray’s sister, Julie Murray, told Oxygen.com that it felt like the most promising lead so far.
While the family has been disappointed in leads before, there is hope that this time the new evidence will be fruitful.
Julie Murray echoed that sentiment, telling New England outlet WGME that "we're still not sure how old the bones are or the gender, so it's still sort of up in the air, but this one feels different.”
Speaking with Oxygen.com on Friday night, Murray thanked everyone for supporting her family at this moment.
"Waiting for the results of the bone fragments is gut-wrenching for my family," she said. "However, the flood of support we have received during this excruciatingly difficult time is beyond words. The sense of solidarity is making this bearable."
She also released a statement on Friday on behalf of the Murray family regarding the findings.
“If these bone fragments belong to a human, they deserve to be correctly identified, their relatives properly notified, and cause of death determined," the statement reads. "I have reached out to law enforcement for additional details and am awaiting their response.”
Police have questioned two people near Loon in the past, WGME reported.
Reenstierna said he hopes the public respects the privacy of the Murray family.
“Our first priority is to respect the family and law enforcement,” he said. “Our hearts are with the Murrays and we hope this is one step towards some closure.”
Police said in their announcement that there is no additional information available and there is no reason to believe there is a threat to the public.
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