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‘Positive Step In Finding Answers’: FBI Issues National Alert In Maura Murray Disappearance

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released an alert on Maura Murray from their Violent Crime Apprehension Program, which tracks serial offenders.

By Gina Tron
Maura Murray

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a nationwide alert on Maura Murray, a college student who went missing in 2004, indicating that her disappearance is now connected to their program that tracks violent serial offenders.

On Sunday, Murray’s sister Julie Murarry tweeted an image of the alert stating, “As we approach the 18th anniversary of Maura’s disappearance, LE [law enforcement] notified my family they were releasing an FBI ViCAP profile.”

ViCAP, an acronym for the FBI's Violent Crime Apprehension Program, “facilitates communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies that investigate, track, and apprehend violent serial offenders,” according to the FBI. The program tries to connect the dots between cases. 

“The goal is for multiple agencies and jurisdictions to pool and cross reference info," Julie tweeted. "Long overdue, but a positive step in finding answers #mauramurray."

Maura, a 21-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student, vanished after she crashed her car into a tree on a snowy New Hampshire road on Feb. 9, 2004; she had left her dorm in Amherst for a reason that is still unknown. A few witnesses called the police immediately following the collision, but by the time authorities arrived on the scene, Murray was gone. The alert notes that Maura was last seen on surveillance footage the day she vanished wearing a dark jacket and jeans at an ATM.

The FBI has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com for comment.

Julie Murray told Boston 25 News that the attorney general's office reached out to her last week regarding the new alert.

“I always wonder why it took this long to put it into this powerful, powerful database where information can be shared,” she said. “And they don’t just put anything into this database. It’s cases where they seem random and motiveless. It’s cases like my sister’s where they have no idea what happened to them.”

She noted that this alert indicates to her that investigators have not ruled out foul play. There have been several potential developments in the case in recent years, including the discovery of bone fragments near the crash site, which were later determined to have belonged to someone who died in the 1700s or 1800s. On Feb. 9, the family will hold an annual virtual vigil for Maura.

In a statement to Oxygen.com, Julie reiterated that "while my family is frustrated it took nearly 18 years for law enforcement to leverage this powerful resource, we are hopeful that it may finally bring answers. On behalf of my family, I would like to thank those who have never given up hope and continue to engage with empathy."

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.