The family of Maura Murray, a 21-year-old nursing student who mysteriously vanished in New Hampshire 15 years ago, believes they may have found a groundbreaking new lead pertaining to her puzzling disappearance.
Murray was last seen on Feb. 9, 2004 following a collision into a snowbank along Route 112 in Woodsville, N.H. A man driving a school bus reportedly spotted her following the crash and offered to call the police, but by the time authorities arrived on the scene her car was locked and she was gone.
She didn’t say a word about her destination or her intentions to any of her friends or family, WBZ reports.
Now, after more than a decade as one the most bizarre, unsolved missing persons cases in the country, during which time the Murrays have hired private investigators to carry on the search, the family says they have hope for closure. Two different cadaver dogs responded to what could be human remains on the grounds of a home right nearby the site of Murray’s fateful crash, according to WBZ in Boston.
"Over the course of the past 15 years, it's always been kind of an emotional roller coaster," sister Julie Murray told WMUR News 9 on Thursday.
“I want to bring my daughter home and give her a proper burial,” father Fred Murray told WBZ on Thursday.
Fred Murray said he was tipped off about the possibility of human remains on the property in question following his daughter’s crash, WBZ reports. But for 14 years, the house’s owners would not open the door for the grieving father.
But when new people bought the property, they permitted the cadaver dogs to sniff around, and in November and December of last year the dogs picked up on all of the same locations in the home’s basement that Fred Murray was told about initially, according to the family.
"There were cadaver dogs that got positive hits in a basement in the area around the crash scene, and also, there was a ground-penetrating radar report to corroborate that," Kurtis Murray, Maura Murray's brother, told WMUR.
The results have convinced Fred Murray that these discoveries are the major break he’s been looking for all these years.
“Because it’s right there, and I feel I can reach out and grab it,” he told WBZ. “In the past, everything was kind of iffy.”
However, it appears as if local authorities don’t view the reported findings with the same zeal Fred Murray does.
Jeffery Strelzin, New Hampshire’s Associate Attorney General, told WMUR that the case remains “open and active” but that “nothing of significance” had been discovered when police, including their own cadaver dogs, previously searched the property.
Oxygen.com has reached out to the New Hampshire State Police for comment, but haven't heard back as of Friday afternoon.
“We have heard that the police investigated it years ago, and there wasn’t anything of significance then,” Pilleri told Oxygen.com on Friday. “But then to see Fred [Murray] seemingly so sure that it’s his daughter — that’s a huge discrepancy. We think it can’t hurt to go check this out again.”
Meanwhile, Reenstierna noted that the Murray family has been doing its best to look into this lead as discreetly as possible — “They’ve kept it very much under wraps,” he says — and authorities might be doing the same in order to avoid potentially compromising the investigation.
“The [house’s new owners] did it to remain as private and anonymous as possible,” he said. “People might ruin evidence.”
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