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What Happened To Maura Murray? A 19 Years Un-Solved Missing Person Case

Maura Murray atm footage of that day
Maura Murray atm footage of that day

What Happened To Maura Murray? Today we’d like to share with you the case of Maura Murray, a thriving 21-year-old college student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who mysteriously vanished after a car wreck near her hometown on 9th February 2004. The initial search for Maura Murray didn’t provide investigators with many answers, seeing as there was no evidence of foul play to be involved.

This case still puzzles detectives, and Maura’s loved ones are left to wonder what happened to her. Maura disappeared in 2004 in New Hampshire. She had e-mailed her professors to say she was taking time off to deal with the death in her family there was no death in her family.

Although her disappearance has gained various forms of media coverage over the last decade, there’s still no sign of Maura Murray, and the details of her disappearance are still unknown. Did she leave of her own free will? Or is this a much more complicated case in which the suspect covered their tracks a little too well?

The Disappearance Of Maura Murray

I’ll first briefly cover the background of Maura Murray. I’ll move to the timeline of the disappearance, and then I’ll give my analysis. Maura Murray was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, on 4th May 1982 and was raised in Hanson, Massachusetts. She was one of five siblings and had three older and one younger. She was primarily raised by her mother after her parents divorced when she was six years old.

Disappearance of Maura Murray

The disappearance of Maura Murray

After graduating from high school, she studied chemical engineering for three semesters at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. But then transferred to study nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In November 2003, Murray used a stolen credit card to order food from several fast-food restaurants. So two bad decisions, stealing and eating fast food.

She was charged, but the case was continued with the idea that it would be dismissed if she did not get into trouble for three months. A fairly common arrangement for a minor crime. This takes us to 5th February 2004. Murray was working in security at the campus. She was on duty when she talked to her older sister, Kathleen, on the phone.

During the phone call, Kathleen was talking about some problems she was having with her fiance. So this is Kathleen talking about her own problems. Kathleen said she had been discharged from a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol use, and her fiance took her to a liquor store on the way home. It does seem likely that a trip to the liquor store would not be part of her recovery plan.

Murray broke down in tears after hearing her sister’s story. A supervisor came over to Murray’s desk and found that Murray was completely zoned out, offering no reaction at all. Murray was described as unresponsive. At 1:20 AM, the supervisor walked Murray back to her dorm room. Murray would tell the supervisor that her sister was the reason she was upset.

Murray Crashed Her Father’s Car

Two days later, on 7th February, Murray’s father drove to Amherst. He and Murray went shopping for a car and then out to dinner. Murray borrowed her father’s car to go to a party at her dorm. She left the party at 2:30 AM on 8th February and was returning to the motel where her father was staying. On this drive, she ran into a guardrail in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Maura Murray with her father

Maura Murray with her father

The police wrote an accident report but did not write anything about Murray potentially being intoxicated. It doesn’t appear as though they even checked. Maybe they thought the accident was the guardrail’s fault.

Marie was taken to her father’s motel room, and at 4:49 AM, a call was placed for her father’s phone to her boyfriend. Nothing is known about who was on that call or what was said. Murray’s father rented a car because his car had been damaged, and he returned to Connecticut.

The Day Maura Murray Disappeared

This takes us to 9th February 2004. This was a Monday. Murray searches for directions to a couple of cities in Vermont. At 1:00 PM, she e-mailed her boyfriend, writing that she loved him and received his messages but didn’t feel like talking to anyone. She called someone about renting a condominium in New Hampshire, which her family had visited in the past.

But she did not actually rent the condominium on that phone call. She called another nursing student at 1:13 PM, and at 1:24 PM, She sent an e-mail to a supervisor at the nursing school saying that she would be out of town for a week. The reason she gave was that somebody in her family had died. In reality, this was not true. Nobody died.

At 2:05 PM, she called an information line about hotels in Vermont. She called her boyfriend and left a message for him at 2:18 PM, saying they would talk later. Murray loaded her 1996 Saturn, the number of items including textbooks, clothing, and birth control pills.

Maura Murray with her boyfriend

Maura Murray with her boyfriend

In her room, she left a number of boxes full of her property, including artwork, which had been removed from the walls, so it looked like she was packing up. On top of one of those boxes was a printed e-mail, which appeared to indicate relationship problems with her boyfriend. At 3:30 PM, she drove off campus. Ten minutes later, she pulled up to an ATM and withdrew $280.

This was almost all the money she had. She made her way to a liquor store, where she purchased $40 worth of alcohol. It’s not clear when, but at some point during the day, she also picked up forms that were necessary for her to report the accident she had when she was driving her father’s car. Considering her driving abilities, she should have asked for a 10-pack of those forms.

There is no indication that she was with anybody else on 9th February. For example, security cameras showed that she was alone at both the ATM and the liquor store. Murray started driving North on Interstate 91 at about 4:30 PM. At 4:37 PM, she checked her voicemail; this was the last time she would use her phone.

At 7:27 PM, a witness reported a car accident in Woodsville, New Hampshire. Murray’s car had run into a tree along route 112. A school bus driver would report stopping to assist a young woman who was thought to be Murray.

He found her to be cold and shivering but not visibly injured. The bus driver did not believe Murray was impaired. Murray pleaded with the bus driver not to call the police. She told him that she had already called AAA, although later, it would be discovered that she did not because there was no cell phone reception in that area.

Finding Maura Murray

The police arrived at 7:46 PM. They found Murray’s car was locked and unoccupied. It had some damage from the impact, both airbags had been deployed, and a damaged box of wine and an empty beer bottle were found in the vehicle.

Other items located in the vehicle would include Murray’s AAA card, jewelry, makeup, gloves, her favorite stuffed animal, driving directions to Burlington, Vermont, and the book about climbing a mountain range in New Hampshire.

Police Finding Maura Murray

Police Finding Maura Murray

Murray’s car was towed, and a brief search was conducted, but Murray was not located. Certain items were never located in the vehicle or anywhere else, including her cell phone, credit cards, and debit cards. A more extensive search would begin a few days later.

Police dogs had tracked Murray sent to a point about 100 yards east of the collision, which seems to support the idea that Murray may have climbed into another motor vehicle. Searches would continue for several years. Many leads were generated, but none were significant. There was one lead that attracted a lot of attention about a guy who lived about a mile from the site of the collision.

Cadaver dogs apparently went bonkers at that property. That’s the word they used. And there was a story from before about a knife that this person allegedly used to kill Murray. Sometime later, that house was searched. Nothing was found. At some point, the police started treating Murray’s case as a potential homicide. At the time of making writing this article, Murray is still missing.

Analyzing What Happened To Maura Murray

Now, moving to my analysis of What Happened To Maura Murray. What’s so strange about this case is that it appears as though Murray’s behavior initiated her disappearance. It wasn’t like she was in her residence one day and just disappeared.

She caused a collision, then disappeared. Therefore any criminal involvement by a potential killer, for example, would have been unplanned. Nobody would have known that she was going to have this collision.

Finding Maura Murray

Finding Maura Murray

I’m not aware of any mental health information available in this case. We do know that Marie appeared to have some difficulty with her alcohol consumption, but it’s not clear if that rose to the level of the disorder.

There’s not really much available as far as personality, either. It could be that she was low in conscientiousness, high in neuroticism, and perhaps mid-range on the remaining three traits of the five-factor model, openness, extroversion, and agreeableness.

It appears as though Murray reacted strongly to information about relationships. Like the story about her sister’s relationship problems and her own romantic difficulties. Leading up to Maura Murray’s disappearance, we see increasingly reckless behavior.

Her threads a few months before and, of course, the collision involving the guardrail and potentially alcohol use, although technically, it’s not known if she was drinking during that collision with the guardrail. Then on the day of her disappearance, we see another accident.

This one likely involved alcohol, as indicated by the containers in the vehicle. With all this in mind, I’ll take a look at the theories in this case. I’ll look at the evidence for and against them and offer my opinion about which one I believe best explains Murray’s disappearance.

First Theory: A Stranger Killed Her

After crashing her vehicle, Murray gets a ride from a stranger. The stranger just happens to be homicidal and murders her. The evidence for this theory would be that Murray is missing. She was a young and attractive female, a group that was more likely to be targeted by strangers.

The cadaver dogs lost her scent as if she had just vanished from the area. And it was reported that there were no tracks in the snow, which seems to point away from the idea that she walked into the woods. Evidence against this theory tells that it seems clear that Murray caused the accident, or the chances that a killer just happened to be there, ready to pick her up.

Maura Murray's father talking about her

Maura Murray’s father talking about her (CC: WBZ)

Second Theory: Died Of Dehydration After Taking A Lift

After the collision, she climbed into a stranger’s vehicle, and the stranger dropped her off somewhere. From that point, she died of exposure or dehydration from wandering around in freezing temperatures. I don’t think this is a bad theory. It explains a lot of the strange circumstances in this case. Like why did they never find a body?

Of course, the difficulty with this theory is that the stranger would not have committed a crime. Therefore why wouldn’t they simply come forward and tell the police they had picked someone up that matched Murray’s description?

Third Theory: She Is Still Alive

This is the same as the second theory, except instead of wandering away and dying, Murray is still out there somewhere and has started a new life. This is possible, but I think it’s much more likely that Murray is dead.

She had no money, no training in the area of disappearing, and no connections. It would be very hard for someone who studied how to disappear to do it successfully. There’s no indication Murray had any knowledge in this area.

Fourth Theory: Wandered By Herself And Died Of Dehydration

The fourth theory, she wandered into the woods after the collision and died of exposure or dehydration. I think this is a pretty good theory, except, of course, for the lack of footprints in the snow, her scent being lost by the dogs, and the fact that they probably would have found her body if it was within walking distance.

Posters for Maura Murray

Posters for Maura Murray

Fifth Theory: She Planned Her Disappearance

After the collision, Marie arrives from somebody she knows, like all this was planned. There’s really no evidence to support this theory except for the fact that she is missing. It’s simply one possible explanation. One would think if she coordinated all this, it would be some evidence of e-mails, phone calls, or something. She would have had to communicate, and likely there would be some record of at least some of those communications.

In addition, why would intoxication be part of her plan? Although I guess it’s possible she was not intoxicated. Maybe she dumped the alcohol out of the containers to make it seem as though she had consumed it. To create an explanation for the collision that people would believe and that would take them away from the theory that she was planning on starting a new life.

Sixth Theory: She Wanted To End Her Life

This was all planned for her to end her life as she drove out there to die. With this theory, the exposure would have been one possible cause of death, but I suppose there is any number of ways that she could have brought an end to her own life. This is consistent with her drinking because drinking is connected to depression.

But it seems odd to me that if this were her intent, she would have grabbed those forms for reporting the accident the prior accident she had with the guardrail. Also, why would she have bothered to call the nursing school and make an excuse for her absence?

All these theories are based on the fact that Murray did not want the police called after the collision. That is what the bus driver reported, and there’s no really good reason to doubt he was relaying something accurate.

What I Think Happened With Maura Murray

So what do I think happened in this case? This is just speculation. This is my theory. I think a key part of this case is really the alcohol. It seemed to have a grip on Murray, and she could not regulate her intake. Whatever pain she may have been feeling, the alcohol took it away temporarily. Some stimulus, perhaps something related to a relationship like a romantic relationship, was too much for Murray to process.

Maura Murray's dorm room

Maura Murray’s dorm room

She bought the alcohol, and she wanted to run away from everything so she could drink without any restrictions. She started a little early, like on the drive, ended up colliding with a tree, and then wandered off into the woods and docked.

It was pretty cold outside, and there was snow on the ground. Perhaps she found someplace where she could stay a little bit warmer, like Ravine, an abandoned structure, someplace that could conceal her body. After this, she died from exposure, which is from the fourth theory.

It doesn’t perfectly match the evidence, but no theory in this case does. There is no good explanation in this case. I think the next most likely theory is the second one. She was given a ride by a stranger, exited that vehicle miles away from the collision, and died of something like exposure.

Roles Of Psychic In Maura Murray’s Case

The final topic I want to cover in this case is the part that these supposed clairvoyants and psychics have played. Although it’s impossible to confirm or disprove the existence of psychic talents, I’m going to make the presumption that many psychics have been either lying or experiencing psychotic symptoms, such as a separation from reality, and delusions may also be at play.

In Maura Murray’s case, psychics wasted a lot of police resources and were especially disruptive. Psychics have made a lot of claims in this disappearance case, just as they do in cases like it. There are a lot of statements that are simply unprovable and too vague.

In these types of cases, psychics might say, “I see a car in my vision. It’s a bit big and made of metal. It might be black, gray, dark blue, or even silver, in my opinion”. And when someone asks, “are you able to see the license plate number?” they would reply, “No, the ghost I talk to has a long-standing hate for car registration.”

Psychics who commit fraud will always exist. But it’s just surprising how many people take them at their word. Therefore, it’s not just that they exist; it’s also that when people see it, they assume that it must be true. According to some studies, 25% of people think that things like telepathy and clairvoyance exist.

Whenever someone thinks to themself, “I simply don’t have sufficient evidence to reach a conclusion,” psychics are around, prepared to fill the information gap with a ton of garbage. These are my opinions on the Maura Murray case.

Also Read: What Ever Happened To Aunt Alice: The Classic Mystery Show

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I'm gonna put some dirt in your eyes.., yeah I'm a Bully Maguire Stan. I love movies(Spiderman), Series(GOT), Anime(AOT), and Music(Zayn & One Direction). If you are the same then we can be Besto Friendo.

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