Friday, July 15, 2011

Did Maura reach her destination?

In February, I drove to Haverhill (pronounced Haive-rull) for the first time. It was on the seventh anniversary of Maura's disappearance and I set out to reconstruct her journey as well as I could. I left Amherst at about the same time she did, based on the time stamp on that ATM where she withdrew most of her savings. I bought a copy of the book, Not Without Peril, which she had in her car when it was found. I bought some booze and headed into the North Country.

The first thing I noticed was that, according to the accepted time frame (Maura leaving UMass at 4:30, getting into an accident in Haverhill at about 7:29), Maura had about 45 minutes unaccounted for. If she had driven straight from UMass to that location, she should have arrived sometime around 6:45. Of course, we know she stopped for gas somewhere along the way. And perhaps she stopped for food.

As soon as I arrived in the Haverhill area, I checked in at the Wells River Motel, dropped off most of my booze and luggage, and then drove out to the scene of the accident. It was only when I arrived that I discovered the items I had in my car matched the items found in Maura's. My bag and liquor were gone. The book was there. I started to wonder then if Maura might have already arrived at her destination before driving out to Route 112. It would explain some of the lost time. Perhaps she stopped, dropped off her stuff, then drove away, looking for a place to eat.

If that's the case, the prime suspect in her disappearance becomes whoever checked her into a her hotel (there are few in the area) or whoever she had driven up to meet (if that is what she did). Perhaps it was that person who picked her up at the scene. It would certainly go a long way toward explaining why she got in the car. It's another possibility I've thought a lot about.


  1. Some interesting points and possibilities there.
    Regarding the unaccounted time frame, I believe that it is being said that Maura´s Saturn was running on 3 cylinders only. It that was indeed the case, then I guess it´s likely that her speed going north from Amherst might well have been a good deal slower than the posted speed limits, which could perhaps explain the seeming time discrepancy.

  2. I recently drove my vehicle with one shot cylinder. It was slow to get going but once it got going I could do 60 just fine.

  3. If we assume your theory is correct then where was she going when she left her destination? Seems odd if she was where she wanted to be that the first thing she would do would be to drop off some stuff and take off again. At least to me.

  4. Wouldn't the Motel personnel have come forward about Maura having checked into their motel? Are you suggesting she may have ran back to the motel from the accident scene?

  5. While you may well be right, I have some difficulty seeing why Maura would have left her theoretical accomodation in the Wells River,VT/Woodsville,NH area shortly after having checked in.
    By this time it would have been dark, snowy and quite cold. What would have prompted Maura to set off in her supposedly somewhat unreliable Saturn under these conditions?
    She could easily have found some dinner to eat in Wells River or Woodsville.
    Why on earth would she have been out on the twisting Rte 112 going east towards the White Mountains National Forest with no food available until Lincoln/Woodstock,NH?
    I still believe that Maura likely was enroute to the Bartlett,NH, area when her car ended up in the snowbank on the Weathered Barn curve in Swiftwater.
    She probably checked out a road atlas and mistakenly thought that Rte 112 would be the better route to reach Bartlett from Woodsville rather than US302.

  6. She grew up vacationing in New Hampshire...She knew the area well. Why would she take 112? Even Fred said on Disappeared that he thinks she was headed to Bartlett and is baffled by why she went down that route...

    My guess is that she was headed to someones house. She dropped the alcohol off at one of the friends house and went to pick up another friend.

  7. 05/14/04 at 10:03 PM Reply with quote #3


    We need your help in the search for Maura

    Dear friends and family,
    I received a tip in one of my mailboxes that a lady in Vermont had seen a young woman resembling missing Maura Murray just a few days ago. After a few e-mails with this gal and much prayer, she finally decided to contact the New Hampshire State Police Dept. that is handling Maura's case and report the sighting.

    I have just been informed that the police do not consider this a "solid" lead and have not even followed up with a phone call to Kathie, the lady who thinks she may have seen Maura walking on her street.

    I need all of you to take action to save Maura's life. This is the second sighting of Maura ALIVE reported within a week and both are within only mere miles of the accident scene.

    Please call the New Hampshire State Police at (603) 846-3333 and speak to either Sgt. Todd Landry, Sgt. Bob Bruno or Lt. John Scarinza and make your voice heard that you want them to investigate the "sighting of a girl near Wells River between South Ryegate and Woodsville/Haverhill by a lady named Kathie, immediately, because it could be Maura Murray".

    Ask them what they would do if Maura was their child? Wouldn't they want every viable lead to be pursued? Ask them to have mercy on this family and go out and find Maura.

    If you cannot make the call and have access to a fax machine, contact me for that number and you can reach them in writing.

    Copy this to word and send to all on your list BCC and in the TO field put your own address, to protect your list from SPAM.

    Thank you, on behalf of the Murray and Rausch families. Maura is so loved and so missed. Y'all are the BEST search angels in the world, and I love each of you so much. Now, let's make our voices heard and get the Police Dept. to move on this lead.

    With love and hope, Lanie
    Help For The Missing

    Lanie 05/14/04 at 10:04 PM Reply with quote #4


    An update, from the gal who called LE

    I have received this from the gal who thinks she may have seen Maura.

    It seems that LE does not take this seriously.

    A detective from NH State PD just called. Asked a few questions, the basics, DOB what I saw etc and said ok, if I happened to see this girl/young lady again to give them a call and they would have one of the "VT guys" come over.

    Please make your voices heard...and God bless you for your compassion for Maura and her family.

    With love and hope, Lanie
    Help For The Missing

    1. Um...if she's walking around on the street 7 years after she disappeared, you can be pretty sure her life is not in danger. She probably wants to be left alone.

  8. Interesting.. I remember several years ago someone posting about a motel with secret doors (or something like that) that was decorated with Teddy Bears (IIRC). The insinuation being that she was harmed motel operator or something. Seemed bizarre at the time, but stranger things have happened I guess. Sorry, I can't remember the details or if it was on Topix or the MMM forum.

  9. Did she take the $280 out of her account so that her location wouldn't be traced? More specifically, so that her family wouldn't know she traveled without informing them (supposedly she would always keep her parents informed of her whereabouts). If this is true, could it be possible that she had taken money out in this fashion before, as a means of traveling under the radar ( I believe on Disappeared that one of her friends mentioned she left school to go some unknown place only to return in the evening). I think it would be worthwhile to examine her complete deposit and withdrawal history.

    In only using cash, and traveling under the radar, seems as if it would meld with the idea of a secret pregnancy.

  10. The lost 45 minutes may be due to her poorly running vehicle. Any car driving on 3 cylinders cannot possibly maintain a good cruising speed. From my own personal experience, I can tell you I drove a 1996 Honda Civic with with a bad engine and I could barely keep up with other cars on the highway. Just a thought.

  11. I think James makes a good point here. The missing time is a definite, and it is worth looking into. In the end, it only adds to the unanswered questions in this case however. First, remember she had the accident report forms in her car, and it is only speculated that she printed them out. Or perhaps she stopped by a vehicle registration office and picked them up on her way out of town. That could account for 10-15 minutes. Also, she definitely stopped for gas somewhere (her tank was nearly full when found at the accident) and possibly something to eat. This could account for 15 - 30 minutes. Add in the poor running vehicle and one easily could account for the lost 45 minutes. Or, other than stopping for gas, none of those things may have happened, and perhaps more along the lines of what James is saying is possible. The only problem I see with that however is the fact that some of her clothes and personal items were found in the car. Had she stopped somewhere and unpacked, these items would not have been with her. I believe this still points to her taking items out of her backpack to make room for the alcohol she must have wanted to hide.