Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fred, at the beginning.

This is from Maribeth Conway's 5-part article that appeared in the Whitman-Hanson Express, Maura's home paper. It references a press conference held on Feb 12, 2004 in New Hampshire.

After wrapping up their own search that day, Fred and Billy met with reporters in an outdoor press conference in Bethlehem, N.H. on Thursday night. "This is very unusual," Fred explained to reporters. "It's not like her to just take off."

Fred pleaded for Maura to come home. "I don't know what the matter is, or the trouble you think you might be in, but it isn't anything we can't solve," he said through the media. "It's me - you can tell me. We'll work it out until we solve it."


Three days after her disappearance, Fred was sure Maura had run away. There's no mention of foul play, that he talks about later. At that time, he's sure she's run away, even though the only real evidence anyone has at that time is that she got into a wreck, was alone for less than 10 minutes, and has not been seen again.

Even in light of the ATM withdrawal and the note to her teachers explaining she was leaving, her car has been found abandoned in the middle of the North Country. And she's missing.

What does he know that makes him so sure she's run away from the crash site? What motive would cause Maura to run away, not just from school, not just the accident, but from him as well?

52 comments:

  1. i think it migh as simple as that she was running from fred...and running from fred meant running from everything else.....

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  2. The more I read the more convinced I am that she was running from the troubles that she had, the car crashes, problems with the boyfriend, running to someone else a definate possiblility. But I don't think she made it, I think she fled that car afraid to get into more trouble and then died from exposure. She possibly did not think it was o.k. what had happened in past days. She was hard on herself and didn't want to face the police, drinking and driving, or just running away for awhile. She left the car and then ran, she was used to running, but got cold and stopped to rest, died that way? just my thoughts.

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  3. Ah, but if she was running to someone else, why haven't they come forward?

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  4. I think her father knows - I have always thought there was something so not right here. I won't go into my total thoughts but I think Fred KNOWS!!!!

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  5. I've thought about why, if she was running to be with someone, that person has not come forward. I can only think of a few reasons:

    *They are with her now, living a life together (this seems unlikely to me)
    *They harmed her (if it weren't for the crash, I'd say this is quite likely; the crash, however, muddies the waters...how would they have known where she crashed?)
    *She never arrived and they have no alibi because they were supposed to be with her, and they realize that they would become the prime suspect, even though they really don't know what happened (This doesn't seem likely, but they might have convinced themselves that their meeting with her is irrelevant and that coming forward only turns the investigation in their direction and away from what actually happened on that road that night)
    *They did meet with her, but things didn't go well. They really don't know what happened, but they would be even more of a prime suspect than if she never arrived

    I think Fred could easily fall in to third or fourth category here. He didn't do anything to her, but does know why she was on that road and may feel it is irrelevant to her disappearance. I'm beginning to think she got farther away from the crash site than people think -- she was an athlete after all -- and succumbed to the elements. If that's the case then she may never be found.

    I do think it's odd he doesn't want publicity, although I will say that I have family members who may behave the way Fred has if ever in his circumstance. It's part uber-controlling behavior and part the existence of a world view that culminates in a profound distrust of anyone, including law inforcement, who is not a blood relative (in fact, the distrust of law enforcement or any authority is even more entrenched). No amount of logic or reasoning would make them understand that their behavior is actually hindering the investigation. It's an us-against-the-world mentality to the end.

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    1. But then why were not footprints or tracks ever found in the snow? Unless Maura suddenly developed the ability to fly or jump from tree to tree, how is it that she never left any tracks? Unless you are suggesting she stuck to paved roads until she was far enough away to run unto the wilderness, in which case, it would have been odd behavior for someone who wanted to disappear/avoid law enforcement.

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    2. I think perhaps the whole "no tracks" point, is given more significance than it should. I weigh 115 pounds, and if the snow is even a bit frozen, I can walk across a field and leave very little, if any, indentation. Unless the snow was very fresh and powdery, the tracks may just have been too faint to see.

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  6. If the other person came forward and she indeed is alive then it would blow her cover.

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  7. Let's assume for a moment that Maura voluntarily disappeared and is alive and well, today. At some point from 2004 to now, it is highly likely she would have worked. For traditional work, she would have to provide a Social Security number (SS#), but also assuming she'd prefer to stay "disappeared," what would her options be?
    1) Keep her name and SS#,
    2) Change her name but keep her SS#,
    3) Change both,or
    4) Not work at all.

    If she used her SS# at all, wouldn't the Social Security Administration (SSA) see activity with Maura's number? And if so, are there any laws that would preclude them from providing that info to LE or anyone for that matter? Also, if a person changes his or her identity, wouldn't there still be a record with the SSA that one number became defunct in favor of a new replacement number?

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    1. You are assuming she legally changed her identity.

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  8. The supposed other BF was married, which would be a reason not to come forward.

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  9. @8:15 Ah...the married boyfriend. That would be a reason not to come forward. Although, I don't know that there's ever been hard evidence of that. But, it's a possibility.

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  10. Before anyone goes down the road of how "impossible" it would be to start a new life, please consider the case of Brandi Stahr, who was missing and presumed dead for 7 years...found living and working under her real name and SSN: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/brandi_stahr_missing_texas_student_found_after_7_years/

    LE doesn't have instant access to IRS data. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't some huge database somewhere that anyone with a badge can pull things up on. Furthermore, Brandi Stahr wasn't even really trying to hide, so think about someone who IS trying to hide. It can absolutely be done, especially if the person has crossed a border.

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  11. Why would Maura stay in hiding? She could always just not make any contact with family and friends after telling them she is okay. Many families have family members who are not in contact. What is the purpose of her being in hiding? It just doesn't make sense. She was an adult.

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  12. Fred changed his tune from the beginning as a method to put pressure on the police and make them take his daughter's case seriously. The introduction of a "Bad Guy" out there free to prowl on the locals would make the police have to take immediate action. If Police believed (which I think they did) that Maura took off on her own accord, then they don't have to pursue her as vigorously. And Fred knew that.

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  13. to Anonymous @ 8:15 AM. Are you offering this as a theory why someone might not come forward? Or do you have some knowledge of a married BF? I have seen lots of speculation that there could have been a BF, but your wording sounds like more than just speculation. Just curious, thanks!

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  14. @11:08 No just giving a possible scenario as to why someone would not come forward. It could also be someone that would lose their job, such as a professor at UMASS.

    http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2011/09/breaking-mauras-secret-suitor.html

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  15. When I posted my thoughts (Anon 8:01 a.m.) on whether or not it was possible to obtain a SS# activity report, so to speak, I wasn't suggesting that it was impossible to go into hiding. I was suggesting that if it were possible to get such a report and there was activity with her SS#, it could indicate that is in fact alive. To me, it's not much different from activity on a bank account or cell phone: It shows that at least something happened in connection to that person's life. I just didn't know how SS#'s work when it comes to cases like this.

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  16. Years ago, I had a friend who was looking for her long lost father. She contacted the SS Administration to find out his address (if, indeed, he was still alive). They would not give her his address. They did say that they would let him know his daughter was looking for him. They did confirm that he was alive. I think she did this through a PI. I don't remember if she had to prove that she was a family member.

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  17. That's exactly what I'm getting at here (Anon 1:02 p.m.). Somebody at the SSA could find out if any money has been contributed using that SS#. If, for example, no money has been added since 2004, that says a lot toward what we're all trying to figure out on this Web site. If, on the other hand, money has been contributed through that number, that says a lot as well. In your friend's situation, she was able to get valuable info on her father (dead or alive). Why wouldn't that work here? Or maybe it's already been tried, but we don't know that. Like everybody else here, I'm just baffled over this case and trying to help.

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  18. "It could also be someone that would lose their job, such as a professor at UMASS."

    What is UMASS' policy on tenure, and did said professor reach tenure yet?

    If there is not a hard-and-fast policy on inappropriate contact with students (MANY places don't have it, or only loosely enforce it against tenured, or even non-tenured, faculty, often depending unfortunately on the professor's reputation, etc.) where did said professor stand on the reputation scale?

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  19. No one at SSA is going to tell you anything. Plus, if she's alive and really not wanting to be found, she simply would be using someone else's ssn (or none at all, if she's in canada).

    Undocumented workers use fake SSNs all the time, not to mention how lax most companies can be about I-9 forms, especially if you are talking about an "all american girl" type. Plus, what if she's working only informally, under the table, etc etc etc.

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  20. Hey, guys. Seems Law Enforcement would have already covered the issue of checking her Social Security activity. That's an obvious to me.

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  21. From Mr. Renner's Post on Tuesday, June 28, 2011:
    ------------------------------------------------
    My methodology
    1. I will not rely on secondary sources.
    This case has been written about many times. There have been several television programs that featured the case as well. Many times, when reporters put a book together (or a blog, article, etc.) they merely quote from articles that came out before, falling back on someone else's reporting. I won't do that. For a couple reasons. It's lazy, for one. But also, some of what has been reported was reported incorrectly. Some things presented as fact are not factual. I want to come at this as a fresh pair of eyes. And so I will be conducting my own research and interviews as if nothing has been written about Maura before. That's not to take away from some of the quality journalism I noticed in the article from the Express and other sources. But I'd like to start on a clean slate.
    -----------------------------------------------

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  22. I disagree with you JR about Maura's father possibly being involved. I think he does feel guilty because of his reaction to his wrecked car. I think he freaked on her and said some things to her that really hurt her emotionally, and that was a major spark in what caused her to take off. I think he altered his story because he knew if he told the truth he'd be an immediate POI. I have a hard time believing he was meeting her up there as well. If he was following her on that road, she wouldn't have been sitting in her car for about 10 minutes before she disappeared. He would have been right behind her to pick her up.

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  23. In trying to put all these clues together, is it possible that there was a married boyfriend as 8:15 states, that she was pregnant as per her computer searches, that the disturbing phone call at the security desk was related to an argument with married BF over the pregnancy, that they planned a quick getaway to discuss things, that he called her while enroute (Londonderry ping), that she gave him a general area to meet and he happened past her accident scene and picked her up. If so, now we have motive for murder: the pregnant girlfriend vs the wife. Maura believes she is on a romantic getaway while his intention is to do away with her. Need to identify the BF, determine if he owned a red truck or had access to one and subpoena his phone records for that time period. Just my thoughts.

    JRK

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    1. This is very similar to what I think may have happened! Women are often killed by the father of the baby.....as sad as it is to think about. Some men can become quite volatile if they feel trapped or threatened with an unwanted pregnancy. And if alcohol was involved, things could have gone south fairly quickly.

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    2. This is one of the most coherent theories of the case I have seen. Could also explain why Maura called Billy and left the sobbing voicemail. Perhaps the murder wasn't premeditated, but an idea he got after they had been fighting for awhile.

      Or maybe--one hopes--she got in a fight with the boyfriend and then took off to have her baby and live her own life in Canada.

      (Also, possibly, the spectre of a breakup with Billy--or perhaps an actual breakup through the call that upset her at work--was what caused her to flee to the other guy. In any case, I think this guy knows exactly what happened to her.)

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    3. Agree. This is a solid scenario. He may not have planned to kill her but realized when he picked her up that he now had the option, and did so. Either that or it was just a wrong place/wrong time unknown predator abduction that all too frequently does occur. In this case, the married man would feel coming forward was not worth the destruction of his marriage, career, or reputation.

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  24. Anonymous 1:19 pm, I believe police do check for SS# activity on missing persons' cases. I don't know if NH police did, but I do think some agencies check. The question is do they continue to check over the years. When was the last time NH police checked Maura's SS# or credit card activity? 6.6 years ago? Maybe that is a question Mr. Renner can ask the detectives.

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  25. I agree with a previous poster. You don't need a SSN in Canada. Either she is living with a man who is supporting her (unlikely to me since she seemed to be a person that liked being busy) or maybe she is living in Canada. That's why no one has seen her.

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  26. I think a look should be taken at what clinical work she was doing at th time she disappeared. If she was doing an OB rotation, it would make sense for her to be looking up information on pregnancy on the Web. No? Also, I think if someone were able to interview her friends, they would find that it was VERY MUCH like Maura to disappear to take some time off. Her friends were not surprised that she disappeared--they were surprised though with the other circumstances surrounding her excuse, her travelling in a vehcile that was poorly running. She wouldn't take that vehicle to clinicals, why would she take it to NH?

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  27. Um... Who here has worked under the table? Babysitting counts... No SSN needed for that. And who's to say that she's even in the US? She was really close to Canada!

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    1. Yes. That area is very close (under 2 hours' drive) to the Quebec town of Sherbrooke. This is one reason I believe she may still be alive in Quebec, as a family member (?) stated in a post on another forum.

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  28. I think Maura was running away from her father maybe he do something to her. I dont know is just a comment I hope she is alive and well!!!


    From Puerto Rico

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  29. Maybe the charges they keep talking about are charges against Maura. Unsettled issues with credit card fraud as an example.

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  30. I completely agree that she was going to meet someone. WHO and WHY are the next questions. I have always strongly felt that she was involved with someone else that nobody else knew about. As a previous poster said, it could have very well been a married man, which would explain why this person hasn't come forward. Maybe she knew her car wouldn't make it the entire way and arranged for him to meet her at a certain point. Just IMO, she had a secret relationship, was planning to meet with him, but he had other intentions. Maybe she had threatened to tell his wife or maybe she was pregnant. Someone else has a role in this, and until they talk, I don't see this being solved.

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  31. So, If she is meeting someone supposedly, then why was she doing mapquest searches for three different areas (Burlington Vermont, White Mountains (New Hampshire) and the Berkshires), spanning two different states the day she went missing.

    Wouldn't she have picked a destination to meet someone ahead of time.
    If you were meeting someone in a mystery destination would you be like 'Hey lets meet in kansas, no wait how about colorado.

    It doesn't add up, Maura was NOT meeting anyone that fateful Monday.

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  32. I disagree. I think what might have happened is she and the man she was meeting had an idea of escaping together for a night or two. And she was looking for a good spot somewhere in the White Mountain area. He was likely doing the same on his end. When they spoke that afternoon, they ironed out specific plans and headed for the same location.

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  33. Kate said the dorm party was stuffed with men and women and that a male student had walked them back to there dorms and that was the last time Kate had seen Maura. Could it be that this male student that walked Kate and Maura back to there dorms returned to Mauras dorm? After walking Kate back to her dorm went to Mauras dorm after and possibly raped Maura? Could this be the reason why Maura went to see her father in the wee hours of the morning? Could this be the reason why Maura ended up in an accident on that night? Could it be a crime was commited against Maura in Amherst? And could it be that Maura and her vehicle were driven to NH to throw law enforcement off into looking at NH and not Amherst? I truly believe her friends are lying and know what happened to Maura. Are they covering up for a friend or protecting someone in fear for themselfs?

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  34. Anon 6:30 p.m.

    No, Maura announced several times at the dorm party that she wanted to take her dad's car back to his hotel to which her friends at the party attempted to discourage her from doing because (Maura wasn't in any shape to be driving)

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  35. I know this really is not following on from the previous comments but was wondering if anyone knows the answer. From what i can remember Mr Murray said that Maura was to ring him at 8pm on the Monday night to go over the insurance claim forms. When Maura didn't ring him did he try to get in touch with her. If he did try and was unsuccessful surely he knew from Monday night that there was a problem because Maura seemed to be the type of girl that if she said she would ring him on Monday night then she would.

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    1. Perhaps the 8:00 call was changed to a 8:00 meeting?

      Tom

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  36. You know, the meeting up with a boyfriend (or her father) would help explain why she left town with so little money. She wasn't paying for lodging.

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  37. I don't understand - if her friends felt she wasn't fit to drive after the party, how come the police didn't charge her with drunk driving when she crashed her dad's car a short while later? Did they not breathalyse her? The police report only says she wasn't paying attention and that seems to be the only reason she crashed. That seems very strange to me.

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  38. It seems to me that the significance of the rag in the tail pipe is being forgotten in the interesting reasonsings put forth in this thread. Not, mind you, to refute, but instead buttress these reasonings. If she was going to NH to meet her father or a married boyfriend or anyone else, perhaps he was from Boston and indeed the causer of the Londonderry ping while en route to their rendezvous. Not too far back on 112 (right at I-91) is the center of Haverhill. They may have decided to meet there. Then, perhaps, she was following him to destination that he - apparently - had either booked or arranged (as she seems to have tried but failed to book or arrange a place to stay). If she was following someone she'd just met by plan back in Haverhill, this would explain why she vanished in so thin a window of time after the accident and before the the police arrived. It would also explain why her scent trail ends abruptly on a few dozen feet west on 112: she hopped in the car of the person she was following. Depending on who she was meeting, there is also a possible explanation about why she was insistent to the resident to not call the police. But beyond all this, under such a scenario, the rag in the tail pipe - at least in my opinion - takes on a potential nefarious indication of the motives of whomever she may have been meeting up with that night, if indeed she was meeting someone and met them in Haverhill.

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    1. Except that the rag in the tailpipe was from Maura's own car kit. I am convinced that either Maura or someone close to her (ahem) put the rag there. I think it's fairly likely that Maura did, in fact, stage the accident.

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  39. After watching a documentary on her, which hosted mostly the father.. I think this:

    She seemed to always do well in school, placing in the top 5 on her high school graduation day. SO, with that being a fact, she must be somewhat of a mature, intelligent, responsible young woman.

    Her father was probably harder on her than other parents, he most likely meant well, and wanted to see his daughter succeed in life, and in college.. most parents don't realize how hard they are on their children, they forget how it is to be their kids' age.

    She is a goodlooking girl, intelligent, in nursing school, and obviously in good shape.. she was a runner... it would be very easily for her to break up with a boyfriend that lived no where near her.. if that were the case.. so i highly doubt there was another man involved.


    Do any of you know how hard it would be, to try to find a job, using your ID's.. using a bank account..doing your tax forms..even though you're on a missing person's list?

    I also, highly highly doubt she's been found and its just a big secret.. i highly doubt she would still be in the news from time to time, and also i highly doubt Nancy Grace would put this story on the show also, if she was found...and it was a secret... so i think that's kinda dumb to say.



    It sounds like, from the documentary I watched, that her father was probably a little hard on her, he probably didn't mean anything bad by it..but rather a realistic man..and knew how hard this world can be to 'make it' on your own..and he wanted his daughter to do well... so he may have been a little hard on her when she got his car wrecked... my parents would not at all be happy with me if i wrecked my car.. insurance goes up, money is to be paid, i could have been injured.. i could have injured another person...etc...etc..


    Nursing school is very stressful, and having a long distance relationship is also very stressful, and then having divorced parents, and being an athlete at college, and probably having a father who may have been strict on you.. all this for a 21 year old young woman.. is a lot to deal with..

    she probably wanted to get away for a little while.. she probably needed her alone time..and after she got in a car accident.. the last thing she probably needed on her plate, to add to her stress level..was another car accident to deal with, and probably be in trouble with the law for drinking and driving. She was most likely drunk, and ran away.. it gets very cold up in New Hampshire in the winter...


    I think, in my opinion, that she was running away from her own stresses, and after the second car accident, she ran out in the woods..and didn't realize how cold it gets up in the north east during winter...


    I just feel very sorry for her father.. and her family..and her friends..and her boyfriend.. and his family.. life is hard enough on it's own....and i can only imagine how hard it is for these people, to live with this, every day of their life... I feel very sorry that there are people out in there in this world, who have to live with this on their shoulders.. it makes me very sad and it also makes me feel very helpless...

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  40. I agree with Anonymous/ November 7, 2011 11:03 AM. I also agree with James that (hope this is what you said) Fred started out (Tuesday night) worrying that Maura would or did take her own life and those comments were recorded in the police/sheriff's log; soon thereafter he felt she ran away but they could make things right if she'd just get in touch; and then 'til now...Fred's maintained it was a local psycho killer.

    Fred began in his first telephone calls to NH LE stating that Maura's disappearance was an emergency because she was depressed, at risk, possibly suicidal. Later he began talking about "some scumbag" (hate that word) who grabbed her off the street. And he blamed LE for not looking harder for her. IMHO I believe LE did as much that night as anyone could expect for a commonplace abandoned car. Remember, it wasn't terribly cold that night --- it was, IIRC, about 30 degrees and there was an almost full moon which would light the way in the dark roads of NH.

    IMHO, Fred might believe that something he said or did drove Maura into the woods and all these years he has been looking for her belongings or remains (sorry). He appears to be terribly sad and also guilty. I would do exactly what he did, in terms of just not being able to stop looking; it's natural; it's human; it doesn't end.

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  41. What were her grades at the time? Was she failing out of school? Had she seen the school therapist? Someone has to know what her academic standing was. Maybe this is why she was being asked to leave??? Thoughts ????

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  42. Mr. Renner most of this info comes off your site:

    - Maura was heading to a place that her father and her would always go to.

    - Maura had the insurance paper work that her dad requested in the car.

    - Maura's father after she went missing appealed to her as if she was a runaway, then after time treated this like foul play.

    - When her father was told about the rag in the muffler/exhaust he told the authorities that it was to prevent smoking and he gave it to her - making sure he told LE that so it wouldn't be surprised if his DNA was on it.

    - He didn't meet with LE for interview until two years after the accident. He brought lawyers. Wouldn't you want to meet with LE to help them immediately?

    Those things listed are absolute facts. If your daughter wants to be with you in a one bed hotel room at 2:30 AM (which is weird) and crashes your car while having a couple drinks. If your cool enough not to make a big deal about it then I'm sure your daughter would open up to you and tell you anything that was bothering her, and where and why she was going to NH if it wasn't to see you.

    I'm not saying he's guilty but they're a lot of facts that point towards him atleast knowing a little more than he knows. I think once LE realized that he wasn't talking much they went into shutdown mode with him, or they picked up some strong evidence to make him a POI.
    I'm not even saying he killed her, maybe he helped her runaway, to help her start a new life. And maybe LE is thinking the same thing. Maybe they won't charge him until and or if they find a body, cause otherwise it wouldn't be a murder he would have assisted her in running away.

    Tom

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