Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cold Case Unit Investigates Woodsville Sighting

I'm happy to report that detectives are actively investigating the sighting of Maura Murray reported by a Butson's employee last month. The woman was a cashier in 2004, and believes she saw Maura with two friends in the Woodsville grocery store about an hour before the accident in Haverhill.

Two detectives met with the cashier last month and discussed the sighting in detail.

Helena Dwyer-Murray, who runs the official family websites, said on Facebook that the cashier had spoken to family members in 2004. This is not true.

The cashier believed her manager gave this important info to police in 2004, but it never reached the unit looking for Maura.

The cashier approached Helena and the family earlier this year but the family kept the sighting secret until it was reported nearly a year later on this blog.

50 comments:

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  2. This could be a solid lead. Good work James.

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  3. I think Helena is just the official Murray family patsy. They tell her stuff and she relays it to the public. She is likely a trusting, unquestioning person and so that is why she was "nominated" by the family to run the facebook page. It makes no sense that Maura's actual, nuclear family would not run it themselves. They have Helena run it so that all information is filtered through a "sweet, old lady." If it comes from someone who does not appear dishonest, it makes the lies seem true.

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    1. Sorry but you are so wrong about Helena.

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    2. Come on Mr. John R. Flower. Do you expect anyone to believe you know Helena. Ha ha! By the way, where is your other screen name? Getting tired of constantly signing out then signing in again?

      ~ John Green

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    3. The new buckaroo is still here Greenhorn! And I speak for myself! But because I don't believe in King James and Apostle John I get deleted (like I really care). So, why are you so easily intimidated? :)

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    4. And those anger management classes......time to sign up (AGAIN). Poor Greenhorn......bet you don't have many friends, either....

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    5. John R Flower Multiple Alias, what is your problem? You say James Renner has a vendetta against Fred and you find it absolutely disgusting. You know what doofus? Can't the same thing be said about you? You CLEARLY have a vendetta against James Renner and I find it disgusting. You are some strange creep that cruises boards about beautiful missing girls in the New England states, but you offer zero contributions that advance either of the cases. You just cause trouble and enter into pissing matches with people who express their opinions about the facts of the case that James Renner has uncovered. And are you like Fred's lackey or something? I would think that if Fred was offended by the content of this blog, he could put on his big boy pants and defend himself. This case has been publicized by the family. Therefore that is a direct invitation to the public to help find these missing girls. You don't like or agree with the information that's been uncovered? Then intelligently refute it. Otherwise buzz off bozo. We don't have time for your immature bullshit.

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    6. Hey sweetheart, flower child works alone here. But you wouldn't understand, being a lemming and all.....Anyway, if you have somethin' to say about MY posts, please address ME directly..........Meatball......

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    7. Minnesota Girl, well said.

      By the way, John R. Flower, you have given me a way to discover/prove/disprove something I have idly speculated about you for a while. Thank you. This, of course, via your recent misappropriation of my personal data. Ohhh John! C'mon now wolf man! You are smarter than that! You made it too obvious (a tendency that has been your achilles heel for a long time). And you should have talked to that lawyers of yours first, about how criminal jurisdiction is established when the perpetrator and victim are in different states. Uh oh.

      Oh ... and I love how "Flower Child" uses that word "lemmings." Old word; people don't use it much anymore. Funny how Columbo used to use that word all the time ... oh wait ... right ... you are columbo.

      ~ John Green

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    8. I'm flower child, the new buckaroo here! I speak for myself when I say that you are gonna shit your britches when you discover this truth. Oh my, my, my.......what a stinky smelly mess it will be!! :) YAHOO!!!

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  4. This is her way of helping the family; something she chooses to do.

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  5. The cashier said "I recall the blue wine coolers cus that's what I drank". But I thought when Maura's car was found, it had red wine in the car or in a cup or something like that? Also does this store where the cashier works at sell wine? I'm in Tn and only a liquor store can sell alcohol and wine. That's why I'm asking if that store could sell whatever type of red wine was found in Maura's car.

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  6. Becki-- Good question. I grew up going to the Butson's (later Shaw's) stores in Littleton and Woodsville. The cashier worked in the Woodsville store. For as long as I can remember, the stores always have had wine, beer, and wine coolers in stock, regardless of which company's logo was over the front door.

    As an aside, NH has state liquor stores that sell wine and hard liquor. I've never seen hard liquor for sale in a grocery store in NH, but most grocery stores sell beer, wine, and wine coolers.

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    1. Hi Joe.

      Question for you. Do you have a theory of why Maura would have been on 112 if she was headed to Bartlett or various resorts over near I-93. Using Google maps, it is hard to figure why she would not have either simply taken 302, or even gone up to I-93, if not cutting off at US 25 and never getting up to Woodsville on I-91. Just wondering if you, as a local, have thought about the issue of where she (they) was going and why it took them through Woodsville.

      ~ John Green

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    2. John-- That's something that has always puzzled me too. The only thing I can think of is that she might have wanted to stop in the Lincoln area for some reason. Rt. 112 runs through Lincoln before it continues East to Conway. Lincoln has a fair number of hotels and restaurants.

      Of course, if she wanted to get to Lincoln, one wonders why she did not cut across southern NH (say, for example, using Rt. 25 or Rt. 11), or northern Mass., and get on 93 North. 93 North runs right through Lincoln. To some extent, though, I can understand not wanting to cut across Northern Mass due to the traffic.

      Additionally, keep in mind that Rt. 25 and Rt. 11 are just two of a number of different ways one could cut across southern NH to get to 93 North after leaving 91 North.

      As one poster pointed out awhile back (maybe it was RoseWhite), sometimes people take a certain route just because it is the one they've always used, even if it might not be the quickest or most efficient. Perhaps she'd gotten to Lincoln or Conway using Rt. 112 before and was more comfortable driving it than a new route.

      The various turns one has to make to get from 91 N to Rt. 112 are pretty simple. As New England roads go, it would not be a tough route to stay on in terms of poor signage, strange turns, etc. In other words, while Rt. 112 is by no means the world's greatest road, it is easy to find off of 302 and stay on as it runs through Lincoln to Conway.

      Rt. 25 is not measurably more difficult to get to from 91 North than Rt. 112. However, Rt. 25 merges with 93 North in Plymouth. Thus, my suspicion that she may have wanted to get to Lincoln before possibly heading to Conway/Bartlett. One could travel from Plymouth to Lincoln by staying on 93 North, but, if a stop in Lincoln was part of Maura's plan, then Rt. 112 would be the most direct route from the Woodsville area.

      The fact that she did not just stay on Rt. 302 does make some sense. In order to get to Conway/Bartlett on Rt. 302, one has to drive through Crawford Notch. Crawford Notch can be a tricky drive in the winter, and many motorists from southern New England are very wary of driving through the notches in general.

      On a related note, I am definitely of the opinion that she took 91 North and was headed east at the time of the accident. Some posters have suggested otherwise, but to me, the timing just makes too much sense for me favor alternative routes.

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    4. jjholy-- Maybe I am reading your post incorrectly; I am not sure what road you're referring to as a bypass. My understanding is that the Kancamagus itself is open year-round unless it is snowed in ( http://www.kancamagushighway.com/closures.htm ). On the other hand, I do not know if things were different when Maura disappeared.

      I should note that, from a driving standpoing, the Kancamagus is probably more difficult than Crawford Notch . . . but, the Notches seem to have an unduly bad reputation amongst out of state drivers.

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    7. Bear Notch Road is a Kangamangous Highway bypass it is a direct road from Lincoln NH right to Bartlett. Its closed in February.

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    8. Yep, I see what you mean. Good catch. Although Rt. 112 comes out in Conway, If she wanted to get to Bartlett, she would have had to double back on 16 and 302. Whether she knew that Bear Notch road was closed, well, who knows. . .

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    9. Should also mention that another way to cut across Southern NH is on I-89. I strongly doubt Maura was ever on that road, though, as that would mean she would have eventually gotten on I-93 North and been headed West towards the Woodsville area at the time of the accident. That just doesn't make sense from my point of view. If Haverhill/Woodsville was her ultimate destination, then why not just stay on 91 North all the way to the Well River exit? That, and the timing doesn't work out, at least from my point of view.

      Sorry to beat this to the point where it is a totally dead horse; it's just one aspect of the case I've thought about quite a bit.

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    11. Hi Joe.

      Thanks for that thorough and thoughtful answer. And thanks to others who contributed to it thereafter.

      Keeping in mind that she was probably eyeballing routes in 2012 (we know she looked at least at some maps), it always struck me that Franconia was the one place where you might look and say, hey maybe 112 to 116 is the shortest way. In fact, tested against Google Maps now, there are differences of minutes compared to a 302 or 91 to 93 route. But if she was eyeballing, it seemed to me that that was one place she might have been heading that could make sense, particularly if they got to the Buxtons (or whatever that restaurant is called) via Route 10 from the South, perhaps having jumped off 91 in downtown Haverhill for some reason.

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  7. LOL @ Lil Jimmy Renner bc He cannot play with the truth only his fabrications. keep erasing jimmy.

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    1. fictionalized for dramatic purposes..........meant for lemmings.....

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    2. I only know three people who I have ever seen post here or on Topix that used the word lemmings with such frequency: John R. Flower and columbo!

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    3. I take credit for that word! Keep thinking, Greenhorn. KEEP INVESTIGATING! Hint: Use YOUR brain......

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  8. James, will the CCU or a contact you have there, tell you the outcome of their investigation of this person's claim?

    ~ John Green

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  9. Just curious, in terms of investigating this tip, what would the CCU can actually do? I'd imagine they'd look into whether the descriptions fit Maura and her two friends. If the description fit the friends, I'd assume they'd reach out and request an interview with the friends, which the friends would most likely decline. Past that, not sure what they'd really have the capability to do. Does anyone with more knowledge of police procedures have any ideas on that?

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    2. As far as I know (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) - "holding someone" necessitates an arrest (although not a charge - they have 72 hours to do that as you mention).

      But I don't believe that they can arrest someone simply for being the last one seen with a missing person. In other words, interviews are optional and you can walk out of one at any time.

      Also, it is potentially more difficult to arrest people from out of state because you have to meet the threshold for extradition from the other state.

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    4. I hope something comes of it too.

      However, I respectfully disagree that police have the power to hold anyone for any length of time (let alone 72 hours) absent an arrest, no matter what type of case it may be. There's simply no such thing as a "72 hour interview" or any other sort of forced interview as far as I can find.

      According to my research, police need to arrest you to hold you. Before or after an arrest they are free to ask you questions, but you are free to invoke your right to silence. An arrest must on reasonable suspicion of committing a crime (not just "we want to talk to you"). After an arrest, the state has up to 72 hours to charge officially charge you with a crime or let you go.

      Here's a good rundown: https://www.ohiobar.org/ForPublic/Resources/LawFactsPamphlets/Pages/LawFactsPamphlet-21.aspx

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    6. just because they have had the info for 15 days does not mean a thing. they are not going to tell any body anything. What is the father time thing all about. confused me.

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    8. Most likely his own. This dude has screamed scumbag from day 1.

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  10. www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/12/30/how-could-woman-just-vanish/CkjirwQF7RGnw4VkAl6TWM/story.html

    "Near the top of Poplar Ridge, they stopped and took in the topography. Thick vegetation walled the trail on either side. Beyond it, precipitous cliffs dropped more than a hundred feet into caves and boulder gardens deep enough to swallow a truck. “My gosh,” Clark said to her friend, “if you were six inches off the trail here, you’d be gone. And no one would ever find you.”

    That quote is from a recent Boston Globe update on the disappearance of Geraldine Largay, a trekker who disappeared suddenly and mysteriously on the Appalachian Trail, in western Maine, back in July, 2013. It says a lot about how deceptive the terrain of northern New England can be, about how readily someone can disappear, even an experienced trekker, in "ideal" summer conditions, on a heavily traveled trail.

    I don't necessarily believe that Maura Murray having wandered into the woods and died is the most likely scenario. I think this article shows why it remains one that can never be excluded, until and unless we do somehow find some highly substantive evidence pointing in another direction.

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    1. The classic example is the 1996 learjet crash in New Hampshire. They knew approximately where it went off the radar yet it took them nearly 3 years to find it. No doubt that Maura's remains could easily have remained undiscovered in those woods.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_New_Hampshire_Learjet_crash

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    3. Lovecraftian/Jack Spencer-- Good posts. The sources you cite do an excellent job at showing why I don't infer much from the fact that a body or personal effects have never been found.

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    4. Will-- What, specifically, do you think is way off base? If I screwed up with something in my response to the question above about roads, what was it? I've spent most of my life in Northern NH and Vermont, and I've travelled each of the roads I mention in that post throughout my life. Still, if there is something which you think is totally wrong, I'd like to know what.

      My guess is you are not disputing the fact that the woods of Northern NH are a darn easy place for someone to disappear, or for someone to hide/bury a body. That should be obvious to anyone who has spent even 10 minutes in the area.

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    5. Thank you for clarifying.

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    6. Jack, thanks for that link. I argued a while back that the northlands swallowing up person who is never found is not even close to unthinkable, for a lot of reasons. You've made that point very well from a vastness perspective. It gets worse when you consider that black bears don't really hibernate during the winter ... they just get lethargic and spend most of their time in their dens. They will occasionally go out and forage for food. A black bear could easily drag an injured person back to their den. And if you have ever been in the true backwoods hiking, you know that it would be really hard to find a bear den even if for some reason you wanted to ... because they are securely remote from anywhere a human could easily get to.

      ~ John Green

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  11. Hope the cold case unit can do something with this stuff renner is digging up. Godspeed mr renner

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  12. 2015 is going to be the year this case will be solved. just have this feeling because of all the activity.

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