Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Police Do Not Know Where Maura Is

There's been a lot of speculation in comments and other messageboards lately about whether the police might know Maura's whereabouts but are keeping it quite because she's an adult and has asked them to give her anonymity.

Once more, for the record, the police do not know where Maura is, or even if she is still alive.

I have spoken to the people who currently work the case and they have made it clear that if she comes forward, they would let the public know she is safe without revealing her location.


43 comments:

  1. Two possibilities: 1) the police have no idea what happened and are no closer to solving the case than they were on the night of the crash, or 2) the police think they know what happened, but cannot prove it due to lack of hard evidence, and have refrained from releasing more info about the investigation for fear that it would tip-off a person, or persons, of interest. I lean towards 2, but it's really anybody's guess.

    On a semi-related note, I'm not a fan of the idea that Maura would be reluctant to come forward for fear of being billed for the costs of the investigation. I've never heard of the state attempting to collect the costs of a missing person's investigation from someone who reemerges. Although it's not similar, the state usually fails to even attempt to collect from unprepared hikers who get lost or injured and cost the state huge amounts of money to rescue.

    Additionally, if the state starts attempting to collect money from missing persons who reemerge, then people who go missing by their own accord (some of whom are victims of criminal activity) will try even harder to avoid detection, and more state resources will be used trying to find them. Attempting to collect money from someone like Maura would set a bad precedent.

    Another poster--don't recall who--recently observed that Maura found herself in trouble quite a bit, and it is unrealistic to expect that she could start a new life and avoid the spotlight for so many years without having her assumed identity unravel. I think this is a compelling point, and one of the more weighty factors against her still being alive.

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    1. Not exactly the same scenario, but Audrey Seiler, a 20 year old WI college student, was ordered to pay back restitution for her search, after she faked her own kidnapping http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/07/01/missing.student.sentence/

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    2. Thank you for sharing the linked article. And, regardless of the State's intentions concerning collection of restitution, all that would really matter (if Maura is still alive) is her thoughts concerning the same. Rational or not, if Maura was alive and legitimately concerned that coming forward could result in a hefty bill, that might be a good reason to stay hidden. That's definitely a weakness in my argument above.

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    3. Maura never faked her death, she is allowed to disappear. Audrey faked her kidnapping she's lucky she wasn't sentences.

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    4. I don't think police can even legally make Maura pay it back. She had a right to disappear and she never asked them to look for her. Someone else initiated that search.

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  3. The police investigation would be so much easier if Fred and company would actually be honest. There wouldn't be a need for an investigation anymore.

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  4. James, when you say 'the people who currently work the case', do you have an idea of how much work goes in to this on a day to day basis. As in, is it actually an ongoing investigation?

    And how do they respond to you and the work you're doing?

    Lew

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    1. I know they work on it every week. Yes, it's an ongoing investigation. Prosecutors have found evidence of crimes that are tangential to Maura's disappearance which they may choose to prosecute some day. How do they respond to me? They sometimes verify information but they never provide me directly with anything. I do wish they'd release the ATM footage.

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    2. When you say transgential does that mean pertain to mauras case directly? Are they saying prosecute because there is a crime that's was committed and are on the path to solving this? Sounds to me they seem to have a suspect

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    3. Tangential means it does not pertain directly to Maura's disappearance. During the course of the investigation, according to the documents provided on this site, they uncovered other criminal activity. We are unsure what crimes this is referring to.

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    4. Thanks James. I too wish they'd release the ATM footage, even if it gives no further clues I feel the last know images of Maura are important for the public to see.

      Regarding your book. Do you have a preference as to where we order it? (I'm in the UK) just wondering if you're paid better by certain sources

      Cheers
      Lew

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    5. Hi Lew! It's always best to pre-order through a book store. But if you are unable to do that in the UK, Amazon is just fine. Thank you.

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    6. Did they have video of Maura from the liqour store? If so, why haven't they released it?
      Has the police hinted at why they won't release the atm video?
      Have the police tried to speak with Sara or Kate again in the past several years?
      Do you believe Maura could be in France?

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    7. Whatever these crimes may be, do they not have a statue of lilitation on them?

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    1. I am nearly 100% sure it was not Maura's. Again, I do not believe Maura was abducted or murdered.

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    2. James, was this in reference to some kind of clothing found in the woods nearby?

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    3. Its in reference to a black bookbag that was found behind some bathrooms about a year after Maura disappeared. It was empty and frozen solid. I believe James is saying he doesn't think it belonged to Maura.

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  8. Why don't you believe that? What evidence?

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    1. Chris, if you review all of the evidence James has compiled over the last 4 years as a whole, it presents a strong argument that Maura would have wanted to leave her old life behind. While there are some holes the require making some leaps, strong circumstantial evidence exists to make the argument that she was planning this getaway for several days before her actual disappearance. While there is no direct evidence to prove definitively that she left on her own, I think that it's the strongest theory based on the facts that James has uncovered.

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  10. This is a random question, but exactly what was the "rag" in the tailpipe? Was it a towel? An old shirt? If a shirt, could someone identify it as Maura's (or Fred's, since he allegedly claimed the rag was his idea)? There are so many odd things about this case... but unlike the other odd things, the "rag in the tailpipe" has no discernable purpose. I wish we knew more about it, whether LE studied it for clues and if so, what they found. For example, could LE tell if the rag had been stuffed in before or after the crash? Could LE forensically determine whether the exhaust particles matched Maura's car's exhaust? (Meaning, confirm the exhaust particles, if any, we're from the type of gas Maura used and not diesel, for example.)

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    1. Jmo, buy I dont think le had that kind of technology back then. I truly get the old man's idea of putting something in the exhaust, sort of an old wives tale.
      Common sense is that someone wouldnt touch anything near the exhaust on a running car, or even after the accident for that matter due to the pipe being hot enough to burn your hand and send you to the emergency room.
      I think any free flowing exhaust(maybe not a broken pipe with leaks) would easily blow the rag out of the exhaust upon the car running.

      Any chance or idea that maybe this was just a lame college prank? The rag in the tailpipe? More so than a potential suspect stalking and placing it there for ill intent.

      Sadly, I believe Fred on the little detail that he put it there or advised Maura to. It just seems to fit perfectly with an older person's repair idea to me.

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    2. The forensic ability to determine exhaust particulate on a material, in this case a rag, was present in 2004. This could determine simple issues as in gas vs diesel, but no further as there is no known distinction in the particulate matter from vehicle to vehicle of the same fuel type, i.e. nothing like DNA of a human. It is unknown if this test was conducted, but it would have been obvious as the soot in diesel exhaust would have caused the rag to turn black and not so with a properly running gasoline engine (the Saturn engine was running well enough).

      The rag had to have been placed in the tailpipe after the crash as it would not have remained in the exhaust with the vehicle engine running at cruising RPM. The exhaust pressure would have pushed the rag out. Furthermore the tailpipe would not be so hot as to burn skin immediately when the factors of the ambient temperature and the length of time from the crash and until MM is missing from the scene.

      I tend to think that the rag in the tailpipe was some type of signal. What and to whom I can only speculate. I doubt it was a college prank as it would not have remained in the exhaust from UMASS. FM may have said something to MM about placing a rag in a tailpipe at some point to curtail smoke, but I just don't believe the car was running that poorly.

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    3. The rag could've been put there to stop smoke coming out the exhaust, thus disguising her car. This makes the most sense to me if her car hit Petrit Vasi.

      It's possible Fred even knew about this, if it happened, and told her to make a run for it. There's plenty of breaking and skirting the law in evidence in and around that family (evidently).

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    4. Several reports indicate the red rag was from her first aid kit. On disappeared, Fred tells the audience he told Maura to put it in"smoking some fierce" he said. I agree with Maura's tow truck driver from Haverhill, the car stalled and she tried to gain control of the vehicle...also, it was "shoved way up there" so I doubt it was done where they found the car.

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  11. Do you think its possible they don't have the ATM video? You can't release something if it don't exist..

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    1. They are adamant they have "stills" from the ATM and can see no one in the background.

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  12. Just thought I'd share:
    I was speaking with a detective who does special crimes unit, alot of identity theft. A lady came forward saying her identity was stolen, thousands of dollars stole from her, and when he started looking into it he found a woman in prison in another state with this lady's same name, same b- day, same social, he started digging a lot more and found another woman in another prison in another state with the same social, same name, and same b- day. He contacted the prisons and came to find out they were in prison under this lady's name, social, and b- day.( she lived in a whole different state) The two women grew up as Best Friends and had this scheme going. They had originally been booked on petit theft, which this is when they gave them this name, b- day, and social , when they were fingerprinted they were fingerprinted under this false name. They were found out but he said A lot of times they aren't.
    He said its really easy for people to be under a New identity and no one ever know.
    Its not as hard as people think to start over as someone else.

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  13. But didn't she skip out on court? How could they keep her location secret? As a minimum, US Marshals or Dog the Bounty Hunter should then be going after her.

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    1. The FBI couldn't find her, and yes they did help the local police, despite what Fred has said. I doubt US Marshals or Dog could find her,(plus she's not a fugitive) she was simply put on a conditional probation.

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  14. Let's put things in perspective here: police don't know her whereabouts, there has never been a single credible sighting and she's been gone for over 11 years. The more time passes the less I think she is alive. This was no Houdini, or criminal genius...she was a 21 year old college kid with a few personal issues who drank frequently. At this point if she was found completely fine, I'd be mildly surprised. Found deceased wouldn't surprise me in the least. Statistically, the more time the passes the more likely they're dead. I know we all want to think this is a special case, but realistically I'm not inclined to think she is still alive at this point.

    Sure, some people can manage a voluntary disappearance for a few years, even a decade. More than a decade is pretty exceptional, and extremely uncommon. Typically these are people with money, resources, ingenuity and a lot to lose. Had she managed to fool this long, she'd be bordering on brilliant. But again, the odds. We talk about the odds of foul play being one in a million, but then go on to assume she's alive and hiding after a decade with no sightings...and find that any more probable?

    Unless we have a credible sighting in the near future, we're basically dead even in terms of probably outcomes here.

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    1. Agree with you. I just don't find any of the sightings particularly convincing.

      I think that trying to evaluate this case using statistics is a tricky proposition. Not useless, but tricky.

      For example, lots of people argue that the odds Maura encountered someone on Rt. 112 who abducted her are simply too low, but abductions as a whole are inherently improbable, and they happen in rural areas.

      Likewise, people like to argue that, in most cases, victims of foul play have a preexisting relationship with those who harm them, and therefore any related criminal activity must've involved someone who knew Maura beforehand. But in how many of the cases comprising the individual statistics is the victim last seen alone, at night, in a rural area, on the side of the road, 150+ miles from her last known residence? It's not as if Maura disappeared from her dorm, or her home.

      In the largest context, I guess all I'm saying is that I think it is problematic to speak about this case in terms of absolutes given the little we know and the absolute lack of physical evidence pointing one way or another.(e.g., "must've been a tandem driver," "she's alive, and that's why her friends won't talk," "an abduction is just too unlikely," etc.).

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    2. Joe, I completely agree with you. The problem with "what are the chances that someone stopped and grabbed her during the ten minutes she was there?" is that you could also say "what are the chances a woman disappears and is never found?" It's a remarkable case, so in my mind odds go out the window and we should be cautious about ruling things out -- and maybe never totally rule anything out.

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    3. Anon, do you have sources for your claims about odds, money, length of disappearance, etc? Please provide as they sound interesting.

      Maura's case isn't federal, so if she left the state she could use her real social security number and name and nobody in LE would ever know. E podcast went into this.

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    4. It's not so much odds than common sense. Most people found after extended periods are usually found dead, not alive. Sure, there are exceptions but for every one successful vanishing, I'll give you 100 examples of folks who disappeared in a more sinister way.

      We bank on Maura being alive and well, despite being a long shot based on the end result of countless missing people, but at the same time dismiss foul play...because it's a long shot.

      The point I'm trying to make isn't so much about odds but more about that we can't solely accept one outcome and dismiss the rest. Especially given the basic proven facts here leave a few possibilities open.

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    5. Regarding odds, here are some numbers:

      Nationally, in 2013, there were 661,000 missing persons reports. By the end of a year, 659,000 were solved. That's over 99% if I am doing my math right. (source: http://www.npr.org/2013/05/07/182000622/majority-of-missing-persons-cases-are-resolved)

      I can't find any statistics detailing the likelihood of a person being found okay as time goes on, but according to a rep from the Center For Missing and Exploited Children, the longer any person (not just a child) is missing, the "gloomier" the outlook gets. (source: http://m.wcfcourier.com/news/evansdale_search/statistics-on-missing-children-daunting/article_22ac5beb-378a-5bc6-b662-124e042c51a6.html?mobile_touch=true)

      My personal opinion is that she wandered into the woods and died. She also had some factors going on that are predictive of suicide, such as legal trouble and relationship problems, and also the fact that she didn't bother to wait for her paychecks (I have read that she was due to be paid from her jobs soon; if you were really planning on running away for good, why would you a) not wait for your paycheck and b) proceed to drain your bank account by buying liquor?) I think she is deceased.

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  15. @jjmcgr no she was on a "probation".

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  16. @Joe M I agree, perhaps the unknowns can be worked into calculations, possible but would take a while. That is beyond what is being used even in geographic profiling with hundreds of formulas to determine behaviour.

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  17. They are using geographic profiling for uses other than wanted criminals. It's applications are being used for animals as well. It has been known to be very accurate in the past and has been proven to be so. I think if they combined a profile of her as well as a geographic profile and satellite images from that exact time and date...the results may be indicative of an accurate answer.

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