I have a theory about the rag that was found in the tailpipe of Maura's car. But if it's true, it most certainly means that Maura Murray is no longer alive. I don't want to believe that's true. I want to believe she ran away from her life and her family and found a better place and a new name.
Recently, I discovered some new information about the case that calls everything into question. I will share this shortly. But it's causing me to rethink everything I understood about Maura's disappearance.
The one thing I still feel certain about is that there was a tandem driver. It's the only thing that explains how she disappeared so quickly. It also explains why she may have taken so much from her car -- backpack, booze, and who knows what else. Was she going to carry all that down the road with her or was she going to transfer it into a car? Or perhaps she'd already left it somewhere, else...
I think it's possible Maura had already arrived at a rendezvous point, a rental that was under the tandem driver's name. There is an extra 45 minutes that remains unaccounted for during her journey from Amherst to Haverhill, after all. When she got into the accident, maybe she was driving away from this person after an argument. Or a fight.
So, the rag.
There is only one rational explanation. Whoever put the rag there intended the car to stall. And perhaps it did. Maybe that explains the accident. Maybe she stalled near the turn by the weathered barn and clipped the corner. Whoever she was driving away from caught up and, given the choice of going back with them or explaining what happened to a cop, she went back with them.
I hope Maura is alive.
But if she's not, she was most certainly killed by someone she knew.