Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Final Destination?




I am quickly becoming a believer in the theory that Maura's destination the day she went missing was the UMass Outing Club's cabin in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. To get there from UMass, following the directions online, Maura would have exited off Rt 91 in Woodsville and taken 302 past Rt. 112, where her car was found. An alternate route, though, would have been to take Rt 112 to 93, then North to Bethlehem. Perhaps she thought that could be faster, or easier - this was in the days before cell phone map apps, after all. Or maybe that's the way she was taken there, before.

It makes a lot of sense when you consider she stopped looking for motels and cabins after coming up short. She knew there was a place she could stay up there, for free. Some place big enough for a couple people.

Maura likely knew of this cabin through Hoss Baghdadi, the track coach with whom she was having an affair. Hoss was active in the Outing Club.

I remain convinced that she was traveling in tandem with someone and it was this person (or persons) who picked her up at the accident. I'd like to think that they went on to the cabin or wherever, and then Maura continued on to her new life. I'm willing to consider, though, that Maura died at her next stop. Perhaps she hit her head too hard in the accident. Perhaps something else happened, there. If so, her body is likely near where she stayed that night.

The grounds around the UMass cabin have never been properly searched. And they should be.

I visited the place yesterday. Rugged country. In the summers, the ground all around is covered by thick ferns and it's hard to see what's there. What needs to happen is an organized search by Fish & Game, with about 100 volunteers.

60 comments:

  1. Ancientexplorer1989June 15, 2016 at 6:27 AM

    Nice work getting out there! I hope a search gets organized and we are all kept in the loop on it. I'll be there.

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    1. I don't believe anyone would take nursing text books with them if they aren't planning on returning to school! I would throw them away. It sounded like a study group was planned.

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    2. If you take nursing text books with you then you are planning on studying somewhere and usually a study group.

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  2. Other than stumbling on a pile of bones which would likely be buried or have been scattered by animals what in the world can searchers expect to find? I doubt cadaver dogs can pick up a scent 12+ years later.

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    1. I once read an article about cadaver dogs finding bones 20+ years later even if there under water they can smell the decay

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    2. Easton city limitsJune 17, 2016 at 5:11 AM

      cadaver dogs can pick up human scent for many years. There are also dogs that can sniff underwater and have found bodies up to 150 feet deep. Do not underestimate the capabilities of a cadaver dog.

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    3. You'd be surprised. I recently saw a case of cadaver dogs picking up the scent of a boy who vanished in the 1970s. Even crazier, the dogs located the scent in a body of water. Cadaver dogs are highly sensitive.

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    4. Not everything would rot away. Her possessions, the soles of her shoes, jewellery. Anything to prove if she was or was not in the woods at any point of time ever.

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    5. Cadaver dogs recently found my cousin at the bottom of Lake Oroville which is about 180-200 ft. The sheriff's dept. never would have known to look in that specific area if the dogs had not been used. I think they are an extremely useful tool and they should utilize them for an organized search around the cabin. Maura's things (text book, clothing, alcohol bottles, back pack, etc.) could very well be somewhere around that area as well. Even if she was met with foul play there would have been resistance and a struggle which would most likely cause her things to scatter leaving even the smallest item to be left at the scene. I just started getting into this missing person case. I'm a huge true crime and mysterious cases fan and have never really done a lot of research on my own. I enjoy watching documentaries and docudramas but this case just pulled me right in. I can't stop digging for clues trying to connect the dots! I think I can really relate to Maura. I was born in May of 1983 so I am one year younger and I went through a little troubled party phase at around her age when she went missing. I was also a dedicated athlete, always a really good daughter and didn't get into any trouble in high school. I feel like that easily could have been me that went missing.

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  3. I agree ...This very well could be where Maura was heading that night.
    Wasn't the Butsons grocery store, where the cashier believes she saw Maura with 2 friends,in Woodsville?
    It's interesting Hoss, left out the part about the UMASS cabin in NH, and that he had been there several times.
    Could Maura of been travelling with Kate, Sara, and Hoss?
    *the cashier sighting of Maura with 2 friends
    * Maura's computer searches for a 2 bedroom place to stay
    * All the alcohol Maura bought
    I still think it's possible that once Maura wrecked the Saturn, she decided at that point she couldn't come back.
    I agree: there should be an organized search around the UMASS outing cabin. If this was Maura's destination and something bad happened there, then most likely something of hers will be found in the area.

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    1. When Billy was calling Kate was it on her cell or dorm room phone?

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    2. The cashier who reports the sighting of Maura with two friends specifically said that it was Maura with two other females. That rules out Hoss being the third person. I'm not saying he wasn't along, he just wouldn't have been part of that sighting.

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  4. I believe based on the fact that Maura took the time to retrieve the proper documents/forms from the Registry/DMV/Insurance company pertaining to the initial traffic accident, proves that she did not intend on uprooting and abandoning her current life, I believe the gathering of said forms shows intent on Maura's part to maintain some degree of normalcy/consistency/compliance by filling out these forms and filing them. I think this action shows someone thinking about the immediate future, a future in that geographical area where the forms would be deemed important. A woman who was planning a life escape, or going off of the grid, would not have bothered retrieving those forms pertaining to the initial accident. I think this gives credence to the theory that she was met with harm at the hands of another or credence to the theory that she met her demise in the cold woods. What say you?

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    1. On the other hand, something else could have happened after she picked up the forms. It's certainly possible she fully intended to file the appropriate paperwork and then changed her mind for some reason. If she had been drinking and/or driving recklessly, she may have had trouble filling out the forms so she didn't incriminate herself, creating a delay in doing so. Something else even worse may have come up in the meantime - some unknown event or phone conversation that pushed her into leaving either temporarily or forever.

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    2. Agreed: this is the action of a woman who intended to continue with her current life. The assignment book and college texts in the car tell the same story. I can already hear protests that Maura was in fact throwing investigators off her trail, but a person capable of planting diversions would also be capable of predicting that police would soon arrive at an address where pizza was ordered with a stolen credit card number.

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    3. You have a good point. This is certainly one way to read it. But I think there is another possibility; if she wanted to cover her tracks, would leaving these forms laying around be a good way to throw people off?

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    4. I'm so glad the blog is still being updated. It's important that each one of these clues is explored and turned over...we won't know which clue is the critical one...until we DO know!

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    5. Maybe she got the forms to buy herself some time.I think she was supposed to call Fred Monday night to go over the forms together. If she had called Fred from her cell phone he would have thought she was still at UMass.

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    6. This is the argument propounded by the family partisans almost from day one. It's good to see that it never goes away. Those forms are quite an obsession with some. It is as though the presence of these documents were ironclad proof that Maura was absolutely and 100 percent bent on returning come hell or high water. Never mind that people who have set out on a course of suicide often do their regular chores and take care of important matters so as not to burden their loved ones; this includes packing boxes neatly so that no one need trouble themselves with packing and lifting. A person may sometimes choose to drive to a remote destination so that their body is not found by loved ones or people stopping by. They will also sometimes leave a note in which they wish to wrap up certain matters. Few write:"This is a suicide note." No need to spell things out as though one is dealing with fools. It must finally be pointed out that there is absolutely nothing about her having insurance forms that in any way, shape or form could lead anyone to think that she must have been murdered, especially given that there is not the slightest proof of this.Finally if she did die in the "cold woods" it is most likely because she found a remote spot and then took her life. She was(hopefully still is) a private and reserved person for whom dying alone in the woods would have been seen as a comforting way to go. Remember that her dad aid that she loved the mountains of New Hampshire!

      John Avellar

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    7. I am the OP in regards to the RMV document post. I am not sure why it was anonymous, perhaps I filled it out wrong, anyway...my name is Rob, and hello :) I am happy to see that many agree with me about this being a sign that Maura was not going to run off, it just doesn't add up for me, if I was going to bounce right now, TODAY and go off the grid, I could care less about handling my affairs at the RMV/DMV. I believe that would be so low on my priority list, I don't know. I really enjoy this blog, there seems to be some smart folks here. I've educated myself and got myself up to date pretty good on the MM case. I have indulged in James writings and appearances for countless hours, I don't believe he gets enough kudos for keeping this case in the limelight, there is a strong possibility that w/o his attention-far less folks would know the name Maura Murray. I hope to interact with you all more in the future, message me anytime. Have a great day!

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    8. I just see people searching for proof that doesn't exist. She was educated. If she was leaving but didn't want to alarm anyone, she could have secured the forms. Her having the forms proves nothing either way.

      People have a hard time not trying to impose what they think they would do or how they think they would react. They never understand it is not them involved. Human behavior runs the spectrum. You can never use how you think you would have reacted in a situation. Even your own family will not respond the same in situations. There is no normal way to react to any situation. When LE or others start saying their response was incorrect, I stop listening. There is no factual basis for those statements. In reality, when MM's family and friends make these statements, they are really clueless and many times invoke their 'hopes' into these statements. I understand it but they have no basis in truth.

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  5. It is possible, but then why begin drinking before she arrives? Food and drink are important in this case. If Maura Murray was visiting a cabin and knew this was her destination in winter, I think she would have gotten food before she arrived so she did not have to leave and drive around. This is all the more important if you consider she was going to continue to drink and get drunk that night February 9, 2004. And like we already have established, she was ALREADY drinking before she got to the cabin. Or at least that is what it appears to look like.

    The only think I remember from the picture of Kathleen with Maura Murray's belongings is that Maura Murray had either Diet or Cherry Coke 2 liter with her and that was most likely used to dilute the alcohol.

    I went on a one day hike, we took Progresso soups, trail mix, etc. and that was for one night. So what was not in the picture of Maura Murray's belongings? Food.

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    1. Yes and then again we have a college age young person most likely in distress not thinking clearly with alleged food/eating disorders. Sodas, alcohol, mind racing check check check oh well worry about food later.

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    2. If she was traveling in tandem with someone, perhaps Maura was designated to pick up the drinks and the other person was designated to pick up the food. Since the drinks were already with her, why not start drinking en route? (I mean, legalities aside, a lot of people do drink and drive. And, yeah, I was 21 once....)

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    3. If she was in fact traveling in tandem or with friends, they could have the food in their car considering Maura bought a lot of alchol, one would presume to share, then perhaps they bought the food in exchange. Just speculation and just a thought

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    4. These are all good replies to my comment. It is not just food and drink that is confusing. Why not bring her laptop with her to do her schoolwork or just to browse the internet?

      All that aside the cabin idea is a good idea because it explains the discount. When she purchased food using another person's credit card she used a coupon. Yet during all these calls to hotels and cabins did she ever ask about any AAA discounts? Hotels are not cheap. She had maybe if she was lucky enough money for two nights, not including the gas she needs for her car.

      So did the email to professors at UMASS really say she was going to be gone for a week due to a death in the family? She must have used that cabin because she did not have enough money for a weeks worth of hotels.

      Whether the phone call to AAA was true or not, Maura Murray knows she has help if she has a tandem driver. Even the AAA call we could pass off as the bus driver lying. But there was no cell phone reception.

      And she left her AAA card.


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  6. I have always thought that Mr B is holding back. Just my opinion, but I'm willing to bet he was in love with her and there is or was more to the story. James you interviewed him correct? What ere your thoughts on his demeanor?

    On a side note. Few years ago a kid who lived near me was drinking. He hit his head on the ground. Later that night he fell asleep while riding in a car. No one realized that he was dead. Everyone said he seemed perfectly fine.

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    1. The possible "head injury and later blacking out or succumbing" angle is a good theory.

      And by Mr B you mean Hoss right? Not Bill(y).

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  7. This is ceerjurrio aka mass to nh to az aka Joey currier phx az! I've stepped away from the case after being blown up on JS blog so I've stayed away. BUT! I'm moving home to mass/nh and I want to be a volenteer searcher. I have money and will provide h20 for all! I want to search through the tick ridden mountains before I begin my job. I will also bring my dog she's got a good nose and if nothing else protection from wild life. James been too busy but I will buy ur book soon! Anyway I'm back in the case. What's up all? Missed ya

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    1. If you need an avid outdoorsman from South Carolina I would be willing to help.

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  8. *huge* makes me wonder if the cabin was winterized ~ doesnt appear to be a place you'd wanna stay any length of time in the dead of winter unshoveled/unplowed. totally off the grid, more like a purrrfect meeting place to make a connection... rememberrr the rag-in-the-tailpipe @the "accident" scene was no happenstance. either a message to someone OR the location where the vehicle was left, was.

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  9. Glad to see you're still pitching for Maura Murray. Keep her in the light.

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  10. and btw. cabin area looks like tough sleddin' in a NH winter. wanna bet the plan was to dump the Saturn ;) and pile in a RED Pickup w/Mass plates??? betcha 4wd is needed to get to the cabin in Feb.

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    1. Can someone elaborate a little bit more on this mysterious "red pickup"? I've seen numerous mentions in posts by readers, but I don't ever recall seeing any substantial evidence about it.

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  11. I would like to see any proof of any kind of any conjecture. Until then, I would rely only on facts.

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    1. sumtime you have to argue a case on conjecture - especially here where facts & truths are few and far between.

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  12. I'm convinced that Kate and Sara know exactly what happened.

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    1. sure they do ~ as do a few more. makes you wonder what their Holy Grail is...

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  13. The cabin has to be reserved by somebody and that would have to be on record. The key is in a lock box hanging from the door knob like a realtor would use. I would search out this angle before I would do a property search. Did anyone reserve the cabin on that Monday?



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    1. *If* she went there then I
      am curious as to whether she knew if it was reserved or not.
      If she called to find out if it was reserved beforehand then whoever she spoke to would have come forward after she went missing and said she called to inquire about it.
      If she didn't call (which I don't think she did) then she'd be just hoping it was empty. And if so, wouldn't she be concerned that someone might show up the next day? Seems too risky unless she only wanted to hide there a few hours before moving on.

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    2. Easton City LimitsJune 21, 2016 at 5:46 AM

      And yet another expert heard from. JWB is nothing more than a local troll.

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  14. If this was her destination that night, clearly her car did not make it that far. However, if she was indeed traveling in tandem with someone, did they make it? If so, it suggests she was still alive at the time and I'm sure after all this time, there won't be any trace of her there. She and anyone else she was with would have eventually moved on, especially if this cabin is still used by UMass students as a retreat or continued to be used for some time after her disappearance.

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  15. What was the coaches work attendance that week? After the weekends track event's in Rhode Island.

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  16. James, have you research the tidbit offered by Kaye Dwyer on FB suggesting Maura *might* have been transferring to the Dartmouth engineering program? Apparently the night she went missing there was a seminar and she may have gotten lost trying to find the campus. Idk about this but anything at this point is worth looking into

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  17. will join search if needed and coordinated, jim do you need someone to coordinate

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  18. The hinky meter is off the scales, though, when discussing the obscene amount of calls on a certain person's cell phone. Why so many, especially before and after the disappearance? Maybe to establish an alibi? Something is not right, that's for sure.

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  19. Thinking, does anyone know what kind of student Maura was? Nursing programs often have strict GPA requirements. You get one unacceptable grade, you're out. And Kate Dwyer is correct. Clinicals are often the killer for students. Though Maura did email teachers.

    Occams Razor probably doesn't apple here, but it could.

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  20. Why has a group like Equusearch (spelling?) not gotten involved? I think someone should start a go fund me to fund an epansive search of the area using a third party group

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  21. Just throwing out the idea that Maura might have been pregnant, either by Billy or someone else. Could she have planned to abort the baby by using too many birth control pills (taking too many becomes a sort of Plan B), which she brought with her? Didn't she search pregnancy and alcohol on her computer the weekend before her disappearance? She and Billy were having problems and she might have felt that a pregnancy would stall her nursing program. Or it could have been another man who was the father. How would Billy or her father reacted to a pregnancy? Maybe she was afraid to use the campus medical center? Did she feel she needed to get away to abort a pregnancy? Could she have brought along her two best friends from Amherst for support? Is that their secret?

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    1. I have a tough time with this theory.

      It just doesn't make sense to me that a nursing student would run off and try to do this the at-home way. Amherst is such a progressive town, and there are at least one (I think probably two) providers of abortion services within walking distance of campus. They would have done this for free for a student.

      There was just no reason for her to run off to do this in an uncertain way when it would have been completely trivial to get one locally and nobody would ever even know about it.

      For people who haven't lived there it is hard to understand just how liberal the 5 college area is. It just doesn't make sense for someone who had lived at UMass for any length of time.

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    2. You can't abort using too many birth control pills or Plan B anyway. It requires mifepristone and misoprostol. Even if she was trying to induce an abortion, why wouldn't she do it in her dorm?

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  22. My theory has always been she was meeting someone that night. Because if she was leaving for good, why call the professor and lie, who cares she's not coming back. Once I heard about this cabin information, I think she was going there to meet someone or maybe the other places she had called. I think she met with foul play there. Her car was staged to look like that and whomever the witnesses seen was not Maura.

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  23. In the Saturn, a magnetic Can Opener, was found. Hmmm. Something you might need if your heading to a remote cabin.

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  24. So if she was going there, she would've heard about it from that coach guy. He was pretty forthcoming with you regarding their relationship. WHY wouldn't he divulge this info? It's pretty innocuous, at least from his POV.

    His response was "omg she did it, she ran away."

    That doesn't jibe with him telling her about a cabin unless he had told her at some point before and forgot. If thats the case, did she look for other destinations, then remember about this place?

    k my head hurts again. It sucks because there really is no info so it's so easy to think of a million plausible scenarios.

    The most important thing to me is that very little time passed between final car accident and her leaving the scene.

    The biggest question that arises from that is, she had no cell activity, at least on that phone, soooo, if she was picked up, how'd they know she crashed? Were they behind her and just caught up? Why were they 7 minutes behind her? That doesn't make sense. A tandem car in an area with no reception would be closer, either ahead or behind. They would have had to be ahead of her and noticed she was no longer in sight. Though that's kind of a long time to not notice a car isn't behind especially at night with headlights.

    Then there's the rag. Which was probably put there post crash when she was outside the car. BTW, at night, with not much lighting if any, it would've been a little scary to have gotten out of a car, at least to a lot of people. This makes me renege on my comment that the rag was put in the pipe at that scene.

    Gah, for real people, losing my mind.

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  25. Just out of a movie life is out of control and you crash your car step out and keep on walking in the dead of night leaving your fate to the gods >>>> If she was overwhelm with life choices bad or good or out of her control this could be she wanted to escape or to run far away from her life yet no one seems to pick p a tract or scent - I feel that she could not reach out to her family or father why??? did she feel she was failing in her family eyes and not being able to keep going with out the support she needed to prove she did not need help- hoe sad that everything was getting out of hand for her no trust in a boyfriend she left behind at west point and now for her lack of judgement she may have been sent packing out of her dorm or school and crashing her father car was the icing on the cake all to much for her -drinking self medicating -cheating lying and taking credit information when all she should have done was ask for help call dad or she wanted to prove she could do it all on her own - I pray for her and hope that she is still alive so young yet so alone and wanting to do so good to be proud and have her family proud of her and her goals that where being dash in front of her eyes and the fear of failing everything she thought she wanted, If this area not that large -why have the town people not come out to search in that wooded area and waters streams ? or empty cabins - or she may have taken a ride with someone in town where she may be staying out of site and able to live with them with out them saying or calling anyone to where she been living - maybe she playing nurse to so one who is giving her room and board and food without a red flag going out...or she may have fallen into a dark hole and cannot call out for help and is captive - I preyed for her and hope for the best that she is not suffering in the hand or hands of evil ...

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  26. How far is the cabin in relation to the coordinates?

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    1. Excellent question! Google maps cannot estimate the route--probably because the trail is so remote--but I've created a graphic that shows it's approximately 25 kilometers (about 15 miles).

      http://tinypic.com/r/oszocl/9

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  27. After listening to Lance and Tims new podcast episode, im glad people are looking into the cabin possibility. I have been trying to comment on items found in her car, but can't seem to go through. After reviewing the items again, I think suicide theory is out. Why take crest white strips and be enjoying all your favorite drink and snack items? Also, sleeping pill pks probably came out of the sleeping pill box, as did car items from the Sears bag and possibly other items from the Shaws bag in the accident. Did anyone check these stores for Maura purchasing items from those two places the day she left? Again her possibly spending more of the money she withdrew. Also, why her Samsung cell adapter AND another AC adapter? Was the other one from her type of phone or someone else's? And whose might that be? Just some thoughts.

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  28. If folks are considering organizing search parties, I thought it might be a good idea to compile a list of locations that have been mentioned. Feel free to add anything. The cabin is definitely a strong one, as well as the location where some of Maura's clothes were possibly found:

    - UMass Outing Club's cabin in Bethlehem, New Hampshire (Maura’s possible destination night she went missing)
    - Hummingbird Lane and swamp there (Rick Forcier reported sighting)
    - Sherbrooke, Quebec (Maura sightings)
    - Warren, NH logging road (location a sweatshirt with the initials MM in black permanent marker and a champion sock were reportedly found. “Reports of a red truck (Ford 150?) with Mass plates [green lettering?] in the area, acting suspicious. Supposedly found in late June/ early May? A barrel of red liquid. Probably with a gun. “)
    - 2004 work sites of any identified persons of interest
    - Crash site (corner of Bradley Hill Rd. and Wild Ammonoosuc) – houses that haven’t been searched; woods again (thoroughly searched yet an obvious location for continued searches)
    - Loon mountain (been mentioned with regards to Maura)
    - Bretton Woods
    - Desolation trail, White Mountains (coordinates tip sent to James; only for an organized group to search as dangerous terrain and remote)
    - Jigger Johnson campground. (“If you look on Google Maps and follow that road in the direction MM was going you will eventually get to Jigger Johnson campground. This was a place she was familiar with and thought it was particularly nice. She definitely know the area.”)
    - Pemi overlook, White Mountains (reported location a backpack was found)
    - Saco ME. (James Renner’s PI found that someone may have used Maura’s name and/or social security number in Saco, Maine in October of 2004.--Good place to put up flyers?)
    - Big farm in Bradford, VT. ( “The one the feds investigated years ago for concealing dead bodies and possible murderers.” I don't know much more about this one”)

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