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FBI and N.H. State Police search Haverhill home but find ‘no evidence’ in Maura Murray case

  • Authorities search a home on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., on April 3, 2019, near where Maura Murray disappeared in Feb. 2004. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Joseph Ressler

  • In this Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014 photo, a missing person poster of Maura Murray hangs in the lobby of the police station in Haverhill, N.H. Ten years ago, the Massachusetts college student drove off a road in a rural section of Haverhill in northern New Hampshire and hasn't been seen since. She left a tormented family, vexed investigators and a case rife with rumor and innuendo. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

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    "I just don't know if the police are right," Fred Murray said after a news conference at the Grafton County Courthouse in North Haverhill, N.H., on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Earlier in the day, New Hampshire State Police and the FBI searched a home on Route 112 near where his daughter Maura Murray crashed her car and disappeared in 2004, and they announced that they did not find any evidence in connection with the case. "I thought for sure this was going to be it." Murray said. "I don't know what I'm going to do now." (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Joseph Ressler

  • Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin, right, talks in a news conference alongside New Hampshire State Police Col. Christopher Wagner at the Grafton County Courthouse in North Haverhill, N.H., on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Earlier in the day, State Police and the FBI searched a home on Route 112 near where Maura Murray crashed her car and disappeared in 2004. They did not find any evidence in connection with the case, Strelzin announced. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Joseph Ressler

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/3/2019 1:29:20 PM
Modified: 4/3/2019 10:04:22 PM

HAVERHILL — The FBI and New Hampshire State Police searched a home on Route 112 on Wednesday in connection with the unsolved disappearance of a Massachusetts college student 15 years ago but found no evidence related to the case.

Law enforcement investigators and technicians canvassed the home at 92 Wild Ammonoosuc Road, near where 21-year-old Maura Murray went missing in February 2004, and cut into the concrete basement floor to look for evidence. The search followed pleas from her father and supporters who said private cadaver dogs and a radar scan last fall indicated something was buried under the basement floor.

“No evidence was found in connection with that case,” Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said at a news conference following Wednesday’s search of the home, not far from the Ammonoosuc River and entrance to the White Mountain National Forest.

The Attorney General’s Office and state police previously had reviewed video footage from the privately backed search by cadaver dogs and radar scan, and Strelzin said it had shown “no credible evidence” connected to the case. The scan showed “disturbed ground,” but not “objects,” he said, and authorities did not feel they had probable cause to search the home.

However, to “cross (the structure) off the list,” authorities obtained the homeowners’ permission and decided to search the inside of the house, Strelzin said.

Two state police dogs searched the home in February and “there were no detections,” he said, and Wednesday’s excavation also found nothing relevant to Murray’s disappearance.

About a dozen marked and unmarked state police cruisers lined Route 112, and a large FBI vehicle was stationed in the driveway as the search was conducted. A generator ran continuously on the property, while technicians in white suits went in and out of the home, near where Murray was said to have crashed her vehicle on Feb. 9, 2004.

Investigators dug down several feet and discovered only a small piece of “what looks to be potentially pottery or maybe a piece of old piping,” Strelzin said.

The search drew reporters from throughout the state, as well as TV news media including a helicopter from Boston stations. And the negative results didn’t sit well with the missing woman’s father, Fred Murray, who has kept searching for his daughter for the past 15 years and said he isn’t convinced that Wednesday’s search completely ruled out the home.

Murray, 76, said state police should have dug farther into the corner of the home where the private cadaver dogs made a detection.

“I’m not satisfied that they got anywhere near close enough,” he said after the news conference, which was held outside the Grafton Superior courthouse in North Haverhill. “This one hurts. I thought we finally had it. I was pretty sure.”

Police say Maura Murray appeared to have been in a single-vehicle crash on a sharp corner near the home, and that the University of Massachusetts-Amherst nursing student went missing shortly after making contact with a school bus driver who lived nearby and called police. When police arrived, she was nowhere to be found. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Shortly after Murray disappeared, police canvassed the exterior of the home, but didn’t go inside, Strelzin said on Wednesday. The home has changed hands since Murray’s disappearance.

“We know someone is in there. I think it’s my daughter,” Murray had said on Wednesday before the results of the official search were released. He and his son, Kurtis Murray, were observing the search from across the street throughout the morning.

Strelzin said the Attorney General’s Office and state police are continuing to follow up on leads in the case, which he called “very active.”

Kurtis Murray, 30, said he’s spent half his life wondering what happened to his older sister, whom he used to camp with at a spot off Route 112. He said he believes someone “grabbed” his sister after the crash and “then it went terribly wrong.”

“We are hoping for answers,” he said.

Fred Murray, who lives south of Boston, said he feels state police failed him 15 years ago, but that he was “grateful” for their presence on Wednesday. He said he provided the police with information many years ago that his daughter may be inside that home and they failed to act.

“It’s just frustrating,” Fred Murray said, vowing to never give up searching for his daughter.

He said he hopes the FBI will take up the case full time.

“She wants to come home and be buried in her hometown,” he said. “I need help. ... I can’t do it alone. Please help my daughter.”

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.




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