By Kristina Rex

HANSON (CBS) – Fred Murray believes he’s hit a major break in the 15-year-old cold case of his missing daughter, Maura.

On February 9, 2004, 21-year-old Maura Murray withdrew $280 from her bank account, drove north, crashed her car, and was never seen again. She never told anyone where she was headed or why: not her friends, not her boyfriend, and not her family.

Prior to leaving the UMass Amherst campus, the nursing student emailed her teachers, telling them she’d be missing a week of classes because of a fictitious family emergency. Hours later, when she crashed her car in Woodsville, New Hampshire, a passerby offered help. Maura waved them off, but they called police anyway. When the police showed up to the crash scene, Maura’s car was there, but the young woman was gone.

Maura Murray (WBZ-TV)

“I want to bring my daughter home and give her a proper burial,” Fred Murray told WBZ. He’s now 76-years-old, and has dedicated the last fifteen years of his life to finding his missing daughter.

That’s why he believes a new discovery in December 2018 could lead to solving his daughter’s case. Separate from the police investigation, the devastated father has searched for his girl with the help of private investigators, experts, and local people in Woodsville, New Hampshire.

On November 25th, and then again on December 1st, two different trained cadaver dogs responded to possible human remains in a basement just a stone’s throw from where Maura crashed her car in 2004.

Fred Murray had received a tip about the basement after the crash. Neighbors told him they believed someone buried a body there right around the time Maura went missing. The owners, however, never answered the door to let Fred inside. He tried multiple times over the course of 14 years.

Fred Murray (WBZ-TV)

When new owners bought the house, he tried again, and they obliged. On three separate occasions, two cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar equipment all pinged the exact location Fred had been tipped about. He isn’t sharing the location of the home publicly because of a deal he made with the homeowners, but calls its proximity to the 2004 crash site “astonishing.”

He feels this is the biggest break since Maura went missing. “Because it’s right there, and I feel I can reach out and grab it,” he said. “In the past, everything was kind of iffy.”

Investigators, however, do not appear to be on the same page as Murray. New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin told WBZ news Maura Murray’s case is still “open and active,” writing, “we do receive tips and information periodically, as well as generate new information from investigative efforts.”

Cadaver dog in basement near where Maura Murray went missing (WBZ-TV)

Regarding the basement discovery, Strelzin said the area “was searched by law enforcement in the past, including with dogs, and nothing of significance was discovered.” He said investigators are considering next steps regarding the discovery by Fred Murray.

But Murray isn’t convinced the work is being done. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “If you [searched] before, you missed it. If you brought your cadaver dog in, something is wrong with your cadaver dog.”

He hopes speaking publicly about his discovery near the 15th anniversary of his daughter’s disappearance will inspire investigators to reconsider revisiting the basement.

He knows there’s a chance Maura’s body isn’t in that basement, but says he wants investigators “to dig up whoever is there. There’s a human body, a dead body, a dead person. The odds are I think that it’s my daughter.”

Kristina Rex

Comments (10)
  1. Kerry Hultquist says:

    Why on Earth aren’t the new homeowners, who allowed the dogs to search in their home, simply REQUESTING that the authorities do an official search?????

    1. adrienc5 says:

      Who tipped him in the first place that that is where she was? I would probably dig also, but it’s all cement…tough to dig. When did they put all the stuff in the cellar? The older homeowners should be able to give the new ones some information about renovations. There should be a bill for supplies/services.

  2. Amy Pyer says:

    probably a cover up..they say she was gone when police arrived.maybe thats not the case..could have been a crooked cop first on the scene.

    1. Tina Labor says:

      A cover up for sure and not the first.

  3. Michelle Queen-Fairbrother says:

    If I purchased that home and these were the results I’d be getting a pick and shovel and digging it up along with Mr. Murray!

  4. #MauraMurray #LikoKenney #BruceMcKay #Murder #WhiteMountains #CircleofStones #BadBlood #CaseySherman #KingCast #FredMurray #Murder

    @GRLA_Ontologist @LReenstierna @MauraMissing

    Sgt. Chuck West covers up everything about Liko Kenney AND Maura Murray. Read this.

  5. adrienc5 says:

    How sad. I have 2 neighbors who grew up there and I have been there. There is not much there. I hope he at least finds his daughter’s remains to put him to rest.

    1. adrienc5 says:

      I do remember there being a lot of 4 wheelers in that area. There’s a lot of woods.

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