Police search for Hanson's Maura Murray, who disappeared in 2004 in NH
LANDAFF, N.H. – Authorities on Wednesday searched an area near where Hanson, Massachusetts, native Maura Murray disappeared in 2004, the New Hampshire attorney general’s office announced.
The search was off Route 112 in Landaff and Easton.
The attorney general's office said the one-day search is over, but wouldn't say whether anything useful was discovered.
Officials said the search was not the result of new information in the case. Instead, it’s part of an “ongoing investigative process and will consist of a more extensive search surrounding areas that had been previously searched in a more limited fashion,” they said.
"Knowing that the investigators are actively doing a ground search 18 years after Maura's disappearance is all that my family could ask for," Murray's sister, Julie Murray, said. "We are very pleased to hear this news today, that not only are they actively searching, but the fact that they still care, and Maura has not become a file on a cabinet, which is my biggest fear."
Murray was 21 years old when she disappeared in February 2004. She had been a student at UMass-Amherst and left the college Feb. 9, 2004.
The Hanson native told professors there was a death in the family, but that wasn't true. At 7:30 that night, Murray’s car was involved in what appeared to be a single-car crash on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire.
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Shortly after, a person saw and spoke to someone believed to be Murray at the crash scene. However, when the police arrived, Murray was not there.
In the years since, numerous searches of the area at and around the crash scene have been conducted by law enforcement authorities and private citizens, with no positive results.
New Hampshire authorities say anyone with information about Murray is asked to call the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit at 603-223-3648 or email Coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov.
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Murray's family said they are encouraged by the most recent search.
"Normally, some of these searches are done privately," she said. "The fact that this was publicized and a press release was put out is, again, encouraging for my family."
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: NH area searched for clues in disappearance of Hanson's Maura Murray