What happened to Maura Murray? Family reveals theories on nursing student’s mysterious disappearance

Maura Murray has been missing for nearly 14 years now, and investigators appear no closer to solving the case than they were in February 2004, when the 21-year-old nursing student’s car was found in Haverhill, New Hampshire, a two hour drive north of her dorm at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Maura had told her professors and her campus job employer that she needed some time off for a death in the family. But that story wasn’t true. And as documented in the podcast Missing Maura Murray, Maura’s father had been visiting her at school in the days just before her disappearance. The precise reason for his visit remains under question. 

In the years since she went missing, multiple theories about Maura’s disappearance have circulated online: Maybe she was murdered; maybe she died of exposure in northern New Hampshire after crashing her car on Route 12; maybe she was running from something, and faked her own death to start a new life under an assumed name.

In the first episode of the new Oxygen series Disappearance of Maura Murray, Maura’s family members appear to share their own theories of what might have happened.

“Something bad happened. Something went wrong,” Maura’s older sister Julie said in the series premiere.

“Her initial plan was maybe to go up there for whatever reason, no one knows, but then something happened and derailed that plan. If she was able to reach out and contact us and say, ‘hey guys. Stop worrying. I’m here. I’m fine,’ she definitely would have but that didn’t happen.”

Maura’s father Fred Murray agrees with his older daughter that something terrible must have happened to Maura for her to drop out of contact with her family.

“A guy grabbed her walking down the road and killed her. Probably that night,” Fred said.

“I think she was really upset about something and drove there. I don’t know why she went,” her father added.

Julie also said on the show that she was frustrated by what she feels like a slow response from law enforcement.

Nobody had any answers and there were changes in the police reports and it took forever for the police reports to be published,” Julie said.

“None of the police contacted me. I’ve never talked to the police and I’m her sister who was closest to her.”


Feature photo: Police handout