My Theory About The Disappearance of Maura Murray: February 9, 2004

In 2015 two young men had gone missing after leaving Rocklahoma, a huge three day Rock festival held each year near Pryor. My wife and I live close to the Oklahoma border and decided to help search for the two young men. I knew the town where the boys lived was in Okmulgee a few miles west of Hwy 69. I also knew there had been torrential downpours the night the boys left the concert. Highway 69 moves in a north-south direction and there are several highways the boys could have taken heading west that would have led them back to their hometown. My first instinct was the boys may have crashed off the side of the road due to the bad storms that evening. The worst-case scenario I realized as I drove south on highway 69 was if the boys got lost and went south past I-40 and ended up taking the first exit and ran into the lake. My worst fears would soon be realized when the waters receded and the boy’s van was found with their bodies inside.

It was a terrible tragedy, and one I often think could have been avoided if the boys had taken any of the roads heading west-bound on 69 or even if they had driven to I-40 and headed west and took the exit at Henryetta that would have taken them home safely. Perhaps this was their intention was to drive to 40, but missed the exit ramp and drove on to the next exit to turn around and inadvertently drove into the lake where the water had probably already risen and they just never saw it coming before it was already too late.

Although the boys had already died before my wife and I began our search for them, another strange thing happened while we were driving the back roads of Oklahoma near Muskogee. It was after dark, around 7 or 8 in the evening, and I was driving around fifty-five miles per hour when I spotted something, someone, and it was like a flash, walking along the side of the roadway.

I pulled over immediately and turned around and as we approached the person walking I realized it was an African-American man, stocky and about 5’9 and was wearing no shirt, no shoes and all he was wearing was an orange pair of pajama type pants inmates wear.

Much to my wife’s chagrin, I pulled over, and I had her contact 911 and give Law Enforcement our location as I stepped out of the vehicle and approached the man. I began speaking with the man and realized early on something was wrong, because he spoke in what many refer as a “word salad” associated oftentimes with people suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He informed me he was on his way to Oregon to play for the Mighty Ducks, and he wasn’t aware he was in Oklahoma, but he never came off as threatening, and soon I was able to convince him to it down near a ditch bank and away from the road to avoid accidentally being hit by oncoming traffic. He also remembered his name and remembered he was from Oklahoma and had somehow managed to walk out of a mental health facility.

Within 20 minutes or so, a police officer arrived. I told the young man before the officer took him back to the facility I would contact his family and his church and soon he was gone and my wife and I drove back to Arkansas and that would be the last time I would see him. I did contact his family and his church and got to know more about him and they thanked me for having been kind enough to stop and believe if I hadn’t he may have been hurt or worse, he may have hurt someone or worse. I also know it’s possible he could have hurt me, then again, it’s also possible if I had cruel intentions I could have hurt him. He was at least 10 miles outside of Muskogee heading west on a dark and desolate road. If he had turned violent I did have ways to defend myself, and my wife knew this, but it’s possible no matter how well prepared I was he could have overwhelmed me and hurt me, hurt my wife, but that didn’t happen thankfully. I also assume had it not been me who stopped looking to help, it’s possible someone else may have stopped looking to harm the young man who simply was off his medicines and was lost.

These two incidents of the two young boys leaving a rock concert and just happen to drive down the one road that led into a lake and this young man that had somehow managed to walk out of a mental health facility and then found half-nude down a dark desolate highway, and many cars had passed him prior to me stopping, remind me of the disappearance of Maura Murray.

Could her disappearance be as simple as having taken the wrong road, and perhaps she’d also been drinking, wrecked her car on a dark and desolate highway in New Hampshire, and after refusing help from a local citizen and fearing the police arriving on the scene and arresting her for a DUI, she hopped into a car looking to escape the scene of the accident and unfortunately, the driver was no good samaritan?

Maura Murray’s case, just like so many other cold cases involving missing persons, unsolved homicides, or unidentified bodies, is baffling–one where there are many theories from suicide, accidental death, some who think she left of her own volition and is hiding in Canada, a police cover-up, a family cover-up, to being in the wrong place at the wrong time and was abducted by a serial killer, or perhaps she unknowingly hitched a ride with her killer, or perhaps she hitched a ride with someone who took her on to Canada and for whatever reason the person has never come forward with this information.

To be honest, the events leading up to her disappearance most likely would not be seen as suspicious had she not disappeared and has been missing now 16 years later. Nevertheless, because she hasn’t been seen since February 9, 2004, the actions she took prior to her disappearance makes her case seem more mysterious.

From the outset, it seems Maura may have been depressed. Two days earlier she had wrecked her father’s new car, totaling it after she’d been out all night drinking. Three months earlier, Maura had been cited for using a fraudulent credit card to order pizza. Apparently, she was also in a relationship with a man who she wasn’t happy with and there were rumors he had cheated on her. All this, I know, seems to paint a negative picture of Maura Murray, but violating the law, and being seemingly unhappy or depressed hadn’t always been her story.

She was an athlete, an honor roll student, who loved the outdoors and spending time with her family. She was being courted by several Ivy League schools but chose West Point and was accepted. Maura was no underachiever. Maura Murray was serious and studious, and adventurous until it all went pear-shaped–over something so minor, so uncharacteristic of a West Point Cadet, she was caught shoplifting make-up–$5.00 worth of make-up she had the money in her purse to purchase. This resulted in violating West Point’s honor code, but she was allowed to transfer to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to avoid being expelled from West Point.

At UMass, she studied nursing and all was apparently going well for the 21-year-old until she was busted and admitted to using a stolen credit card in November 2003. Even so, the judge was willing to allow her to have the charges dismissed if she did not violate the law for the next three months. Even when she wrecked her father’s car, the responding officer did not cite her for a DUI, and only completed an accident report form, and one would think this would not be in violation of her probation with the courts. And even more, the totaled car would be covered and replaced by her father’s insurance. So, from an outsider’s perspective, it didn’t seem like too big a deal, not one to become suicidal or depressed over.

Still, two days later, all that would change on Monday, February 9th, 2004 when all these events would come into question as to Maura’s state of mind and what would motivate her to inform her teachers she would be missing class the next week due to a death in the family (when there had been no death in the family), withdraw all her money (about $280.00) purchase $40.00 of liquor and leave Massachusetts in her black 1996 Saturn (a car which had multiple mechanical problems) and drive north on I-91 towards Vermont, (it is believed she had been heading towards Stowe, Vermont because she had made calls to hotels in the area).

Maura did not inform anyone of her intentions, she apparently just decided to get into her car and leave. Vermont was a place she had been to in the past. She’d gone there with her father and sister and had been hiking and skiing and camping. So it’s possible Maura just needed to get away from everything. I’ve done it. Most of us (at least those brave enough to admit it) have made an excuse to skip class. Many of us didn’t bother to tell anyone about our plans–especially if you are 21, and most of us expect nothing to go wrong meaning no one ever has to know about the trip. And had this been one of those trips for Maura Murray, no one would care about her skipping class, or psychoanalyze her rationale for leaving school without informing anyone in her family or why she lied to her friends and teachers about a death in her family, but it was not one of those trips. And everything that could go wrong did go wrong, leading many to conclude Maura was suicidal or was planning to disappear and possibly move to Canada.

It is unknown if Maura took the wrong exit which would lead her away from Stowe, Vermont, or if she intentionally drove towards Havenhill, New Hampshire. If Stowe was her intended destination she had most likely taken a wrong turn and may have been lost. Stowe is approximately 66 miles northwest of Havenhill. Then just a few miles north of Havenhill, she took a right on Highway 112 which led even further away moving southeast. But by this time it was dark, two feet of snow covered the lush dense forests on both sides of the highway and the area she was in had no cellphone service.
By all accounts of the evidence examined in the aftermath, Maura had downloaded directions to Burlington, Vermont, and had contacted a hotel in Stowe, Vermont, so it would appear as if Maura had taken the wrong exit. Perhaps she had taken an exit to stop and purchase fuel and got turned around directionally by doing so and ended up heading east and into Haverhill. Then again, one could argue it’s possible Maura Murray left these ominous clues behind to throw anyone off her trail. But then again, if Maura was looking for a small resort skiing town to rent a room and relax for a few days it’s possible she took the right exit and turned right on 112 heading elsewhere such as Loon Mountain Ski Resort. But if we are guessing one could assume she was driving in that particular direction to meet someone she knew or had possibly met online (although there is no proof of this.)

It is possible we may never know what Maura was up to, where she was going, and why she was going in the direction she was heading. As far as I know, Maura was just taking a road trip to get away for the evening and had taken 112 to head towards Lincoln, New Hampshire and then intended to drive back south to Amherst. It’s possible. Regardless of all these scenarios what we do know is that Maura only made it approximately 4 miles once she made the right turn off of Highway 202 in an area known as Woodsville Haverhill, New Hampshire onto Highway 112 and at a sharp curve Maura lost control of her car, swerved, spun all the way around where it appeared she had been driving west instead of east and hit a tree at least over 20 miles an hour because her airbags deployed, caused damage to her bumper and busted her radiator making her car inoperable.

And this for most people would be the end of the story. A person living nearby would contact police, and if injured, medics would be dispatched, and perhaps Maura would have been able to contact a friend from school, or a relative and someone would have come and picked her up and I wouldn’t be writing this now.

And in fact, this is how the story played out–in the beginning anyway. Soon after Maura wrecked her car, a person living nearby heard the crash, saw her wrecked car from their window and contacted police within a minute or so after Maura crashed. As this person was making the call to 911 the caller witnessed another person, a neighbor driving a school bus stop where Maura had wrecked. This man would be the last known person to speak with Maura.

He asked her if she needed help, but she refused and instead told the man she had contacted the AAA auto club. The man would later state he did not believe her because the area she had crashed had no cell service. Although she didn’t appear to be bleeding, and only shivering because of the cold the man would also later state it is possible she had been drinking because she slurred her words as she pleaded with him not to contact police.

The original call to 911 happened at 7:27 PM. After checking on Maura and making sure she was not in immediate danger, the school bus driver would leave and go to his home about 300 yards from the crash site and once inside his home he also contacted police. When the bus driver went inside his home to make the call he could not see Maura but witnessed a few cars drive past. Police would arrive nine minutes after the original 911 call only to find Maura’s wrecked Saturn, but no Maura. She had vanished and hasn’t been seen or heard from again in 16 years.

When police arrived on the scene and began searching her car they noticed the alcohol, and red stains on the door and other parts of the car that appeared to be made by the box of red wine Maura had purchased. One could theorize Maura had been drinking and this is why she was fearful of the police being called because it would lead to her going to jail and being charged with DUI. On the other hand, it’s possible as a result of the impact the wine box broke open causing it to spill in the car, and Maura may have feared she’d have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI. This theory seems to be the best explanation as to why Maura “pleaded” with the bus driver not to call the police. It may even explain why Maura had vanished before the police arrived, perhaps hitching a ride with a passerby. Then again, it has been theorized she took off walking into the woods, but this theory has been dismissed because no footprints were found in the snow leading out into the woods. Then again Maura was an athlete and had been a star on her high school track team and its possible she took off running as fast and as far away as she could from the immediate area.

However, this is the problem, no one knows–except perhaps Marua, and/or perhaps the person Maura may have hitched a ride with or the person who may have abducted her. In the immediate aftermath, when her family was contacted and arrived at the scene of the accident even her father claimed she may have been depressed and walked out into the woods and off the beaten path and committed suicide. It’s also plausible she wandered out into the woods and would later succumb to hypothermia. Nevertheless, it doesn’t explain how it is 16 years later, after numerous searches, not one cadaver dog, not one volunteer covering a 12-mile radius from the scene of the accident has found her body, any of her clothing or the black backpack she may have left the scene of the accident carrying.

Occam’s Razor suggests that the simplest solution is most likely the right solution. In this particular case, one could then theorize the simplest solution is that Marua Murray, after wrecking her car, and having been drinking alcohol refused the school bus drivers assistance because she would have most likely been arrested for DUI and to avoid this she hitched a ride with someone passing by, entered their car and this person most likely took advantage of her and Maura may have fought back and the situation escalated and she was murdered.

This does seem the simplest solution when rules out the theory Maura abandoned the scene of the accident by escaping into the wooded area since the immediate area in a 12-mile radius has for the most part been searched by law enforcement, search and rescue dogs, and helicopters equipped with the thermal imaging equipment known as FLIR without finding her or any items having belonged to Maura.

What are the odds however of Maura running into someone who took advantage of the young woman as opposed to running into someone who may have picked her up and took her someplace safe? It would seem the latter scenario would have led to this individual once taking Maura away from the crime scene if their intentions were honorable she would have been allowed to use their phone to contact family or friends to come to her rescue. There is no record of this having happened and the first notification Maura’s family received about her accident was when they were contacted by the New Hampshire State Police.

Then again, what if Maura, after she already crashed her father’s car two days earlier, and now having wrecked her own car, and looking at possibly violating her probation were picked up by a good samaritan and somehow convinced this person to take her to Canada?

It’s possible. The Canadian border is only two hours driving distance from where Maura wrecked her vehicle. Moreover, what if Maura were picked up by a good samaritan and were able to convince the driver she was on her way to a specific location to meet with friends, someplace nearby, a campground perhaps, and the driver took her there believing she would be safe once she arrived at her destination.

Obviously, there is a potential flaw in this theoretical version of events. It would seem the person once they heard the news of Maura being missing would immediately contact Law Enforcement. Still, it can’t be ruled out the driver was just passing through and didn’t live in the immediate area and has never learned of the important role the driver played in the disappearance of Maura Murray. It’s also possible the driver chose not to contact the police for other reasons other than he was responsible for her death, but because the driver didn’t want to become involved or linked to the case fearing they may be implicated in a crime.

However, let’s assume, Maura being an intelligent woman knew exactly where she was going and took the right exit leading her to Haverhill and all was going according to plan up until she wrecked her car. For example, one could assume that during her trip she may have stopped and purchased a map of the area. One would assume being a former West Point cadet, and an experienced hiker, she understood how to read a map and even how to use a compass. Let’s also assume she was suicidal and she first looked to rent a hotel in a place she was familiar such as Stowe, Vermont, but somewhere along the way she changed her mind and decided to go east towards Haverhill to another remote location.

In a recent Oxygen Channel Documentary “The Disappearance of Maura Murray” the filmmakers interviewed Todd Bogardis, the official in charge of the multiple search efforts to locate Maura Murray. Within the first 48 hours search parties traveled multiple roadways in a ten-mile radius looking for footprints Maura may have left if she entered into the woods, but searched no further than from the road. A few days later, cadaver dogs were brought out to search within a 2-mile radius of the crash site. Later on, Law Enforcement searched several areas within a 12-mile radius but never deviating two miles from the road. They even extended their search to areas further away from the crash site in places it had been known Maura had frequented in the past and found nothing.

One could deduce by examining Maura’s past that she seemed somewhat impulsive such as stealing the $5.00 item she had the money to pay for which would cause her to leave West Point. She admittedly used a stolen credit card to order pizza which caused her to be placed on probation, and yet one could also say she was an above-average intelligence person who challenged herself to become an all-star on her high school’s track team and was a 4.0 or above student. Maura was no fool, and seemingly when she set her mind to something she was determined to carry it out to the end.

If we assume taking the exit to Haverhill was not a mistake, and taking a right turn onto Highway 112 was not a mistake, we can assume Maura had also known where she was going and may have been close to her destination when the crash occurred. Although the wreck was a major setback, it doesn’t mean she was going to allow the crash to keep her from making it to the place she was driving too.

What if her destination was within a few miles of the crash site, yet she could have walked there in under two hours without ever having to leave the road? No one knows what she had on her person once she left the crash site, all is known is what she left behind. Perhaps she had a flashlight, a map, and a compass?

Also if we were to assume Maura was contemplating suicide prior to departing UMass for New Hampshire, the crash may have only made her more committed to doing so.

She was not going to go to jail. She was not going to accept help. She was not going to disappoint her father again. It’s possible she was on a mission and was now more determined to carry it out.

This scenario is not unprecedented. In many cases, people do not leave notes behind to loved ones. It’s possible in most cases it’s only after the fact the people closest to the suicidal see warning signs leading up to the point of a loved one committing suicide.

In January 2008 in Little Rock, Arkansas a successful accountant for a large construction business vanished from his home. Later, his car would be found about two hours away at Petit Jean Mountain State Park. Search teams scoured the mountainous terrain looking for him and found nothing. One of the officials even proclaimed after several searches there was no way John Glascow was on Petit Jean Mountain because it was such a popular tourist destination for hiking he believed someone would have found his body.

Rumors began circulating that Glascow had been accused of accounting malpractice and feared to lose his job or worse, ending up in jail, although it was later proven he had done nothing wrong, many people believed Glascow fearing the worst abandoned his car on Petit Jean Mountain, met up with someone and left Arkansas to start over with a new identity.

In 2011, Law Enforcement received information from an inmate serving time in prison that he knew the whereabouts of Glascow’s body because he had helped those who murdered him bury the body. The inmate passed a polygraph and was in jail on a similar charge of attempting to abduct his wealthy boss in order to extort money from him. It seemed plausible.

However, in 2015 the case would finally be solved when two boys from a local school decided to skip class for the day and drive up to Petit Jean Mountain and while hiking they wandered off the beaten path and found a skull later confirmed to be John Glascow. Even more, the skull was found within a mile from where Glascow’s car was found seven years earlier.

Even though some in his family still suspect foul play, there were no weapons found near the remains and it seems most likely that John Glascow left his home in 2008 and drove to Petit Jean Mountain with the intention of committing suicide.

The cases seem similar, Glascow was feeling pressure from problems at work, but never made anyone aware of just how depressed and overwhelmed he had become due to the accusations being made against him, even knowing the allegations were unfounded. He did not write a note, he left his home and drove to a remote, yet very public place, parked his car, and apparently walked about a mile away and somehow, whether through jumping to his death or having taken medications causing his death, he died there and it would be seven years before his body was discovered by two teenagers playing hooky from school.

Following this thread, let’s assume Maura Murray was also suicidal. She considered several options including Stowe, Vermont, but changed her mind and decided to head towards Haverhill and then east on Highway 112. Let’s even go a step further and assume she had not been drinking but when she crashed she refused help because she didn’t want help, she was on a mission. It is known that some of the alcohol she purchased was missing from the car. It is also known that she had several boxes of sleeping pills, some she left behind in the car.

Within a couple of days of her disappearance, a bloodhound was brought to the crash site and seemed to be able to track Maura’s scent and the dog led the search team about 400 feet to Bradley Hill Road the nearest intersection moving east from Highway 112. The bloodhound lost the scent there leading to the theory that Maura Murray may have walked in that direction after leaving the accident and once to Bradley Hill Road was able to hitch a ride with someone passing by or was abducted by someone at that intersection.

On the night of the accident, Haverhill Police responded to the call first but the call was picked up by an officer with the State Police who arrived at the scene a few minutes later. The officer with the State Police stated once he arrived and was informed the driver of the car was missing, he traveled back towards Haverhill assuming if the driver took off walking they would head back towards town. Maura’s car was also pointed as if she had been traveling west, even though she had been heading east when the car spun around in the opposite direction. So apparently there was no one looking for her in the direction of travel she had been heading.

With this information, and knowing that Maura was athletic, and experienced hiker, and a former West Point cadet, is it possible Maura did leave the scene moving towards Bradley Hill Road, then took a right turn heading due east, towards Benton, New Hampshire approximately three miles from the accident site and what would have taken about an hour to walk made her way to the nearest remote park: Black Mountain State Forest and made her way down the trailhead once she arrived?

Being an avid runner, one could possibly consider what may have taken an hour for the average person to walk, if Maura ran or jogged, she may have cut that time in half and made it to the Benton area in 30 minutes.

The main reason this theory seems plausible, at least to me, is Maura Murray refused help from the school bus driver either because she had been drinking or because she did not want help. Is it not possible she could have asked for the bus driver’s help but ask him to not turn her in, or instead could you possibly tow me to your house, because I don’t have insurance and allow me to call my dad? The man may have helped her. Just two days earlier she’d had an accident and she was able to get out of a ticket or be given a breathalyzer. So Maura knew the drill, yet this time she resisted assistance.

My theory is just a theory as are all the other theories about this case, except in my version I make the assumption Maura Murray knew exactly what she was doing and where she was going and that she wasn’t lost. Certainly, she had made bad decisions, but she had always owned up to them in the past, and perhaps she didn’t understand the impulses that drove her to shoplift or use a stolen credit card, once she made the decision she seemed to be driven to do what she set out to do regardless of the consequences, but in all these known cases she acted alone without involving other people in her petty criminal acts.

If Maura Murray refused help from the bus driver when she may have convinced him to assist her in getting the car moved out of the road and allowing him to use his phone to call her dad without involving the police, why would she then risk accepting a ride from someone passing by who may have also tried to convince her to go back and wait for the police as opposed to just avoiding any passing cars and any people fearful of someone stopping her from carrying out the mission she had set out to complete?

With all that said, however, one has to acknowledge on the night of Monday, February 9th, 2004 it was below freezing temperatures in Haverhill, New Hampshire. According to the weather forecast, there was a high of 13 degrees and it would drop to -2 degrees. Would the cold weather be enough to provoke Maura Murray to accept a ride from a stranger? Yet if this is the case, she had already been approached by the bus driver who lived within a few hundred feet of the crash site, in the alleged direction Maura was traveling in according to the scent found by the bloodhound, and even though his bus was parked just outside where she would have most likely seen it, the opposing theory is that she chose instead to pass him by and get into a strangers vehicle.

Even so, giving more strength to this theory is about three months after Maura vanished a man approached the police and informed them on the night Maura went missing he had seen her running east on 112 about four miles from where she had crashed. The man would have come forward sooner but hadn’t realized he had seen the girl on the night she went missing until he checked his work records and recognized it had to be Maura. The police seemingly were convinced the man’s story was truthful and began a search in the general vicinity he informed officers he had seen her last. However, nothing was found as a result of the search.

This information, if true, would place her heading east but not traveling on Bradley Hill Road towards Black Mountain and instead would place her going towards Cobble Hill Trailhead. If indeed this information is valid it would seemingly boost the theory that Maura was not seeking assistance and most likely avoided any type of assistance because she had a predetermined destination she was attempting to get to.

Evidence shows that Maura has not used her cell phone after vanishing and it is also known that there is no cell service for a good ten to fifteen miles past the point she wrecked her vehicle, so one would be safe in assuming Maura, if she was indeed running someplace she never made it past the point where she would regain cell phone service.

The theory becomes twofold in the sense that once Maura wrecked her vehicle and didn’t accept help and left the scene, she was either running away from something or running to something, or possibly both. If she was intending on driving someplace to commit suicide and did not want to be stopped or talked out of it then it would make sense this would be a motivating factor to abandon her wrecked car and refuse help, because in the past when she had gotten into trouble she did not run from those mistakes and it’s possible she could have talked her way out of this incident. Even if she had been drinking, which no one can say for certain, it would have been embarrassing but it is also possible it was the catalyst to commit to carrying out a premeditated suicide.

It is also plausible if this theory is correct Maura Murray’s body is within a 15-mile radius from where she wrecked her car, but just beyond the perimeters of the previous search grid, or in an area that has been searched and it was missed.

In the past I have written about the “Routine Activity Theory” which states a crime occurs when a likely suspect encounters a likely victim absent a guardian coming together in time and space, meaning the theory Maura Murray having been abducted or at the least entered a car with a passerby and this passerby would end up killing her cannot be ruled out.

It is a plausible explanation as to what happened to Maura Murray unfortunately. If this is what happened it does not mean she was murdered by a serial killer, and her killer may have never killed before and it was unplanned, one minute the person is driving along not a care in the world, next minute he has stopped and picked up a complete stranger and the further away into the country they travel the person sees an opportunity and things quickly spiral out of control.

Still, not every passerby is looking to harm someone even if the opportunity presents itself, even if they can kill and never be caught, I’d like to believe most people aren’t out to take advantage of someone, but I’m not ignorant enough to believe it doesn’t happen and might have happened to Maura.

Nevertheless, I can’t seem to shake this idea Maura was lost and had taken a right when she should have turned left and was not aware of where she was heading and why she was determined to get there.

This seemed planned, meticulous even, from printing out maps to informing her teachers she would be gone for the week, to returning her friend’s clothes even when the friend told her not to worry about it. It seemed Maura wanted no loose ends. It’s as if the sky was falling, or the strength that had carried her through her childhood and teenage years, her focus, the drive, that kept her pushing that extra mile, studying harder, climbing higher was failing her. For some reason I’m reminded of the poem “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith:

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

It seems Maura was becoming self-destructive, afraid of her own success but afraid of failing and unintentionally she was impulsively sabotaging all the things she had worked so hard to achieve so it wouldn’t hurt as much when it all came crashing down–afraid to disappoint her father, her family, herself as if the tough exterior was nothing more than a facade and she could not dare show the side of herself that she or others may have considered weak.

She did not want to be found in some hotel room by the maid, or in her dorm room by a concerned friend, she wanted to go peacefully and most of all privately.

So many cases are resolved by someone who takes a step off the beaten path, a place many people over the years have walked past and failed to notice this is sacred ground, where a person took their last breath and within a few hours the site will be taped off, teams of scientist will begin the slow process of excavating the scene, and law enforcement is pushing back curious onlookers, as the press focuses their cameras and the reporter breaks the story of the discovery of human remains. And for every parent, husband, wife, child, or friend who has lost someone and never had closure, their hearts stop each time hoping this is it but praying their loved one is still out there and alive just waiting to be found.

It is my sincere belief, Maura Murray is in New Hampshire, and perhaps soon, someone will find her and give her family closure. It is my sincere belief Maura was not taken by a stranger, because she was too determined to settle things her own way on her terms.

She took the right turn. She was not lost. She knew where she was heading and was determined to make it, just as she had done her entire life.

Published by Chad Ard

Author, Editor

Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Chad, thank you for this very well thought out post, I truly enjoyed it!
    Your reasoning is compelling, and I don’t understand why people mention Occam’s razor, but fail to get into someone’s shoes and try for an empathetic approach. I second your train of thought, and although I am more of a reluctant person I would like to plaster you amazing post everywhere , where folks come together to talk about missing persons but somehow fail to think it psychologically through till the end of it.
    All the best to you and greetings from Europe.
    Thank you for caring about individuals who are struggling!


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