Fred's Letters to the State Of New Hampshire
The below are a series of letters Fred wrote to the Governors of New Hampshire in a futile attempt to have them request FBI involvement in Maura’s disappearance
Governor Craig Benson
Office of the Governor
107 North Main Street
Concord NH 03301
My daughter, Maura Murray, went missing after a one car accident on February 9, 2004 at approximately 7:00 PM while she was heading east on Route 112 near North Haverhill, New Hampshire. Eye witnesses place her at the crash site at one (1) to two (2) minutes before the local police arrived and no one was seen to stop and pick her up in a vehicle. This means that when the police reached the scene Maura could have been no further than a couple of hundred yards up the road around the first corner walking away. Another witness who stopped and talked with her reported to the police upon their arrival that the driver of the car was a young woman of approximately twenty (20) years of age. He added that he thought she had been drinking. There was an empty beer bottle found in the car and in addition, there was a spider hole in the driver’s side of the windshield indicating that she had struck her head at impact. The temperature that evening was twelve (12) degrees.
Given these known facts it was grossly negligent of the police to not dispatch a cruiser in active pursuit in a spirited effort to retrieve an unsuspecting and vulnerable girl with a possible head injury and subject to hypothermia because of alcohol and frigid temperature before she wandered into the pitch black of the national forest looming just ahead.
The police had full knowledge that if she were to encounter someone with ill intent that she would have no place to hide, no place to run and absolutely no help available. Furthermore, duty as well as common sense obligates the police to call ahead to the next town in the direction they had to assume she was heading. They knew they had not passed her as they drove east to the accident site during their response to the “911” call. The Woodstock police were not notified nor asked to send an officer to intercept her by driving west in the direction in which she was approaching.
She was figuratively and nearly literally “right there” readily available to be rescued and saved from whatever fate has befallen her. All that the police had to do was to expend minimal mental and physical effort and my daughter, Maura would be safely here with me today. But, unfortunately, the police neglected to make even the most basic effort to find her, and I remain without her now and perhaps forever.
The onus of this irresponsible and possibly fatal lack of action lies not only with the North Haverhill force, but also with the New Hampshire State Police who responded to the “911” calls from the neighbors as well.
Recently, nearly three (3) months after the accident, a motorist who was driving west on Route 112 at about 8:00 PM on February 9 reported seeing a young person acting furtively heading very fast in an easterly direction at a point about four (4) to five (5) miles away from the scene of the crash. The time line and description of the individual’s appearance and clothing fits perfectly for this person to have been Maura.
This witness lives within just yards of the accident site, but said he had been confused about the exact date and time of that event because the state police had not interviewed him until 10 days had passed. As hard as this is to believe, it is actually true since an investigator helping the family questioned him on Sunday, February 15 and he said the police hadn’t been there to talk to him yet. At this point I appealed directly to the state police to pay attention to rudimentary procedure and turned our notes over to them. This apparently prompted a belated response which led to the questioning of this witness on Thursday, February 19.
That this nearly immediately located neighbor who could have been a prime source of critical information should have been questioned in a timely fashion on the very evening of the accident or, at the latest, on the following day is a fully reasonable expectation of adequate investigative policy. If this had occurred this person would have had immediate recollection of the sighting of my daughter and a “hot lead” would have ensued.
Statistics, which are very well known by state police agencies, indicate that cases get solved from tips received in the first two or three days or they can go cold forever. To wait ten days to speak to such an obvious source of potentially crucial information based on his proximity to the event will be hard to explain even for those adept at this skill. It is no wonder that the state police are reluctant to release to me their accident report to which I am probably legally entitled.
I get nearly physically sick when I wake up each morning and the thought of how really little effort it would have taken to rescue my daughter automatically flashes through my mind.
It has been over three months since her disappearance and the only leads developed have been handed to the state police by others. Yet still these guys maintain that they don’t need any help. The FBI offered its assistance during the opening week of this case but have only been utilized in a very minor way such as interviewing family members and high school friends in Maura’s hometown of Hanson, MA, and also a couple of college acquaintances. These state police officers are great people personally, and I like them and respect them. They are the type of men and women that both you and I would be very pleased to have living in our own neighborhoods, but the inescapable reality remains that they clearly need help in finding Maura.
The finest resource in the world is available and you, sir, should direct Lieutenant John Scarinza and Troop F to accept its offer. There are corollary cases in Vermont also and this entire situation begs for central co-ordination and investigation by an agency which is not bound by the confines of the configuration of Grafton County and the Connecticut River.
The young women in the northern region of your state are not safe and it is clearly imperative that you act decisively before you lose another. Deep within themselves, your citizens are nervously apprehensive and anxiously awaiting your response to this threat.
Governor John Lynch
Office of the Governor
25 Capitol Street
Concord NH 03301
Today, February 9, 2005 marks the one year point of my daughter, Maura Murray’s unlikely and highly suspicious disappearance following a minor car accident on Route 112 in North Haverhill, New Hampshire.
The investigative body, New Hampshire State Police Troop F of Grafton County, has followed up its astonishingly careless go-through-the-motions response with an unnaturally steadfast refusal to communicate on the matter since. Their investigation includes not questioning neighbors who live one hundred yards from and in sight of the accident scene until 10 days had passed, and this only after my family and friends had spoken to these people and expressed our shock about it to the police. My daughter could have walked right by or have been picked up in a vehicle by the wrong person(s) in full view of these houses. Not even the fact that their tracking dog lost Maura’s scent squarely before these properties, one of which was owned by the last person who talked to Maura, and another by the last person to actually see her, was enough to provoke the most elementary of basic investigatory technique.
Phone records reveal that Maura called a couple who rent their condominium in Bartlett, New Hampshire, where our family has vacationed for decades, just before she left the University of Massachusetts and headed directly that way last February 9. When I recently discovered that these folks had never even been contacted by Troop F it felt as if I had just been struck across the face with a two-by-four.
I remain convinced also that police have not fully developed a lead given to them concerning a local man who claimed he knew what had happened to “that girl” and disclosed the location where she had been held and by whom.
Law Enforcement’s decision on this case from its inception has been to insist that you can take your pick of three possible happenstances: suicide, runaway, or hyperthermia victim but not consider the fourth which is the probability, rather than the possibility, that is, that a bad guy grabbed her and they can’t catch him. To support their diversion the commander of Troop F twice stated during The Chronicle Program on Channel 5 in Boston that Maura wrote a final letter to her boyfriend and left it in a prominent place in her dormitory room. This clearly suggests the traditional “suicide letter”, but the deception is that she never wrote or left such a letter at all and the police were fully cognizant of this fact at that time.
The pattern certainly doesn’t indicate adherence to accepted and recommended police procedure. To date the high law enforcement officials in Concord have reacted like ostriches to this pseudo-investigation by your Troop F. I am left with a hollow, gut-wrenching sensation resulting from finally knowing for sure that the people responsible for finding my daughter are not even submitting a mail-it-in effort on her behalf. Worse still is that they remain determined to not accept the offer of meaningful participation extended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which is strangely odd indeed.
I am appealing to you, sir, to ask Attorney General Kelly Ayotte to authorize the release of the records in this case to me through my petition under the Freedom of Information Act and the New Hampshire Right to Know Law RSA CH 91-A. I am basing this plea on the present classification of my daughter’s case as a missing person situation and not as a criminal investigation. What could be the nature of this which must be so zealously veiled from view and the motivation prompting such secrecy?
With no informational resources available I am left to desperately search for Maura all by myself. How can I do this if the police sit idly on the applicable evidence? Take, for example, her computer. If I could get it back, I might be able to discern who she contacted on that last afternoon and perhaps discover a new direction to follow. It’s one thing if Troop F isn’t willing to be part of the solution, but please don’t allow them to continue to be part of the problem.
Governor Lynch, you represent my final hope to help my little girl. I pray that you will regard reacting favorably to my entreaty, not so much as your legal obligation, but as a parent, your moral responsibility.
Frederick J. Murray