To honor and remember Maura on her 40th birthday, our family, her friends, and supporters across the country are virtually participating in the second annual Maura Murray WOD (workout of the day) on May 4, 2022. It's the perfect way to remember Maura - breaking a sweat!
From an early age, Maura and I competed along side each other in athletics, creating a bond we share to this day. On May 4, 2022 Maura would celebrate her 40th birthday and if she were here, I know we would start the day off with a workout - and probably end it with some friendly banter and beer!
The WOD (aka, workout) consists of two events with special significance to Maura; a 2 mile run and 82 burpees. Maura’s best race was the 2 mile run and Maura’s birth year  will be the number of burpees guaranteed to make you sweat.
Supporters can join us by ordering an exclusive Maura WOD t-shirt to wear during the workout (at cost). You'll break a sweat, honor Maura, and walk away with a Maura WOD t-shirt! Share photos, videos, and the results of your workout on May 4th via social media and use the hashtag #MauraMuscle to inspire others as we honor and remember my little sister Maura.
I look forward to seeing everyone [virtually] on May 4 and as always, thank you for your love and support - Maura would be amazed.
Background. A WOD is an official functional movement workout performed on a given day. Maura’s older sister and former teammate, Julie Murray, designed the Maura WOD based on a workout she wishes they could do together on Maura's birthday [May 4]. The workout is for everyone, and the 2 mile run and 82 burpees can be scaled to a 1-2 mile walk and 82 alternating step-ups depending on your fitness level.
Watch video from 2021 here!
This Wednesday, February 9, 2022 marks the 18th anniversary of Maura’s disappearance. It has been a long, tough road for my family and those supporting the case. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am hoping this is the year we find some answers. The truth is we are tired of these anniversaries, we are tired of the unknowing. It is times like this that we are especially thankful for your love and support. We will never give up even when the road seems endless. Thank you. 'We are coming for ya kid' - Fred Murray.
Please join us in a virtual vigil to honor Maura by lighting a candle at 7:30 pm EST. Take a photo and/or video and post to social media with #mauramurray #maura18. Let’s light up the sky for Maura.
Loss is strange. It affects us all in different ways and, often, in ways we don’t expect. For me, one of the most difficult things to deal with is the way that the memory of a person can change or fade as time goes on. Obviously, you can remember a person through pictures or videos but it’s the other memories, the ones that you close your eyes to recall, that can’t be preserved outside of your mind’s eye. Things like the way a person smelled, the true sound of their voice, a certain twinkle in a person’s eye, a funny quirk or habit. The intimate details that picture or video can’t capture, the things that are unique to the way that YOU remember someone. Those are the things that tend to slip away and I’ve found that a sense of guilt has often accompanied the fading memories. Especially when they’re associated with the people that are the MOST important to me…people like my mother or Maura.
Several years ago I had a dream that changed the way I view loss. I walked into the dining room at our home in Hanson and sitting at the table were Maura and our mother. I had experienced similar dreams prior, but there was something noticeably different about this. This dream was much more vivid and the little details that I thought had been lost, the source of my guilt, were very present. What shocked me the most were their voices. I could hear them, really HEAR them, exactly as I knew they should sound. They looked and moved exactly how I knew they should and, although there was nothing profound about what was happening, the clarity of what I was experiencing was overwhelming. I woke up that morning with tears on my face and pillow because, by the end of the dream, I was begging them to stay. I had become consciously aware that I was dreaming and I wasn’t ready to wake up or to let them go. The whole thing changed me because, once the initial shock wore off, the realization that Maura and our mother still exist somewhere deep in my memory gave me great comfort. It proved that they would never truly be lost.
I recently wrote a song about the dream because music and writing are two of the most powerful ways that I’ve used to cope with life’s adversities. My mother absolutely loved that I had a modicum of musical talent and Maura was one of my biggest supporters when I first picked up the guitar. While I haven’t finished the music, I wanted to share the lyrics as I think that my experience is very relatable and, while it’s deeply personal to me, to share some of who I am with this community. You’ve all given so much to our family so I wanted to give you a more personal view into me and some of what I do to cope with Maura’s loss.
‘Stay’ - written by Kurtis Murray
I walk into the room and you’re standing there
But I can see that something’s different
So I stop and stare
It’s So hauntingly familiar and it seems to me
I’ve found the memory I’ve been searching for
But, so often, fail to see
So I ask, Is this real?
Could this be real?
Not sure how I’m supposed to feel
When you talk, my heart is racing
I hear your voice, for once it’s full and clear
Not just a memory left to disappear
And your smile, so full and bright
No longer hazy and distorted
An image lost to memory’s fading light
So I ask, Is this real?
Could this be real?
The only thing I want becoming clear
Stay, Won’t you stay?
Oh God, please stay
I lose more of you now everyday
Why can’t you stay
I wish you’d stay
I Can’t bear to feel you fade away
I’m desperate now, I’m on my knees
I know that time is short, it’s just a dream
But in this moment you’re something more to me
Than just a distant fading memory
I’m lying here, I’m in my bed
A million memories running through my head
But the reminder that’s been given me
Is in my heart, my soul, my blood is…
Where you’ll stay
It has been two months since the discovery of human remains found on the side of Loon Mountain, New Hampshire - less than twenty-five miles from where my sister was reportedly last seen alive. The remains were found in the native soil and unearthed during construction of a new ski lift on Loon Mountain. On Monday I asked officials for an update and an estimated timeline. They told me it may take several months for examination and testing results. In speaking with one expert familiar with the initial assessment, there may be evidence to suggest the gender of the remains which gives us hope; however, we want to see definitive results which hopefully will come soon. As my family continues to wait, we are thankful for the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and supporters.
Several people have asked me whether I think the delay in the results is due to the grand opening of the new state of the art chairlift - the ‘Kanc 8’ - scheduled for the winter of 2021. The Loon Mountain website touts it as ‘North America’s most technologically advanced chairlift’ and has been providing regular progress updates since February 2021. While I do not know if or how this grand opening may be delaying the results of the bone fragment testing, I couldn’t help but notice that the public has received more updates on the chairlift than my family has received about my missing sister.
As we continue to wait, Maura’s case is making international news. Two recent stories highlighted on Maura’s official website include a comprehensive story on Maura’s disappearance by journalist William Allen, based in Madrid, Spain and a story with excellent reporting by Jordyn Jagolinzer from Western Mass News who explains the forensic testing process the bone fragments are most likely currently undergoing.
We will continue to provide the public with updates as we speak with officials. Sign up here to receive updates and information about our ongoing efforts to find Maura and bring her home.
Last week law enforcement (LE) asked me to authenticate the content of an anonymous proton email account that was first claiming to be in contact with my sister Maura, then claiming to be my sister. The email was clearly a troll attempting to offer ‘proof’ of their claims by re-stating rumors and mis-information that were discussed at length on old Topix forums and internet sites. This is the second time in the past year that someone using a proton mail account has attempted to impersonate my sister. Both in that case and in this recent case, nothing contained in the emails gave me any indication whatsoever it was my sister. Much of the mis-information provided were cherry picked ideas presumably intended to corroborate the most sensationalized versions of what could have happened to Maura, based on pure speculation.
If you have followed the case or watched the Oxygen series, it will sound familiar. The conspiracy theory reads something like this: Maura was involved in a hit and run, and then with the aid of money from my father (and perhaps with help from her boyfriend), she escaped north to a small border town in Vermont, and has been living in hiding in Canada for 17 years. Also sprinkled into the plot line is the idea she was running from my abusive father, the visible antagonist of the fictionalized narrative built upon baseless claims. I want to share parts of what I provided to LE in response.
These sick claims about my father are disgusting, unfounded and vindictive. They are based on complete mischaracterizations of the words of my Aunt Janis and hearsay from my sister Kathleen, as told through her former abusive spouse (a “source” with clear ulterior motives). I’ve attached Kathleen and Janis’ responses to what has been published about them. Both are more than willing to speak to law enforcement and clarify these rumors and discrepancies.
For my part, I can say I have never in my life experienced any kind of abuse and am willing to take a polygraph or any other method to prove it. If I suspected my father of sexually abusing anyone, I would escort him to jail myself. But the reality is that these false claims are completely baseless, originating from a clickbait blogger capitalizing off my missing sister at the expense of my family.
LE was provided these statements by my sister Kathleen and Aunt Janis after these damaging, salacious rumors gained traction, and I’d also like to share parts of them here for context. I plan to post these statements on our website for people to review in full. My sister Kathleen stated the following in response to hearsay attributed to her being put in print:
‘I believe the insinuation is that my father, Fred Murray, abused his children. This is absolutely false and a
complete misrepresentation of anything I have ever said. I adamantly deny any scenario in which I claimed my father abused me or any of his children. To falsely attribute this disgusting accusation to me is reprehensible. It is a dark and twisted way to fabricate the truth shaping his narrative. [The] source for this false information is my ex- husband, whose biases and own alcohol and domestic/sexual abuse history should have been considered prior to using him as a source of such lies. l love my father dearly and have been affected deeply by the long-term implications and permanence of these disgusting insinuations.’ [Read her full statement here]
My Aunt Janis stated the following in her statement:
Reference a comment about a single tent – ‘This is simply not true. I was commenting on the fact I did not particularly enjoy camping but [he] twisted my words implying something sinister about a single tent. In fact, Fred always had a separate tent for the girls and I can’t remember a single time he only took one of his kids. If I thought for a second Fred was abusing his kids in any way, I would have reported it to police immediately. Further, I often allowed my own daughters to accompany Fred on camping trips. This complete mischaracterization of my words is just a small sample of the tactics used as retribution for Fred’s refusal to participate...’ [Read her full statement here]
I want content consumers to hear the truth from me. The use of trolls, anonymous sourcing, and manipulation of facts to frame a narrative designed to evoke an emotional response is irresponsible. ‘Reporting’ such lies while ignoring the effects on the real lives of people left behind in the wake of a tragedy is unethical. I speak at length about this on James McMahon's podcast 'Shame'.
I’m thankful that LE gave me, someone who actually knew Maura (perhaps better than anyone), a chance to view the content of these emails, invalidate them, and flag their senders as trolls and obstructionists before more mis-information was spread online. I am also thankful they share my desire to avoid clickbait fodder reaffirming false narratives, which has only served to re-traumatize my family and slow our efforts to find Maura.