Fred Murray's Letter to Governor Benson

Mr. Frederick Murray

Governor Craig Benson
Office of the Governor
107 North Main Street
Room 208
Concord NH 03301

Governor Benson:

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.

Respectfully,

Fred Murray

February 09, 2005

Mr. Frederick Murray



Governor John Lynch
Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord NH 03301

Governor Lynch:

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.  

Hopefully,


Frederick J. Murray
Fred Murray's Letter to Governor Benson
Fred Murray's Letter to Governor Lynch