NEWS

Hanson
Missing Phone Call
Nov 24, 2004, 10:04

In what is becoming a long list of frustrations for the family and friends of
Maura Murray, it appears that the New Hampshire State Police did not even
investigate the final phone call Murray made from her cell phone the day she
disappeared.

On February 9, Hanson native and Whitman-Hanson high school graduate
Maura Murray slid off the road on a remote highway in New Hampshire near
the Vermont border. An eye witness watched her get out of the car and went
to call the police, but when he returned Murray was gone. She has not been
seen or heard from since.

Members of her family have long been frustrated with the investigation into
her disappearance, feeling that the police did not act quickly enough in the
hours following her disappearance. The police still maintain that the most
likely scenario is that Murray left of her own volition, while the family has
always felt she was abducted.

According to Sharon Rausch, the mother of Maura's fiancé Billy Rausch, the
last two calls made from Maura's cell phone were to a UMass number and to
a couple who is part of a condo association in the area of New Hampshire
where Murray appeared headed.

The UMass number is pretty much a dead end for investigators, since the
person who lived in the room Maura called in February has most likely
moved on.

But the other number is more troubling in its omission from the investigation.
The number Maura called belonged to a Wakefield couple, Linda and
Domenic Salamone. When Rausch called them, she learned that they rent a
condo in the same New Hampshire complex where Murray and her family
had often stayed.

Although the call to the Salamones was one of the last Maura Murray made
before she went missing, the Salamones only learned of their part in the
story when they were contacted by Rausch, nearly eight months later.
According to Rausch, they were “appalled” by the lack of action by the police
and were willing to talk to the press to get the word out that they were never
contacted.

Rausch came upon the Salamones' phone number while looking over
Maura's phone bills for the month of Feburary. The phone was a gift from
Billy Rausch to Maura and was still listed under Sharon Rausch's name.

The reason this recent revelation is so explosive is that it shoots a hole in
the State Police's theory that Maura committed suicide or ran away. If Maura
was running away for good, it is unlikely that she would be looking to rent a
condo in New Hampshire. Before she left the UMass campus, where she was
a nursing student, Murray sent a letter to her professors stating that there
had been a death in the family and she would need some time off from
school. It was later determined that there was no death, and many believe
that Murray was simply seeking to get away for a few days to deal with the
stress of a recent car crash. But if she was simply seeking a few days'
respite, the car crash on that snowy road may have changed the plans.

The Express attempted to contact the state police for this story, but the
detective working on the case could not be reached by press time. In the
past, the spokesperson for the police has only said that that case was
ongoing.

Maura's family has also released a website, www.mauramurray.com.
Interested persons can read the latest news, view pictures of Maura, or
share information.


© Copyright 2003 by Clipper Press, Inc. Reprinted with permissing of Clipper