Maura Murray Disappeared After A Car Crash, And She's Still Missing

On a winter night in rural New Hampshire, 21-year-old nursing student Maura Murray crashed her car into a snowbank. Despite witness accounts that she was in or near her car after the accident, police could find no trace of Maura Murray, as though she had vanished into thin air.

The following days would reveal a series of strange events and actions in Murray's life just before she disappeared. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance, along with a lack of tangible evidence, has led to an endless stream of conspiracy theories. These theories range from Murray being kidnapped by a group of local men to her consciously walking away from her life in Massachusetts.

Murray's disappearance remains an open case, and new leads continue to crop up, though they often lead nowhere. Thist list contains the known facts surrounding the Maura Murray case, as well as the more plausible theories about what could have happened to her back in 2004.

  • Maura Murray Disappeared After A Car Accident On February 9, 2004

    On February 9, 2004, Maura Murray was driving along Route 112 in Woodsville, NH, around 7:25 pm when her car ran into a snow bank. When police arrived at the scene of the accident on Route 112, they found Murray's 1996 Saturn sedan, but there was no sign of Murray herself.

    The crash was reportedly severe enough that there was a crack in the windshield, and the airbags had deployed. Murray's belongings were still in the car, as well, including clothes, running gear, textbooks, and copious amounts of alcohol. There was also a copy of printed MapQuest directions to Burlington, VT, where she may have been traveling to look at a rental property.

  • One Witness Spoke To Murray Minutes Before She Disappeared
    Photo: The Disappearance of Maura Murray / Oxygen

    One Witness Spoke To Murray Minutes Before She Disappeared

    Butch Atwood was driving a school bus down Route 112 when he saw Murray's crashed car. Atwood stopped and offered to call 911, but Murray informed him that she had already called AAA. Atwood knew she was lying, however, since there was no cell service in the area.

    Murray reportedly went so far as to "plead" with Atwood not to call 911. Despite Murray's request, Atwood called 911 when he arrived home, as did another witness who saw the crash from her kitchen window.

    The timeline of the crash, 911 calls, and arrival of police indicate that Murray vanished in the span of about seven minutes.

  • Murray Claimed To Be Leaving School Due To A Family Emergency

    As investigators put together a timeline leading up to Murray's disappearance, they discovered an email that she had sent to her professors and supervisor on the afternoon of February 9. The email stated that Murray had to leave town for a week due to a death in the family; however, no one in Murray's family had actually died.

    Before sending the email about missing classes and work, Murray took the time to upload a class assignment. Her textbooks were also found in her car on the evening of February 9.

  • Murray Had Been In Another Accident Just A Day Earlier
    Photo: The Disappearance of Maura Murray / Oxygen

    Murray Had Been In Another Accident Just A Day Earlier

    Two days before Maura Murray disappeared, her father, Fred Murray, had come down to Amherst to help her look for a new car. Her 1996 Saturn sedan was barely drivable and produced large plumes of smoke while driving.

    That evening, Murray borrowed her father's new Toyota Corolla to go to a party. Driving back to her father's motel in the early hours of February 8, Murray crashed the car into a guardrail, causing nearly $10,000 in damage to the car. There's no indication that Murray underwent a breathalyzer test, but she was reportedly upset following the accident.

  • Murray's Supervisor Claimed She Had Been ‘Catatonic’ Several Days Before She Vanished

    On Thursday, February 5, just four days before Murray's accident on Route 112, she received a phone call at her campus job that left her visibly distraught. Murray's supervisor, Karen Mayotte, later stated that she saw Murray sitting at her desk in a "quasi-catatonic" state. "She was just looking right past me, it was very weird," Mayotte later explained.

    At first, Murray couldn't even speak to Mayotte, but she eventually murmured, "My sister." Mayotte proceeded to walk Murray back to her dorm room.

  • Murray's Relationship Was Reportedly Strained At The Time She Disappeared

    At the time of her disappearance, Maura Murray was dating Bill Rausch, whom she had met during her time at West Point, but the couple's relationship was reportedly not without issues. Rausch had been accused of infidelity, and Murray was also having an affair with her track coach, Hossein Baghdadi. Baghdadi later stated that Murray had talked to him about running away, as well as wanting to get away from an allegedly controlling Rausch.

    Rausch was stationed in Oklahoma at the time of Murray's disappearance, and her final email to him, sent at 1 pm on February 9, read, "I love you more stud. I got your messages, but honestly, i didn't feel like talking to much of anyone, i promise to call today though. love you, Maura."