Saturday marks 15 years since a University of Massachusetts Lowell student crashed her car in New Hampshire and was never seen or heard from again.
On the eve of the anniversary of Maura Murray’s disappearance, her dad tells NBC10 Boston he’s the closest he’s ever been to finding his daughter’s remains.
“Anybody that ever had a kid in the history of the planet knows how I feel,” Fred Murray said in an interview Friday. “It can’t go away.”
On the night of Feb. 9, 2004, Maura Murray crashed her car into a snowbank along a country road in Woodsville, New Hampshire, and vanished without a trace.
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“When you’re with someone every day and then they’re gone, it’s unimaginable,” said Maura’s older sister, Julie Murray.
Maura Murray’s family has been searching for answers ever since she disappeared, and now, her dad has news to share.
“I’ve finally got so close. I’m standing on my daughter’s grave I believe,” Fred Murray said.
In early December, he paid for two cadaver dogs and a radar specialist to search a private property near the crash.
“They both had positive findings for a cadaver, buried under where they sat down, in the same spot,” he said.
Murray says he wasn’t able to search this property until a new family moved in. He tells NBC10 Boston that the previous owner denied him access.
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“He would just never answer the door,” Murray said.
As part of the search agreement with the new owner, Murray promised he would not publicly disclose the exact location.
He believes his daughter is buried in that cellar.
“We’re so close, to reach out, and if the cement wasn’t there, I would start scratching with my hands and dig. I would,” Murray said.
Maura Murray was a star athlete from Hanson, Massachusetts, studying nursing at UMass Lowell.
It was around 7 p.m. that February night when, according to her family, a bus driver saw her crashed car, and stopped to help, but Murray waved them along.
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“He said, ‘Do you need help?’ and she said, ‘No, I already called AAA,'” Julie Murray explained. She says that witness called police, but by the time officers arrived, Maura Murray had vanished.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office says it’s aware of Fred Murray’s recent alleged discovery in the nearby basement.
In an email to NBC10 Boston, Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said, “We are aware of the allegations regarding a home’s basement in that area and have considered and are considering next steps. That area was searched by law enforcement in the past, including with dogs, and nothing of significance was discovered.”
Murray says he doesn’t believe them.
“I would’ve heard about it,” he said.
Murray is calling on New Hampshire State Police to go back into that house.
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But in his desperate quest for closure, he says, if necessary, he’ll find a way to do it himself.
“I’ll fund it, I’ll do anything,” Murray said. “It’s my daughter, I want to bring her home and bury her, and then I want to find the dirtbag that put her there.”
The Murray family is asking everyone, everywhere to join them in lighting a candle at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to show Maura that the search continues.