One of the most haunting and bizarre missing person cases of the Internet age–the disappearance of Maura Murray–is making headlines again due to the discovery of bone fragments on Loon Mountain. On Monday, New Hampshire State Police announced the find, saying that diagnostic testing is underway.
Construction workers came across the human bone fragments while on the mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire, which is only 20 miles from the scene where Murray crashed her car into a tree 17 years ago. Witnesses called the police on Feb. 9, 2004, but by the time they arrived, Murray was gone and has not been seen or heard from since.
Julie Murray, Maura’s sister told WGME that “we’re still not sure how old the bones are or the gender, so it’s still sort of up in the air, but this one feels different.”
“Waiting for the results of the bone fragments is gut-wrenching for my family,” she said to Oxygen. “However, the flood of support we have received during this excruciatingly difficult time is beyond words. The sense of solidarity is making this bearable.”
The controversial case has produced its fair share of conspiracy theories and conflicting narratives over the years with some people believing Maura left on her own or even tried to fake her death.
True-crime author and researcher James Renner, who investigated the case extensively and wrote the book “True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray,” said:
“Maura’s disappearance is the first big mystery of the social media age. And for the last 17 years, there has not even been evidence of a crime. So if the remains that were buried at Loon Mountain do belong to her, it will finally give police a starting point by which to begin a murder investigation.
“There’s no closure for real-life tragedies, but I know that bringing Maura home would mean a lot to her family, who have been searching for her for years,” he added.
Renner, who at several times in the past years has had conflicts with the Murray family, previously reported that Murray had an affair with a track coach at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she was a student. According to this coach, Murray had talked about running away.
On his website devoted to the case, Renner also reported that Murry’s boyfriend at the time she went missing, Billy Rausch, has been accused by five different women of offenses ranging from sexual harassment to attempted rape. Rausch, who is currently awaiting trial in DC, allegedly had some of them pretend to be Maura Murray while choking them.
In court, one of the victims, said, “He had always said he wasn’t involved [in Maura’s disappearance] so I believed that, but then those sort of things were alarming as to why, you know, he would bring it up… that he was referencing her in those moments of violence.”
This woman contacted Renner about the abuse: “I wanted him to know that I was being stalked because I thought I was going to go missing and he, I wanted somebody else to know.”
If the bone fragments on Loon Mountain turn out to be those of Maura Murray, the investigation into her disappearance could then transition into a new phase, particularly if there is forensic evidence of foul play.