UMass student still missing since winter

By Dan O'Brien, Collegian Staff

For the parents of many University of Massachusetts students, the start of the school year marks the beginning of a separation period, at least until the holidays. But while some parents are lingering on their child’s last goodbye hug, the family of one UMass student is still trying to piece together the disappearance of their daughter from the University campus last winter.

22-year-old Maura Murray, a nursing student, is still missing after 7 months. It was February 9, 2004 when the Hanson, Mass. resident packed up her belongings from her Kennedy Hall dorm room, drove her car to New Hampshire and got into a minor car accident. After the accident, she vanished without a trace. She has not been seen or heard from since that cold February evening.

Maura’s parents, Laurie and Fred Murray, have said all along that her daughter had excellent grades. Murray was a Dean’s list student a track star in high school, and a close friend to many.

Murray has described her daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend, Army Lt. Bill Rauch of Oklahoma as “a very, very good relationship.” However, Maura’s family and friends suspect foul play was involved in the young woman’s disappearance.

Events leading up to her disappearance

There are clues indicating that Maura Murray may have had some personal troubles just before she left UMass.

Maura allegedly left her campus job the Thursday before she disappeared and co-workers described her state as upset and troubled, according to WCVB-TV.

In an interview with WCVB-TV, Maura’s older sister, Kathleen Murray of Hanover, Mass., admitted that she had a phone conversation with Maura that evening.

“It was just a regular phone call. It made no difference to me. It was just Maura calling me, that was that. I told her about my day and quarreling with my fianc