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No, The Maura Murray Case Has Not Been 'Reopened'

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Courtesy
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Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student who disappeared in the White Mountains in 2004

The Maura Murray missing person case has not been "reopened," as an Oxygen Network show called "The Disappearance of Maura Murray" reported earlier this week, because according to New Hampshire officials, the case was never closed.

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The Oxygen network posted an article on October 30th claiming Murray's case has been "reopened."

(Editor's note: Since this story was first published, NBCUniversal emailed NHPR that Oxygen had revised its article. Click here for their revised post, which reflects that the case was never closed.)   

Murray was a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on February 9, 2004 when she drove away from campus toward New Hampshire's White Mountains. She was involved in a car accident in Woodsville, New Hampshire, where she briefly spoke to residents at the scene.

When police arrived at the site of the crash, Murray was gone.

The fascination with Murray's disappearance is the subject of a popular podcast called Missing Maura Murray, a recently published book, and the Oxygen network's true crime docudrama. 

Jeffery Strelzin, Chief of the Homicide Unit in the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, said there were some inaccuracies in the Oxygen show.

"I've seen bits and pieces of the show. It's been reported back to me some of what's been said. I've seen some of it. There's certainly some inaccuracies in it," Strelzin tells NHPR.

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The cover art for the Missing Maura Murray podcast

(Listen to what Strelzin had to say below.)

New Hampshire State Police investigators have invested thousands of hours in investigating the circumstances around Murray's disappearance. Murray's case appears on the state's Cold Case Unit website, and both police and the AG's office have kept in touch with the Murray family.

Strelzin said the "wood chips" described in the Oxygen report are basically pieces of wood.

"Wood chips" brings to mind a different image, he says.  The wood pieces had DNA on them, which was sampled. "Certainly, the report is not of any investigative value," he says.    

Video: Watch the trailer for the Oxygen network show "The Disappearance of Maura Murray"

Rebecca oversees the team that makes NHPR podcasts, including Outside/In, Civics 101, and Document. She has previously served as NHPR's Director of Audience & Engagement, Digital Director, and Senior Producer for Word of Mouth.
Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

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