Soil scanned on property could help in NH cold case

Published: Jul. 9, 2018 at 8:03 AM EDT
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After 14 years, there are still no answers in the search for Maura Murray. The 21-year-old vanished on a stretch of Route 112 in Woodsville, New Hampshire, while on a mysterious trip she never told anyone about. Now, a new push to find clues in her disappearance has a crew returning to the area.

In Woodsville, New Hampshire, a high-tech gadget is scanning the ground using radar. The property it's checking was one of interest in the Maura Murray case 14 years ago. All these years later, her father is still looking for answers and says he's thankful for the people who still support him in his search.

"This something that has to be done and it's in a place that absolutely has to be ruled out," dad Fred Murray said.

The previous owner of the property was reluctant to let it be searched after Maura Murray disappeared in 2004. But Sunday, the new owners let a survey crew on the grounds.

The goal is to look for anomalies in the soil, basically disturbances.

"It's about time but we never had the resources," Fred Murray said.

Fred Murray has been searching for 14 years. Each year, he places a ribbon around the tree where Maura's car was found. He says there are still people to talk to and places to look.

The focus on this day was a property where a trailer once stood.

"What they are finding right now is an anomaly in the dirt underneath the trailer. We are seeing five feet and not sure how wide yet," investigative journalist Maggie Freleng said.

Freleng says soil tests will have to be done. She is somewhat responsible for making this high-tech search happen. She recently hosted a documentary featuring Maura Murray's case and garnered a lot of followers.

"It would have felt wrong to have worked with the family, gotten to know them and say, 'Bye, we are done.' I couldn't," Freleng said.

She decided to start a GoFundMe page. She works with friends who run the Missing Maura Murray podcast and recently they teamed up with GB Geotechnics out of New York City.

"It's a case that has affected so many people and continues to," said Ed Sewell of GB Geotechnics. "We thought it would be the right thing to do."

They are working for free.

It's a gesture that Fred Murray is overwhelmed by as he continues the emotional journey to find his daughter.

"She would go out of her way to help you out, and she is gone, I can't get her back," Fred Murray said. "I've got to find her, bring her home and bury her."

Now, Freleng and the GB Geotechnics crew say this will not be their last visit to that area. In fact, Freleng says she has already found a spot she wants to look at next.