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Maura Murray's family seeks permanent historical marker


July 30, 2020
HAVERHILL — A blue ribbon marking the last spot where Maura Murray was seen alive is in peril, and her family has mobilized to establish a permanent marker in her honor. The large bow has been tied to a tree on Route 112 in Haverhill for the last 16 years. According to Murray's sister Julie, two factors sparked action.

A bill that effectively bans all roadside memorials recently passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. It was tabled during the Senate's summer session, but Murray pointed out that it could still pass next year. Additionally, the tree is scheduled to be cut down by the property owner next spring. Murray said she had been in contact with the landowner in hopes of establishing a hundred-year lease of the tree or perhaps buy the property, but she could not achieve her goal.

"It was another catalyst to get a permanent marker. If the tree is torn down then my family has nothing, literally. It is devastating, especially for my dad who is 77 years old," noted Murray.

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has stringent protocols when it comes to permanent historical markers. No more than 14 lines of text are allowed.

The Murray family began a petition and developed a website. According to Maura's older sister, they secured signatures from 48 states and 18 countries in one day. "

Wow, people really know my little sister. It was crazy and gave me chills. It was also incredibly heartwarming. There were a bunch of different emotions involved with that news," exclaimed Murray.

While the onslaught of online signatures moved the family, Murray said a minimum of twenty pen and ink signatures were required from New Hampshire residents to secure a permanent memorial.

"We got the twenty signatures in half a day. We will submit those along with all the online signatures to show Maura's significance. I want to give the decision-makers the magnitude of Maura's global case," noted her sister.

Murray maintains a memorial website called mauramurraymissing.org. She said it provides accurate and ongoing information in the 16-year-old cold case.

"We are always doing something. Maura's case is one of the biggest missing person cases in the world, so there's always something happening. Even today, I got a phone call about a tip. There's always stuff coming in. The historical marker will be huge for us, but we continue to follow leads and try to find her," said Murray.

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