This True Crime Series Led To The Reopening Of A Missing Persons Case

by Ashley Rey

The fascinating investigation of the Maura Murray missing persons case has officially been reopened by the New Hampshire Police Department, according to an announcement from Oxygen. The news comes to true crime fans during the season finale of Oxygen's The Disappearance of Maura Murray — the docu-series investigating the eerie vanishing of the 21-year-old University of Massachusetts student in 2004.

Murray's case has garnered a ton of interest over the years, as her disappearance has left her family, friends, and local law enforcement enormously stumped as to what exactly went down. The nursing student was reportedly last seen after crashing her car along Route 112 on Feb. 9, 2004, according to an Oxygen disappearance timeline, while on a trip from Amherst, Massachusetts to New Hampshire's White Mountains. Murray's car was said to be packed with a week's worth of clothing, textbooks, personal belongings — including a bear from her father and a necklace from her boyfriend — and alcohol. According to reports from Boston Magazine, Murray was said to have denied assistance from passersby, who were later interviewed by police. Officers arrived 10 minutes after the accident to an abandoned vehicle, and of course, Murray's body has yet to be found.

Fast-forward roughly 14 years after the first missing persons report was filed, and investigators are still trying to find some truth in at least one of the many theories on Murray's disappearance.

That's where Oxygen's The Disappearance of Maura Murray comes in. Investigative journalist and UMass alum Maggie Freleng joined friend to the Murray family and former U.S. Marshal Art Roderick in finally putting the case to rest. After following leads from physics, combing through an enormous amount of case evidence, and interviewing family, friends, and law enforcement for countless hours, the fearless twosome finally made a break in the case — ultimately leading to the investigation being officially reopened.

During the Oct. 25 episode, Frelong and Roderick were given wood chips that were collected outside of a house nearby Murray's crash site, as one of the theories surrounding Murray's disappearance suggested that she was murdered by a resident. And on the Nov. 1 season finale, Forensic Scientist Lori Baker tested the wood chips and concluded that they were positive for human blood of two different people — one of them being a male. Whether or not the other human's blood belonged to a female, or even Murray for that matter, was unable to be confirmed.

Frelong and Roderick shared the results of the wood chip's testing with the New Hampshire State Police. And although Murray's blood wasn't said to be found, the Cold Case Unit felt they had gathered enough evidence to reopen the case. But, does this mean that the Oxygen docu-series will be coming back for a Season 2? Hopefully, but probably not for some time.

Scott Eisen/Oxygen Media

According to Oxygen, Roderick said the department will be "going back to the very beginning, looking at all the forensics, re-examining everything from day one on," so they will have their work cut out for them. This time around, the investigators will have to comb through all of the evidence gathered before and after Roderick and Frelong's involvement, and it sounds like the process has the potential to take years to complete.

All in all, what was once considered to be an unsolvable case has gotten that much closer to actually being unraveled — thanks to the unrelenting curiosity of Murray's family and friends, as well as Roderick and Frelong. There's no telling exactly when The Disappearance of Maura Murray will make its return, but knowing that there are people working on the case behind the scenes means that Murray's loved ones could finally be getting some long-awaited answers soon.