HAVERHILL, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — In the wake of her sister Maura's disappearance 17 years ago, Julie Murray and her family are strengthening their push for a historical marker to be installed at the location where she was last seen alive.
Murray, a Massachusetts native, was a 21-year-old nursing student at UMass Amherst when she disappeared back in 2004 after crashing her car in Haverhill, New Hampshire. She was never found — and her cold case has since gained national and international attention, as family members continue to search for answers.
In the midst of that search — Murray's family was devastated to learn last week that a tree near the site of the crash on Rt. 112 in Haverhill, N.H. that has served as a tribute to her memory has now been cut down by the land owner.
"That tree was more than a tree for us," Julie Murray said. "It was sort of a living memorial for Maura."
She added that it's not just her family that frequents the tree laced with blue ribbon, but also thousands of visitors who pay a visit each year.
Julie is now asking the public to sign a petition calling for a permanent marker where the tree once stood. An official request for the historical marker was submitted to the N.H. Division of Historical Resources, but she says the family has not heard back.
Julie has set up a call to action on her website where people can send emails to Benjamin Wilson, the director of the N.H. Division of Historical Resources, in support of the petition.
"So far we've had hundreds of people reach to Mr. Wilson so I'm hoping with the additional coverage with the tree now being cut down we'll get the support that we need," Julie said.
She is also asking supporters to call N.H. Historic Resources staff as well as share Maura's story with friends.
WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby (@LaurieWBZ) reports.