After a search of a home in North Haverhill, New Hampshire, the attorney general's office said Wednesday there is no evidence of the body of a woman who went missing more than 15 years ago.
Authorities had been at a single-family home not far from where Maura Murray crashed her car back in 2004. State and federal investigators spent the day searching in connection with the disappearance of the UMass Amherst nursing student.
Murray's family tells NBC10 Boston they were heartbroken to learn that search turned up nothing.
"This one hurts because I thought we finally had it," said Maura's father, Fred.
The property that was searched is a stone's throw away from where Murray crashed and vanished without a trace. For almost 15 years, the homeowner denied access to the property.
"I tried to get in there so many times, but the guy never came to the door," Fred Murray said.
But after the house was sold, the new homeowner opened its doors to Murray. At the end of last year, he brought in two cadaver dogs, both of which noticed something in the same spot in a concrete basement. That's why the Murray family was convinced Wednesday's official search would finally bring them closure.
During a late afternoon press conference, Associate Attorney General Jeff Strelzin told reporters that investigators found no evidence that Maura Murray's remains are on that property.
"A team of a dozen agents and detectives went into that basement, cut that area, removed the concrete, and then searched several feet down," Strelzin explained. "They located absolutely nothing, other than a small piece of what looks to be pottery, and maybe a piece of old piping."
On the night of Feb. 9, 2004, the 21-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student crashed her car into a snowbank along a country road in Woodsville, New Hampshire and vanished without a trace.
Murray's family has been searching for answers ever since.
"I am optimistic that we may have finally found her," Maura Murray's younger brother, Kurtis Murray, said Wednesday. "That's the only thing I can pray for. But it's a waiting game at this point."
Fred Murray says he hasn't lost hope and won't stop searching until the day he dies.
"What I'd like to do is dig my daughter up, bring her home, give her a proper burial, and put the guy who killed her right in the same hole," Mr. Murray said.
The state says it will continue to follow every lead in this case to find out what happened to the missing woman.