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Maura Murray disappearance: bone fragments may take "several months" to test, sister told

The discovery of human remains on Loon Mountain has offered a potential breakthrough in the search for Murray, who disappeared in New Hampshire 17 years ago.

Maura Murray disappearance: bone fragments may take "several months" to test, sister told

UPDATE, Wednesday 10 November: Loon Mountain bone fragments aren't Maura Murray, investigators confirm

The sister of Maura Murray, a Massachusetts woman who mysteriously vanished from the scene of a New Hampshire car accident 17 years ago, says the testing of bone fragments found near the site of her disappearance could take “several months”.

Murray, who was 21 at the time, has not been heard from since going missing after crashing her car on Route 112 in Woodsville, New Hampshire, in February 2004.

Her case has gained national and international attention, developing into an obsession for the online true-crime community and featuring in numerous podcasts and television documentaries.

Bone fragments found on Loon Mountain construction site

In September this year, what is potentially the most significant lead so far in the search for Murray emerged when human bone fragments were found on a construction site on New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain, located some 25 miles from Woodsville.

New Hampshire State Police explained in a statement released after the discovery that the human remains would be tested "to determine age and possible sex", but Murray’s sister Julie says she has been told this is likely to be a slow process.

"On Monday I asked officials for an update and an estimated timeline," Julie Murray said in a blog post on the Murray family’s website on Tuesday. "They told me it may take several months for examination and testing results.

"In speaking with one expert familiar with the initial assessment, there may be evidence to suggest the gender of the remains which gives us hope; however, we want to see definitive results which hopefully will come soon."

Wait for news on bone fragments "really, really hard"

Speaking to WBZ-TV following the discovery on Loon Mountain, Julie Murray described the wait for news on the bone fragments as "gut wrenching". "This is really, really hard […]," she said. "I’m hoping this is it, but it’s not going to destroy us if it isn’t. We’ll just keep looking."

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