On the 17th anniversary of the disappearance of Maura Murray, her family is still hopeful.
"I'm hoping something shakes loose this year," said her older sister, Julie.
Julie's and Maura's brother, Kurtis, held a virtual candlelight vigil Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., the last time Maura was seen.
U.S. & World
"It's kind of crazy to think it's 17 years. I've spent more of my life without Maura than with her," said Kurtis.
It was on Feb. 9, 2004, that Maura disappeared in Haverhill, New Hampshire, after crashing her car along a country road. The 21-year-old from Hanson, Massachusetts, was a UMass student at the time.
A school bus driver who lived nearby stopped to help Maura, but she waved him along, saying she had called AAA.
The bus driver called 911 anyway, knowing there was no cell service. But when police got there, Maura had vanished.
Her car was locked, and facing the opposite direction than what she was driving.
"I truly believe someone has a missing piece to this puzzle, and maybe they don't even know it," Julie said.
She says they're still working every lead that comes their way.
"Some samples that we want to get tested, that's sort of on hold now because of COVID," she said. "At a minimum, it will hopefully rule some things out."
Maura's story has been of global interest, featured in true crime series and podcasts.
"Because of such a huge following in the true crime community, we've been able to keep it in the forefront and keep a light shining on it," Julie said.
Her 78-year-old dad, Fred, was up in New Hampshire at the scene of the crash Tuesday.
The family is now petitioning for a historical marker on Route 112, where she disappeared.
A group is also suing to get investigators to release seven photos of Maura's car after the crash.
"At this point, I hardly talk to the cold case unit. They're not really … doesn't really seem like they're working on anything. I can't stop working on this, my family can't stop, and this community, too, is fired up and proactive," said Julie.
A private group will search the woods near the crash scene again in the spring, like the do every year.
"The case involving Maura Murray's disappearance remains an open investigation," The New Hampshire Attorney General's office said in a statement Tuesday, urging anyone with information to contact New Hampshire State Police.