Maria Claudia Murphy of Margate, Florida has been missing since Friday, March 16 at approximately 2 p.m., according to reports. Her car was just recovered in a Holiday Springs shopping center parking lot, located at 7932 Sample Road in Pompano Beach, FL. Police are asking anyone with information on the case to come forward and is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to her recovery. The case is being treated as a possible kidnapping or murder.
The woman’s 2005 black BMW 330ci 2-door convertible, which has Florida tag code LZS159, was found on Tuesday after someone called in an anonymous tip to police. Officials reported that the car did not appear to have been broken into or damaged in any way, and that there were no sings of a struggle near the vehicle or a car accident. “We recovered Ms. Maria Claudia’s vehicle… we received an anonymous tip, at which time our detectives as well as our patrol officers responded out here and did locate her vehicle… Her vehicle is back at our Coral Springs Police Department being processed by our crime scene unit,” explained a Coral Springs police officer.
The police report indicates that Murphy, 45, went to a Bank of America branch located on University Avenue in Coral Springs at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, where she made a $5,000 deposit on behalf of her husband. The money was reportedly for expenses related to the couple’s upcoming move to Tennessee. Security cameras show Murphy as she makes the transaction.
At approximately 2:00 p.m., one of Murphy’s friends says that they spotted Murphy in Margate, traveling east on Copans Road near U.S. 441 on foot. The spot is about three and a half miles away from where Murphy’s car was found. It is not clear how she got there or where she was headed. She was apparently alone when her friend saw her. “We have no idea why she would be there. If we can determine why she got out of that car, I think we’d have a better insight into what the story is,” said Frank Murphy, the missing woman’s husband.
The next evening, Frank Murphy reported Maria Claudia Murphy missing when he came home from work to find that she still had not returned. Coral Springs officials have been conducting a large-scale search for the woman using police dogs, but have not found any leads thus far. Murphy’s family and a slew of volunteers have also been working to post flyers and spread the word about the case in the hopes that someone will come forward with relevant information.
On Tuesday, Murphy’s family gathered for a press conference. “We cannot give up. I am not giving up. My family, her family, we will never give up finding, trying to find Claudia. Please, do not give up on her,” said Frank Murphy to the press. Maria Claudia Murphy’s niece addressed the woman directly, hoping she would hear. “Please let us know you’re OK,” said Catalina Rojas, 26, to the cameras.
“Claudia, if you are out there and you can hear us– that is obviously a possibility– please contact somebody to contact us, and we have obviously a lot of family members and a lot of citizens that care and are concerned, and we just want to bring you home safe,” added a police officer.