New clues surface in missing woman case

Maria Claudia Murphy last seen Friday

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

MARGATE, Fla. - Investigators are honing in on two major clues in the disappearance of a Coral Springs woman who was last seen Friday.

Coral Springs police received an anonymous tip and found Maria Claudia Murphy's black BMW on Tuesday night in a parking lot behind a restaurant in the 7900 block of Sample Road.

Alvaro Tobar, the owner of the restaurant, which she was known to frequent, said surveillance video showed Murphy getting out of her car and walking toward Sample Road.

The video is dated at about 1 p.m. Friday, the last time Murphy, 45, was seen.

A patron spotted the BMW behind the restaurant late Tuesday night, police said. Tobar said the car had no signs of forced entry, and that in the video, Murphy walked off-screen apparently of her own free will.

Tobar said the last time he saw Murphy was a few months ago, when she stopped in to eat. He said nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

"She looked happy," Tobar said. "I know her husband, too. Most of the time, she's coming by herself, but sometimes, she's coming with her husband. They look (like) a normal couple."

At the Murphy home Wednesday, cars parked in the driveway had Murphy's picture on the windshield. Family members said they are optimistic that detectives are getting closer to finding her, and they are still asking the public to keep an eye out for her.

"We just want Claudia home. We all miss her desperately. We're desperate to find her," said Ellen Murphy, the missing woman's sister-in-law. "Anyone who could help, that's all we're asking for is the public's help. We now have the car, but somebody may have seen something, so we don't want to stop focusing on the car."

Tobar said the investigators asked that the restaurant surveillance video not be released. Detectives planned to review video from other cameras at the restaurant, which might show whether Murphy walked west or east on Sample Road.

Investigators are also checking with county bus drivers, with the thought that she might have gotten on a bus.

Anyone with information is asked to call Coral Springs police.

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