Missing student TJ Murray remembered one year later
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 21:10
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight for a Sam Houston State University student who has been missing for one year today. The vigil and a 5-minute moment of silence will take place today at 8:30 p.m. at Rookies Sports Bar in Spring.
Thomas “TJ” Murray, Jr., disappeared from the parking lot of Rookies Sports Bar on the night of Oct. 18, 2011. He had borrowed his father’s truck to go barhopping with friends that night.
The truck was still in the parking lot, but his cell phone was found in a nearby ditch.
“I still can’t believe it’s been a year. I am told, ‘time heals all wounds’, but for me the pain and sense of loss hasn’t diminished much over the last twelve months. We all miss him so much,” Justin Snyder, Murray’s cousin, said.
To be out of contact with his family was unlike the almost 24-year-old Murray.
“He told us he was going to the bar with his high school buddies since one of his friends is in the military and was going to be shipped overseas,” Ian Hollifield, SHSU student and Murray’s neighbor at the time, told the Houstonian last year.
There is still an on going investigation according to Lt. Dan Norris of the Montgomery County Sheriff Office.
“We would desperately like answers to what happened that night and to know where TJ is,” Snyder said. “The ‘not knowing’ has been the hardest part for me personally.”
This isn’t the only tragedy to strike the Murray family in the last year- on July 17, William Murray, one of TJ’s three younger brothers, drowned while swimming in the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels.
“With TJ missing and then losing Will in July, our feelings of loss and grief have been overwhelming,” Snyder said. “The last year has been very hard, an emotional roller coaster.”
Snyder often updates a Facebook page dedicated to helping find TJ. The “Bring TJ Murray Home Safe” page has more than 6,000 people devoted to finding him and praying for the family.
The Murray family is looking for hope.
“Hope is what keeps me going,” Thomas Murray, father of TJ and William, said. “I miss my boys so very much, parents should be the ones who depart before their children do.”
Their father reminisced about his sons’ most missed features.
“TJ’s bright blue eyes and Will’s smile, or ‘shit-eating grin’ as we like to call it, are missed dearly.”
TJ was taking business and psychology classes and William was a criminal justice major.
“My two boys loved Sam Houston, they made so many new friends,” Thomas Murray, Sr., said. ”[It] was their new home. I want to thank the student body and SHSU for all of their support, prayers, kindness and donations; it is appreciated so very much.”
TJ is described as 5’6” and weighs 140 pounds. He has blue eyes and has blonde hair.
Anyone is welcome to join the vigil at Rookies Sports Bar, located at 305 Sawdust Rd, Ste B, Spring, TX 77380.
Anyone with information should contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.