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SHSU student drowns in Guadalupe river

Senior Reporter

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 01:07

SHSU student drowns in Guadalupe river

Photo courtesy of gofundme.com

William Murray, the brother of missing student "TJ" Murray, drowned in the Guadalupe River last week.

The funeral of the Sam Houston State University student who drowned in the Guadalupe River was held Saturday at Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Spring.


William Murray, 21-year-old criminal justice major, was swimming across the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels near Camp Hueco Springs when he went under and did not resurface, according to the Comal County Sheriff’s office.


He is the brother of TJ Murray, another SHSU student who went missing more than nine months ago.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Woodforest National Bank care of William Murray Scholarship Fund.


The Oak Ridge Woodlands Area Little League where all the Murray boys played baseball growing up left their condolences on the site, “To the Murray family, who has been part of our Oak Ridge Woodlands Area Little League family for so many years, we send our deepest sympathy and prayers. We hope our gift to William’s Memorial Fund Scholarship at Woodforest Bank will provide a continual memorial for all the wonderful things William and the Murray family have given to others over the years.”


William’s obituary painted a picture of him and his dreams: “Because of his great love of the outdoors, he hoped to become a game warden.”


The online version of the obituary has a guestbook that has been swarmed by friends and family of the Murrays, as well as strangers with well wishes.


Hundreds of Facebook users have flocked to the “Bring TJ Murray Home Safe” page since his death to show their sympathy and support for the family.


Many are hoping that something good comes to the Murray family from this tragedy.

“I hope Will’s death isn’t in vain. I hope this tragedy will compel people who have any knowledge of what happened to TJ to have a heart and come forward with any information they have regarding his disappearance. This family needs answers and some peace in their lives. I know they loved both of their sons dearly,” Debbie Millner Keeble wrote on the Facebook page.


According to witnesses, Wililam pretended to drown a couple times to frighten his friends, prompting them to check on him.


His friends were not immediately alarmed because he had cried wolf, when while trying to swim across he didn’t resurface. After 10 or 15 minutes they noticed he was nowhere to be seen so they called 911 and reported a missing person and possible drowning before beginning to search for him.


A friend found him in the water and pulled him ashore as Comal County Sheriff deputies arrived and began CPR.


William was in the eight or nine-foot deep water for approximately 30 minutes before he was found, according to officials.


He was transported to Christus New Braunfels Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m.


His death was ruled a freshwater drowning and an autopsy was not ordered.

“This is the first drowning of the year on the Guadalupe for Comal County,” Lt. Mark Reynolds of the CCSO said.


William is the second youngest of four sons. His oldest brother who also attended SHSU, Thomas “TJ” Murray, went missing from a bar in Montgomery County last October after being seen in an argument. Their parents are coaches and teachers in Conroe.


TJ Murray’s truck was found the next day still in the parking lot of one of the bars he visited, and his cell phone was found in a nearby ditch.


The reward for information on TJ has been raised to $30,000 according to KHOU.

Foul play has not been ruled out in TJ Murray’s disappearance.

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