Part II: Brianna Maitland Missing Person

This is the second post in my series on the Brianna Maitland missing person case.* Maitland was last seen during around 11:30 pm on March 19, 2004, as she was completing her shift at the Black Lantern Inn restaurant in Montgomery, Vermont. She left the restaurant in a 1985 Oldsmobile, which was later found abandoned on the property of an old vacant farm--about one mile from the restaurant. The vehicle appeared to have been involved in an accident.

With the first post, I provided the Maitland case history and introduced several peculiarities with Brianna’s disappearance. In this segment, I will discuss the most intriguing aspect of this case: the photographs of the missing woman’s car as the scene appeared after police initially discovered it on March 20, 2004. The photos were taken by a citizen-—showing Maitland’s Buick crashed into a wall of the Dutchburn farmhouse.

Multiple news sources reported the initial police discovery in the following manner. In the early morning hours of March 20, a trooper with the Vermont State Police patrolling on Rt. 118 noticed a Green Buick sitting on the abandoned farm property (the farmhouse is very close to the highway road and is clearly visible). He stopped and briefly inspected the vehicle. The trooper saw no one around, opened one of the car’s unlocked doors, and noticed two Black Lantern Inn paychecks made out to Brianna Maitland on the front seat.

News reporter H.P. Albarelli, Jr. states the officer then picked up several items off the ground near the vehicle, "including a broken necklace, and tossed them into the vehicle's back seat." He then left the scene on another call and assumed that the Buick was a hit-and run accident.

Maitland’s car was again noticed by a group of citizens driving on an out-of-town trip early in the morning of March 20. Concerned someone might be injured, they stopped and also saw no one around the vehicle. One of the persons with the group thought the vehicle crashed into a farm house was interesting enough to snap two pictures of the collision scene before the friends departed. These have been the pictures of the incident scene that became synonomous with the case.

Police responded again to the scene later that morning, believed the vehicle was involved in a simple a hit-and-run, and had the car towed to a local wrecker company where it would stay until someone claimed it. Maitland’s vehicle then sat for several days due to an unfortunate set of circumstances that included Brianna not initially being reported missing and then police not realizing that they had already recovered the missing person’s vehicle.

Below is a tiny version of one of the citizen’s photographs of Brianna’s wrecked vehicle. Due to access limitations with the image, I am unable to enlarge the size of the photo, but you can go here for a much better look (you can use the magnify tool there to see the picture full-screen).

What do you notice? If you didn't use the photo's original link, probably not much.

Here are some of my notes regarding the image:

--There was snow on the ground and it could have been on the road at the time of the incident.

--The house’s damage seems to indicate that the car was not driving at a high rate of speed when the collision occurred.

--One of the house's boarded-up window that received the car’s impact apparently rests on top of the car.

--There is damage on the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Looking at the photo is still a bit haunting for me--considering that the scene displayed could very well have been the place of a violent struggle.

Next time, I’ll continue with my discussion of this case with more on the collision scene, the photos, and the surprising past of the abandoned farmhouse where Brianna’s vehicle was found.

*Note: Because many of the resources and articles are no longer available on this case, I am only able to provide links for some of the information. Also, I am providing some of the information by memory (since the articles are no longer online), and any detail that I screw-up, I'll apologize and correct immediately.


copswife said...

So, are these cases you worked on or just read about?

J said...

Good job, even from memory.

Oz Girl said...

I'm amazed at the initial law enforcement officer's reaction to the scene. Aren't they trained to presume the worst? Why in the world would he so lackadaisically throw that necklace in the back seat? Just doesn't seem right!

And re: living on the plains... hmm, this is my first experience without power for more than maybe 6 hours? Always came back on pretty quick in the city! Not sure I like this!

Slamdunk said...

CW: I have no connection to either the Maitland or Gricar cases and my comments are limited to what is available to the public.

JJ: Thanks--Fortunately, I have hardcopies of some of the information even though I have nto found them online anymore.

OG: You and JJ are good at mentioning what my next post will be about. Next, I would like to contrast the conflicting perspectives of the collision scene--and hopefully address your question as to how the initial investigation unfolded.

cbcklr said...

Today is "missing Children's Day"
I believe the State Police who handled and still handle this investigation, have not followed their leads, leading to the recovery of Briannas body. Having children of my own, I can't imagine, having one missing for 5 years, and not being able to have closure. I do believe, someday, the truth will come long as the State Police is not involved.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comment cbcklr--I did not know about today's designation.