Part V: Brianna Maitland Missing Person

This is the fifth post in my series on the Brianna Maitland missing person case. Maitland was last seen around 11:30 pm on March 19, 2004, after she had completed her shift at the Black Lantern Inn 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 a traffic collision.

After skipping a week to focus on new developments in the Ray Gricar case, I’ll continue discussing the Maitland case. In my fourth post on this topic, I discussed how Maura Murray, a young college student from Massachusetts, also went missing after an apparent traffic collision approximately 90 miles from where Maitland’s car was recovered. After reviewing the details of that case and despite similarities to Maitland’s disappearance—I agree with authorities that they do not appear to be related.

Another odd fact in the Maitland case is the location that her car was recovered--after what authorities believe was a staged traffic accident. The abandoned old farmhouse where Maitland’s Buick had crashed is known locally as the Dutchburn House.

At the time of the incident, the house had been vacant for several years. In 1986, the two elderly brothers who lived at the residence, Myron and Harry Dutchburn, were severely beaten by an intruder who burglarized their home. The brothers were hospitalized and then subsequently moved to a nursing home—never returning to live in the house.

The Dutchburn House reminded me of the unusual/scary home that is a part of every neighborhood. Young children are too frightened to go near it. Teens find it fascinating and are drawn to it. At the time of Brianna’s disappearance, the home was boarded-up with plywood. Obviously, meaning that unwelcomed people had visited the house before—perhaps to party and/or vandalize the place.

In the photographs of Brianna’s car crash, a piece of the house’s plywood was knocked free, and access into the home was certainly possible. This leads one to ask several questions: were people inside the home waiting for Brianna? Was she lured to the inside of the house?

The information released to the public by police does not indicate that access inside the farmhouse was a part of this mystery. It was reported that authorities searched the home, and did not believe anything related to the case occurred inside.

The position of the car would seem to support this information. If one needed to gain access to a boarded home, backing a car into a front window is not the most inconspicuous approach; especially, since the home sits right on a well-traveled highway.

Also, Brianna’s scattered belongings and broken necklace found adjacent to the car, indicate that the physical part of the incident occurred outside the home (unless you believe that part was staged as well). From the picture and the where the belongings were, it just seems that the car being backed into the house was either an accident or occurred during a struggle—and both likely resulted in subjects fleeing the farmhouse area in a hurry.

Is it strange that one old farmhouse would be the setting for one violent crime and another potentially violent crime during the span of twenty years? Certainly, but the evidence at the scene of the Maitland case does not seem to support any of the theories that include details from inside the Dutchburn House.

Previous posts in this series can be accessed by clicking "Brianna Maitland" on the left margin of the home page.


J. J. in Phila said...

The plywood may not be indicative of a problem at the house. Sometimes if a house is closed and unoccupied, the owner/caretaker will seal it as a precaution, including putting plywood over windows.

While the house could have been involved, it would likely yield evidence.

Christopher said...

I almsot hate reading accounts like this because they make me want to drop everything and join in the investigation.

But good job keeping it in the public consciousness.

Oz Girl said...

Such a sad case. We will always wonder what happened to poor Brianna and assume the worst.

Slamdunk said...

JJ: Point well made. I based that assumption that all the local young ppl new the place by name and that I remember authorities finding things inside the building unrelated to the case. It is certainly just a guess on my part.

C: I think investigators could use some fresh ideas on the case.

Anonymous said...

Posts III and IV are no longer available :(

Slamdunk said...

Thanks anonymous--I am going through my old posts and removing the bad links.

Here are the links to Part III and Part IV.

You can also access any of the Maitland series posts by going to the left of homepage and clicking the keyword "Brianna Maitland."

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered where Howard Godfrey was that night. He was arrested in 2005 for the 1991 rape and murder of Patricia Scoville in Stowe, VT. Also, served time for a 1996 assault (with a gun). I am sure authorities must have considered him....

BobKat said...

Anonymous... RE: Howard Godfrey... the name itself I don't recall, but I know for a fact sexual predators were considered, and many interviewed. I personally wouldn't rule out a "stranger-abduction", but I feel strongly, based on my involvement helping the family, and research, that those involved in her disappearance were known to her.

Perhaps a future post to explain why...

Wondering said...

I seem to remember it being reported that there had been an unknown man in the resturant the eve the Maitland girl disapeared, that had spoke to her. This was right after she had been missing. Never heard of this again. Godfrey I feel is a predator. My husband worked as a bouncer in the local bar . He had to escort workers home a couple of times ,because Godfrey had made them so uncomfortable. My husband has known him all of his life. Godfrey was married to his aunt. These incidents happened after the Scoville murder. Why would he have an article about the girl in N.h. a year old at the time of his arrest. The only newspaper it was reported that was in his apt.Raises alot of ? ,s for me.