Part VIII: Brianna Maitland Missing Person

This is the eighth 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.

This week I’ll continue with my discussion of some of the criminal element that police encountered during their investigation of Brianna--Ramon Ryans, Ligia Rae Collins, Moses Robar, Ellen Ducharme, and Jorge Soto.

Ligia Rae Collins
On the Fourth of July, 2004, around midnight, Ligia Collins, disappeared from her Burlington, VT apartment. Ramon Ryans, according to several press reports at the time, was still living with Collins and was the person who first reported her missing.

After a month of investigating, detectives believed that Collins had been murdered during a drug transaction and identified Ellen Ducharme and her boyfriend Moses Robar as suspects. When Robar, operating a pickup truck, was approached by police, he shot himself committing suicide. Ducharme then confessed to killing Collins and stated that Robar and another local man with a criminal background, Timothy Crews, helped to dispose of the body in a remote area.

The remaining suspects were unable to lead police to the body’s location (forgotten), but it was found unburied with the help of a civilian search team led by a relative of Collins in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Ramon Ryans
As was discussed in the previous post, Ryans was arrested for drugs by police investigating a report that Brianna was being held against her will in a local house. The same Ryans bonded out and returned to Burlington where he reported Collins missing a few months later.

After the Collins investigation, Ryans was able to furtively relocate to NYC, where it took a listing on Vermont’s Most Wanted to encourage an associate to collect the reward money and provide the wanted man’s location to authorities.

Ryans was returned to Vermont to face the initial drug charges, but the defendant evidently was able to negotiate a favorable deal with prosecutors to provide assistance with the Maitland investigation. As a result, his felony charges were reduced to misdemeanors, and he was released with time served (no additional jail time added to the time he already had spent incarcerated).

The specific assistance that Ryans provided detectives is unclear, but media reports indicated that it included a polygraph examination. The Maitland family was displeased with the deal that Ryans made with authorities, and unfortunately, the “assistance” must not have aided Brianna’s investigation much anyway.

Jorge Soto
Police also acted on a lead that was generated by the Maitland’s family website—-that had been established to detail Brianna’s case.

According to tips, the Joker, who police have identified as Jorge E. Soto, 26, of Springfield, Mass., was an associate of Ryans, whose street name was "Streets", and Nathaniel Jackson, who went by the street handle "Low."

Soto, who sometimes lived in Richford, Vt., 13 miles from Montgomery, reportedly had been bragging he had killed Maitland. People in Richford said Soto was notorious in their town for having killed a puppy at a party with his bare hands because its barking got on his nerves and for bragging he was "untouchable" to local law enforcement.

When police questioned Soto about his boastings concerning Brianna, he told them his claims were only bravado made up to make him "appear big and mean" in the eyes of those to whom he dealt drugs and to those who owed him money. After police had questioned him, Soto reportedly continued to tell people that he killed Maitland and even told one group of teens he had buried her body in a St. Albans cornfield behind a house he occasionally occupied.
In sum, the police investigation into Brianna Maitland’s disappearance had produced a variety of dangerous characters, but no details to her case that could be substantiated. Oddly, the name Ramon Ryans would appear again as police searched for more information about the missing young woman.

Note: Most of the information in today's post (including the quote above) was sourced from this informative article.

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


Aaron said...

Still awaiting part IX. I love reading your reports on this poor unfortunate girl.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks Aaron--posts IX and X on the Maitland case are on the site now.

You can access them by clicking the "Brianna Maitland" search words on the left column or by clicking the top left where the name of the blog is to access the home page (and then scroll down to the latest posts).

Michael Robbins said...

I was Steven Tucker's cell mate in the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility during early March of 2013. He told me that the killer (I am not positive of the name), is supposedly incarcerated in Springfield, VT and for sure is the killer of Brianna Maitland. Tucker wrote up an affidavit and was released from jail the very next day for releasing information. He told me that the killer kept journals of how he killed Brianna and how he is planning to kill more once he is released. The killer of Brianna is currently incarcerated in Springfield, Vermont. He is currently incarcerated for attempted murder of his wife and another man.

Anonymous said...

FYI Timothy Crews also murdered 16year old Craig Jackman with an Axe in 1980 and confessed the crime. And now is still walking free and implicated in two more murders. Way to go justice system

Anonymous said...

You can get the reward money by giving this info! Please! Time to give the family closure.