Part XI: Brianna Maitland Missing Person


This is the eleventh 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.


During this series, I have discussed at length what makes this case odd including: a low speed car crash; haunting photos of the scene; the delay in discovering that the young woman was missing; lots of rumors from the local young people; a sad affidavit that has remained uncorroborated.

Of the evidence that has been made available to the public, I believe the most important are the location of Brianna’s car, the compact timeframe of her disappearance, and her broken necklace. Further, the uncashed paychecks are a critical piece of information, but it is most convincing in ruling theories out that involve Brianna voluntarily leaving.

My final two posts in this series will focus how the key evidence supports or undermines three explanations of the disappearance.

In my opinion, here are three theories that best explain Brianna Maitland’s case—discussed in terms of the key evidence listed above.

Scenario #1: She was abducted by a stranger at the location that her vehicle was recovered (Dutchburn farmhouse).
Brianna was popular in her community and certainly would have been seen around town by strangers. She worked at a local restaurant that gave her visibility and the opportunity for chance encounters.

What if someone forced her into her vehicle or was waiting for her inside the vehicle and they both drove away from work late the night of her disappearance? When interviewed by police, a coworker simply reported seeing her car leave a little before midnight. This theory would fit well within the known short time frame as the recovery location of Brianna’s car was about one mile from work. The car crashing into the farmhouse and the broken necklace could also indicate some sort of struggle.

So why does this theory not appear to be the most likely? First, the assailant would need to be working with at least one other person as the attacker would need transportation away from the farmhouse. This would eliminate spontaneity from the equation since the aggressor would need to plan the crime in order to have the proper type of assistance available.

Second, no reports of suspicious vehicles or struggles were reported in the parking lot of the restaurant. No one remembered seeing anything away from the ordinary that night at her workplace.

Also, you would think that a stranger wanting to kidnap a young hostess would have a better plan than to crash her vehicle in plain view of a highway—another alternative that involved hiding her vehicle a little better would make much more sense.

If one argues that Brianna stopped willingly at the abandoned farmhouse for a stranger, the question “why” would take center stage. Explanations involving Brianna, a woman driving by herself late at night, assisting a stranded motorist simply seem unlikely.

The stranger abduction theory is possible, but not as likely as the other explanations.

In my next post, I’ll complete my thoughts on two other potential scenarios.

3 comments:

Oz Girl said...

I am in agreement with you, this does not seem a likely scenario.

Thx for entering my giveaway; loved your comment re: good prizes and not ginsu knives or a can of spam, LOL. I've been taken to task by not allowing an Ohio native to win (since I'm from Ohio) and several others that were disappointed they did not win. Since I'm a VERY giving person, I pretty much feel bad that EVERYONE can't win.

So I might be rethinking my giveaway strategy... hmmmm. I'm thinking. :)

Slamdunk said...

YW Oz Girl--though Spam does get a bad rap in my opinion...

J. J. in Phila said...

I can see one additional problem with the "stranger abduction" theory.

The area sounds remote and I wonder how someone not familiar with area to stage the crash or even be familiar with back roads.