Part XII: Brianna Maitland Missing Person

This is the twelfth 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.

I’ll delay finishing my thoughts on the case to further discuss potential photos of the missing woman.

In a previous post, I discussed how a citizen reported to authorities that a woman who resembled Maitland was seen with a man at a New Jersey casino almost two years after her disappearance. Police investigated and were able to locate grainy security camera images of the young brunette who was accompanied by a male white. The images were enhanced, shown to the family, and then released to the public.

This is one of the pictures:

As I stated before, the family was initially unsure if the woman in the security video was their missing daughter. After closer examination, I remember reading that they do not believe it is her, but are still not completely certain.

Several years ago, the Maitland family hosted an web-based discussion board on their daughter’s disappearance. I believe the site was important as family members, several people with insider-knowledge of the case, and the general public interacted. Not only did the board allow the case to remain fresh for persons interested in the woman’s disappearance, but it also promoted participation. As one would guess, case followers began examining the casino images more closely.

First, once the images were made available, a reader named Peter created comparison photos of the woman in the casino with Maitland’s photos. The chins, noses, mouths, and facial shape of the two people were posted so that readers could compare and debate. Peter has followed the case closely for many years now, and was kind enough to send me the following side-by-side facials that were compared.

Is this woman Brianna Maitland?

Second, authorities had little to go on in identifying the casino couple. From the video, it appears that the man is wearing a t-shirt with a logo. Unfortunately, the quality of the images makes it difficult to read or identify much else about either person.

Again, the boarders went to work and soon the man’s logo/shirt design was enhanced and posted to the board for discussion. After much debate, a Maitland case insider tells me that the shirt logo was believed to be of the rock group Avenged Sevenfold. Not the big break that everyone was hoping for, but still added more information to the mix.

Did this information identify the man or woman at the casino? No, but it did show the potential of interested persons from all over the world brainstorming about a missing person case and providing relevant insights.

I am having discussions with some others that were involved in Brianna’s case and I hope to have some of the discussions posted to the blog soon.


J. J. in Phila said...

I copied the photos and lightened the casino one, I've got to say that there are a lot of similarities (chin, cheekbones, nose bridge, brow line, forehead).

Have these photos ever been analyzed by the FBI? They were used in the Gricar case and one supposed sighting (in Texas) was ruled out.

Cindy Beck said...

Hmm, interesting. Notice the difference in the eyebrows, though. It's JMO, but women don't usually change the way they pluck their eyebrows, and there seems to be a difference there.

Slamdunk said...

JJ: good question; I think I know the answer but I should check on it.

Cindy: Excellent observation. I think your comment illustrates how different perspectives can contribute to cases--a take that I doubt a 40+ year old male homicide detective would be able to offer.

Peter said...

Brianna's mom, Kellie, wrote me a very touching note after I initially posted the comparison photos.

I was saddened by the fact that this type of comparison hadn't been done by law enforcement or hadn't been made available to Brianna's family. I brought no special skills or software to this effort, I just thought it needed to be done.

As Slamdunk said to Cindy, this illustrates how different perspectives can contribute to cases.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Brianna and others.


Anonymous said...

I worked long and hard on this case ... analyzing this video from the casino was part of that work - I received the complete video and with special software was able to scrutinize every frame - there are 2 per second... not a lot. Even with the best equipment, there is a limit to how far these images can provide answers. Some things I noted: Happy couple. Many twenties in the woman's wallet which she kept in her purse. Looks to be rum and coke she's drinking. Looks relaxed. My opinion... this video would be most useful if those two people saw it and contacted authorities. I doubt it's Brianna... I feel as Slamdunk said somewhere else that we have our dopplegangers... If we know what t-shirt the guy was wearing, it narrows the range of people who might see and connect to this plea... nothing and no one can be ignored...

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for your perspective anonymous.