Part XIII: Brianna Maitland Missing Person

This is the thirteenth 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.

In post #11, I stated that I consider the three critical pieces of case information made available to the public to be the location of Brianna’s car, the compact timeframe of her disappearance, and her broken necklace.

In that same post, I discussed how this evidence did not appear to support Scenario #1—that Brianna was abducted by a stranger. In this post, I’ll examine another possible explanation.

Scenario #2: She was a crime victim/overdosed at another location and her car was simply abandoned at the Dutchburn farmhouse.

Authorities estimate that Brianna left work around midnight. She had previously told her roommate that she was going to be home after work—as she had to be a second job early the next morning. The location of the Dutchburn property follows the route that she would have traveled to drive from work home.

Investigators hired by the family (and most likely police) explored the possibility that Brianna traveled from work to a party in nearby Richford, VT that morning, and some attendees interviewed years later seemed to believe that she was there. Did something happen to Brianna at the party and then her vehicle was moved later to the abandon farm?

Though possible, I argue that there are several problems with this theory. First, Vermont State Police spotted Brianna’s car during the early morning hours after she had left work. To me, this means between 1 am and 3 am, and I’ll use 2 am for this post. The officer checked the scene, but after a few minutes was called away on another call.

Considering it would take about less than a half-hour for Brianna to drive to Richford, she would have arrived at a party no earlier than 12:15 am and likely around 12:30 am.

Light snow was falling in the area that night, but nothing that should have affected her driving.

This leaves only 90 minutes or so for a lot to occur including her socializing at the gathering, something happening, those responsible or persons on the scene deciding what to do, having someone find her car keys, then a person driving the car to the Dutchburn place, and finally crashing it (at a very slow speed) into the barn. The strict timeline certainly does not favor such an idea.

Second, why would Brianna’s broken necklace be on the ground at the farmhouse and not at the party? Did it break at the party and then somehow get stuck to the person moving Brianna’s car? It just does not sound likely.

Third, if the idea was to relocate Brianna’s car from the party site, would there not be 1,000 better spots to dump a car as opposed to slowly backing the old Buick into a farmhouse that is plainly visible from a two lane highway?

She had to drive about ten miles from Montgomery Village to Richford, have whatever happen there, and then be transported or at least her vehicle be driven back to within a mile of her workplace. Why?

In sum, the theory that something happened at another location and Brianna’s car was driven to and left at the Dutchburn farmhouse does not seem likely when considering the three key pieces of information described above.

I’ll continue with a third theory on Brianna’s disappearance next time—one that I’ll argue is very possible.

Previous posts on this case can be accessed by clicking the keyword “Brianna Maitland” on the left margin of the home page.


Anonymous said...

Nice Job reviewing "a party in Richford" that Friday night... speculating as to whether Brianna could have been there. As for the "attendees that claim to remember having been there after much time had passed", I doubt that, that they'd remember that far back... it's documented, there was a party the week before that they may have attended, that Brianna was at, and we know that because a good friend, a local resident who lived in town and knew her very well, saw her there. Maybe it was this party they remember?

Slamdunk said...

Good point anonymous and one that I should have discussed. I cannot remember where my car keys are on most days much less who I saw at a social function 24 months ago.

I think the attendees at this type of party would also be less apt to recall specifics correctly for obvious reasons.

Robert said...

Thanks for sharing with me.... I enjoyed..

B Maitland said...

To clear a few things: There was no "party" that Bri attended, The Alantic Cty was someone else that looked close, and there was under1/2 hour from when Bri left work until the car was spotted. Thanks for your interest.

Slamdunk said...

Thank you B Maitland for those specifics--it helps with our understanding of the case.