Part XV: Brianna Maitland Missing Person

This is post fifteen of 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 last week’s post, I stated my best guess as to what happened to Brianna on the evening/morning of her disappearance. I believe the evidence made available to the public—the broken necklace, the positioning of her car (backed into an abandon building, yet clearly visible from the road), and the compact timeline--seems to indicate that the victim willingly stopped at the Dutchburn farm on her drive home from work, and was taken by force from that location.

If I am arguing that there was a struggle at the farmhouse, why was there no other evidence indicating such?

Here are some possibilities.

First, I believe the struggle was brief. Despite being trained in martial arts, I would argue that if the victim was surprised and restrained by someone larger, there would not be much evidence that a altercation occurred.

Not being a big guy but still athletic (at least I can fool myself), I can restrain someone smaller using a full nelson hold (one that uses leverage and limits the movement of the arms), and if someone else is there to carry the smaller person’s feet, that subject would be removed quickly from an area leaving behind little to no indication of a struggle.

Second, the exterior of Brianna’s car had marks and dents already. Her vehicle had been involved in an accident previously, and the interior was certainly far from spotless. If a new scratch or small mark was made on the car during an altercation at the farmhouse, it would likely not be noticeable anyway.

Finally, the weather that night in Vermont was for light snow and freezing temperatures. The ground was frozen the night/morning that she disappeared. As a result, indications of a struggle (footprints, places on the ground where persons fell, etc.) would likely not be noticeable several mornings later when police returned to the scene to investigate what was now a missing person case.

One more thing-- I think the factors in this case have a domestic violence feel to them. With my best guess, Brianna stopped at the abandoned farmhouse and was taken against her will from that location. Seeing someone that she had dated previously or a male friend could have been reason enough for an unplanned stop, and he would have been allowed close enough to grab her.

I would guess that with her easy-going personality and being attractive that she would have had plenty of interest from men—quite possibly guys willing to fight over her. I think the lack of solid leads also indicates that her disappearance likely was perpetrated by one, two or a very small close-knit group of people.

In closing, the Maitland case remains an unsolved mystery that unfortunately is now also a cold case.

My next posts on this topic will be based on a discussion with a man named Bob who knows more about the investigation, and will challenge some of my assumptions. Stay tuned…

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


Anonymous said...

your boyfriend theory has large hole. most of those types of crimes involve one male and the female victim. i don't think it is really possible for one boyfriend or ex to restrain bri and put her in another car and drive away. and during the fight find sometime to crash her car into the house. i see her attack involving several people.

Slamdunk said...

Anonymous: My best guess is certainly still a hypothesis based on the known evidence. I am sure authorities have plenty of additional info that is not available to the public that could reinforce or completely alter my thoughts.

You are correct in stating that it is not likely that one boyfriend or someone that she had a dating relationship acted alone. I think such a scenario involved two or three people--perhaps even a jealous girlfriend and her guy.

Anonymous said...

I think what Slam is trying to conclude here is that Brianna stopped at the farmhouse initially ONLY because she met someone she thought she could trust, or because someone she had trusted asked her to meet there. In previous posts Slam mentioned that Brianna had left a note to her housemate indicating she'd be home that night. This may indicate a conscious or subconscious reference to something planned, something she wasn't sure about. If she'd planned on going to a party that night I expect the note would have said so. Most likely events unfolded that night - perhaps exactly as Brianna feared they might, and it seems likely another car showed up and something happened, something which Slam is suggests is "domestic", simply put, she knew the person or persons. My own theory is that given any domestic issues, the person(s) involved would have known Brianna was capable of self-defense; no reports of gun fire were reported that night, but reports of shouting were. How best to subdue someone able to defend themselves? Maybe it wasn't brawn, but rather something as simple as a stun-gun??


Reggie said...

Reading Part XVI piqued my curiosity so I now read the rest of the parts too. What a strange, disturbing story that is! I love all the theories and hypotheses that you put together for us. Thank you for sharing your insights, and I also hope that the mystery is solved soon!

Patricia said...

What if there was someone in the back seat of her car and forced her to pull over at the farmhouse? Would explain some holes in theory...

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for your comment Patricia. Your idea is certainly plausible. With it being a cold night, I would bet that Brianna started her old vehicle in the parking lot, left it running unattended while she waited in the warmth of inside, before returning to it and leaving.

This would certainly be an opportunity for someone to hide in the backseat. It would have been risky for an intruder though. BobKat goes over the apparent contents of Brianna's car, and there were not any big items to hide under. If someone was hiding there, they still would have likely needed help when she was moved to another car--someone else would likely need to drive while Brainna was being held against her will.

Good thoughts and I am certainly just guessing.