Part XXV: Brianna Maitland Missing Person


Guest blogger Bob continues his discussion of the Brianna Maitland case.

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Brianna Maitland – “the Crime-Scene”


Part FIVE


The Lime and Meet Me At…


”Meet Me at…” Simulated Night-Scene 2 by BobKat























Happy Halloween!








I don’t know about you… but I don’t think I’d stop and have a drink at this place, even on Halloween night; let alone after a long night at work washing dishes. The house you see is a simulated image of what Brianna would have seen coming around the curve in the road to the Dutchburn place on her way home - with a history that’s common knowledge these days.

We’ve got two basic theories to address, each with minor sub-plots.

1) She had planned to meet someone there after work.

2) She was forced to pull off the road at this place for reason’s unknown.

Beginning with Theory # 1:

The lime wedge seen on the trunk of her car. How did it get there? Is it evidence that Brianna stopped at the Dutchburn place and met someone, had a beverage with a lime in it, or someone else did?

The origin of the “party at the Dutchburn place” goes back to the very beginning of the questions family and friends had. In addition to the lime, there were questions about whether her driver’s side door was open when first found; whether any cigarette butts were lying on the ground indicating people standing around. Whether there was vomit on the ground?

In late 2004 I was fortunate enough to interview the persons known as the World travelers. They are the trio of skiers who happened to pass by the house around 8 AM Saturday morning, saw the car crashed into the house, and thought it strange enough to stop. They got out to investigate the scene.

Here is my interview with them (Edited version):


11/17/05

Me: Do you remember if the car door was open or closed when you got there? I know I have been asked that question so many times.

J: To answer your question below, I remember the car being as we pictured it: doors closed. We looked around, but didn't touch anything, and like I said we were pretty spooked by the situation - it's not every day you drive by a car implanted into a house.


******

11/18/05

J: You're right, thinking back it was a lime. I remember thinking that it wasn't a drunk driving accident - I was an EMT and drunk driving accidents never looked this clean. There aren't skid marks to speak of really.


I don't recall any tracks and I don't recall any vomit. Then again vomit is hard to see on brown grass (there wasn't much snow and we weren't looking very carefully). In retrospect, I wish I had taken 50 more photos of the scene.


I forwarded your email to my friend who was with me at the time and this is what he had to say:


T: "When we arrived at the car, the doors were closed but unlocked. I remember this distinctly because either you or C opened it. On the trunk of the car was a squeezed lime wedge (I don't think it was a lemon wedge.) In any event, it was the type of thing that would be put in a cocktail or Corona (although I don't remember seeing any evidence of any alcohol.) The reason the lime stands out in my mind was that I remembered thinking, "this is a pretty random place to stand around and have a drink."

It was at that point that I told J and C that "If the person that did this is inside [which i thought was the case], I'd be willing to bet they aren't going to be happy about us being here." At that point, we left.

There was no vomit on the ground.

In addition to a necklace - as far as I can recall, the necklace was metallic. I don't think it was gold though. and coffee cup on the ground was a small pile of change - about $0.65 or so within about 5 feet of the discarded coffee cup and the necklace.

When first driving by the house, we thought a drunk driver had hit the house and abandoned the car, but in retrospect it appeared that they must have intentionally hit the house. The photograph doesn't really capture it well, but it appears that the back corner of the car struck the bottom corner of the plywood covering the window with some precision.

Although it appears the plywood covered the entire trunk in the picture, it was only covering a portion of it. We saw the lime (there may have been more than one - I don't recall though) .

With regards to the weather: It was about 25 degrees out on the previous night, but NOT snowing. The snow began falling at about 11:00 AM that Saturday, AFTER we had already been past the car.

Hope that helps."

*****

J: I don't remember any butts near the scene... Then again the grass was brown and we weren't really studying the situation. Yes that is the coffee cup in the photo - one of those plastic refillable ones. Do not remember seeing a windbreaker or keys - I would've remembered keys.

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RE: Cigarette butts around the car:

T: "Cigaratte butts: I can't say for certain on that one. I'm thinking that there may have been an ashtray in the car with cigarette butt's in it, but i don't remember noticing cigarette butts at all.

The coffee cup that we mentioned is the one in the picture - I believe it's a "to go" refillable mug that you would get at a convenience store.

I don't remember a windbreaker jacket on the ground, but there may have been one in the car. I mostly remember that the back seat had unopened packages of food (don't remember what kind - I think it was non-perishable stuff like cereal, cans of soda, that sort of thing).

Did not see any car keys around, and I feel like we would have remembered that."

*****

Conclusion Theory #1:

I personally believe the lime wedge was on Brianna’s car when she left the Black Lantern, probably tossed there by a patron who sneaked a drink out. I doubt very much Brianna left with a drink of her own. It is out of character based on what I know about her.

As for the possibility that she went to the Dutchburn place and made up a drink for herself, or was given one? Unlikely. There was never any evidence of alcohol use found at the scene.

What about “planning”? A “planned event to meet someone there”?

Until recently, there were no indications known to me or the family, that she had planned anything other than to go home after work that night. Her note to her roommate is evidence of her intentions from that afternoon. Further, there were no known contacts either in person or through a phone call that occurred after Brianna got to work that her plan had changed.

There is however this latest information from a blogger who claims to know much more than myself or the family. This is a cached version of the blog, as the person deleted the blog soon after contacting Slam Dunks.

The blog is here. It is too bad this person(s) isn’t willing to assist us any longer, but that’s their prerogative. At least we still have what they did contribute while they were here.

What’s new here is the claim, made by cbcklr, is that James, Brianna’s on again, off again boyfriend saw her the afternoon of March 19, 2004.

If that is true, were some plans made where Brianna agreed to stop and meet someone at the Dutchburn place after work? We don’t know. But what is obvious… is, what I heard at the time is the story that James claimed he went to Canada that evening and so wasn’t around when Brianna left work.

His version of the morning is this: he didn’t return home until around 4:30 AM Saturday and while driving by the Dutchburn noticed what looked like Brianna's car, crashed into the house, but he was really tired, so he didn’t stop.

If true, then what the blogger, cbcklr, wrote about James, claiming to know him, and he himself knowing those involved in an alleged drug overdose, that information would have to have come second hand, as he couldn’t both be in Canada and also at a party alleged to have occurred in Richford, VT that night.

This implies issues with what the blogger, cbcklr, is trying to tell us… and again… too bad that blogger who was interested in finding Brianna has abandoned us.

Next Time on Slam Dunks… A Review of Theory #2…

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Previous posts in this series can be accessed by clicking "Brianna Maitland" on the left margin of the home page or a list of historical posts is here.

9 comments:

doublestar5 said...

WOW. If I had been an on and off boyfriend or even just a friend for that matter, and I had seen her car crashed into a barn, I don't care how tired I was I would have stopped to see if she was injured and still in the car. But, that's just me.

Totally agree about the lime wedge, Bob. She may well have made plans to meet someome at the barn that night, thinking it was going to be for a very short time, hence the note that she would be right home after work.

Cindy Beck said...

There are a lot of points here, and I think some of them may be clouding the issue. It's my guess that the wedge of lime is one of those clues that doesn't really pertain to the case. But, who can say? Only the person who left the lime wedge on the car.

Also it feels to me like something important that would help solve this case is still missing.

Hope something new comes to light.

Very interesting case, though. Thanks for keeping us posted.

BobKat said...

doublestar5... I keep reminding myself, as Brianna, I'm a mature 17 year old young person. NOT, 55, really long commute, and all I want to do after work is get home safe!

Your point about "the quick stop" is a crucial one! If a friend said to me, I have something for you, something special, but I have to meet you somewhere after work... maybe the Dutchburn place, I'd probably say okay. If I felt it strange, and felt an edge of paranoia, some anxiety, I would have left my house-mate a note.

The problem with that theory is she didn't know when she'd be leaving work, she didn't have a cell-phone (with her that night), and whoever might have been waiting for her, wishing it to be quick, would have had to wait, and while waiting would have stood out like a skunk in the road.

She had friend's places she could stop for something special, so why the Dutchburn... and would a 17 yo really agree to that???

Cindy Beck... the "something important missing" is what I've felt all along. I do think it's more of a puzzle, with all the pieces there, only the key parts are divided up...

Slamdunk said...

Excellent post Bob.

When one person's name seems to keep being mentioned regarding different aspects of the case, it leads me to want to examine that individual's actions and statements more closely--to prove either coincidence or not.

J. J. in Phila said...

One thing about the lack of skid marks.

If someone was drunk, they could have been starting out when hitting the house. Simply putting the car into drive, not remembering to turn on the headlights, or vomiting while starting out could caus that.

BobKat said...

I browse MSNBC Dateline often while at work. I like Crime Library too, but the boss let it be known one day that was off-limits. The other day a story appeared on Dateline that seemed particularly poignant. "Up In Smoke", the story about the murder of Christie Fleming, age 25. And the 14 years it took to arrest the man ultimately found guilty of her murder... someone you'd least expect.

The story includes interesting insights into how law enforcement works, how the guilty party works. It made me think, that there are parallels here that can be drawn; that I believe could be applied to Brianna's case.

BobKat said...

Correction: the Dateline story is named "When the Smoke Clears", not 'Up in Smoke' as I said in my previous comment.

echo said...

I think maybe James her on again off again boyfriend may have called her just before leaving work to have her meet him at the Dutchburn place. When she arrived there was more than him there and they dragged her from the car. Then possible backed her car into the barn. It is to bad they could not get fingerprints off from the necklace, coffee cup, or car. I mean come on who leaves to pay checks behind if they are running away. I think it was all a set up from the people who were saying that she owed drug money to them. When you deal with people like that you either pay up or lose your life. No one comes forward cause they don't dare or they lose their life. It's such a shame I have followed this case from day one. I am always wanting to know if there are new leads I look often. Someone needs to be brave for Brianna and come forward so her poor parents can have some peace.

Anonymous said...

Echo...

There are other possibilities! I know this message is over a month in coming, but according to everything that is known Brianna received no phone calls at work. There is every possibility she learned something, or made arrangements for later, or was threatened that day. There is a possibility that Brianna may have been having a intimate relationship with a black man, and that others strongly disapproved when they found out. Obviously names cannot be named.

The drug connection may be a diversion, accidentally sparked by the VSP. There was a marijuana leaf trinket hanging from her rear-view mirror, there were beer-caps glued to her radio dials... yet Brianna didn't drive while under the influence - she got rides by friends.

There are those who know what happened - please, assume nothing when considering why they may not be talking!