Brianna Maitland

Brianna Maitland, 17, went missing on March 19, 2004, after leaving her job at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vermont. The following day, Maitland’s car was discovered backed into the side of an abandoned barn, about a mile from her workplace. Suspects range from drug gangs to serial killers, but police have no leads, and Brianna’s disappearance is still unsolved.

Early Life of Brianna Maitland

Brianna Alexandria Maitland was born on October 8, 1986, in East Franklin, Maine, near the Canadian border, to Bruce and Kellie Maitland. Brianna led a relatively normal life, save for her brief dabbling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons.

Her schedule became too hectic by her sophomore year, so she transferred to a new high school. She also left her parents’ house and began living with her friends. She dropped out of high school because she couldn’t keep up with the increasing demands of her schoolwork and her unstable living situation.

She eventually moved in with Jillian Stout, a childhood friend, and enrolled in a GED program. She worked two jobs in St. Albans: dishwasher at the Black Lantern Inn and waitress at KJ’s Diner. She wanted to get her GED, go to college, and have a successful life.

Brianna Maitland Facebook Image

Circumstances of Disappearance

Brianna was last seen between 11:20 p.m. and midnight on March 19, 2004 at her dishwashing job at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vermont. Her coworkers invited her to dinner, but she declined because she was exhausted and needed to get up early for her second job as a waitress in St. Albans, Vermont. She was supposed to go home to Sheldon, Vermont, where she lived with a friend.

She never showed up, and her friend assumed she had returned to her parents and brother in East Franklin, Vermont. On March 23, the friend called Brianna’s parents, discovered she wasn’t there, and reported her missing.

Brianna’s vehicle, a pale green four-door 1985 Oldsmobile sedan, was discovered abandoned on March 20 off East Berkshire Road and Route 118, about a mile outside of Montgomery, across Dutchburn Farm Road. It was partially parked inside an abandoned barn.

Brianna had two uncashed paychecks on the front seat of the car. She also left behind all of her clothes, medications, driver’s license, makeup, and contact lenses. Her belongings were scattered on the ground in front of the car. A woman’s fleece jacket was discovered in a field near Brianna’s car, but it did not appear to belong to her.

The Oldsmobile had suffered minor damage after backing into the building and puncturing a hole in the wall. Investigators later concluded that the accident was staged. This case summary includes a photograph of the vehicle as it was discovered.

The abandoned car was not initially reported to Brianna’s mother, the registered owner, by police. They noticed Brianna’s paychecks inside the car and assumed she was the primary driver, so they went to her workplace to find her and inform her about the car. The abandoned Oldsmobile and Brianna’s disappearance were not linked until three days later, when her disappearance was reported.

Some speculate that Brianna’s disappearance is linked to that of Maura Murray, a nursing student from Massachusetts who went missing on February 9, 2004 in Haverhill, New Hampshire after being involved in a car accident. She has yet to be found. Montgomery is only about 90 miles away from Haverhill.

The FBI met with local law enforcement to discuss possible connections between the cases. Murray and Brianna are both attractive brown-haired young women who vanished after car accidents in which their cars were abandoned with personal items inside.

Despite the apparent similarities, the FBI and local law enforcement concluded that Murray and Brianna’s cases were most likely unrelated. Although the theory is not completely ruled out, investigators believe it is unlikely.

A female acquaintance allegedly attacked Brianna in front of several witnesses about three weeks before her disappearance. The reasons for the attack are unknown. Brianna did not attempt to defend herself, despite having several years of martial arts training.

She went to the hospital after the attack to be treated for facial cuts, two black eyes, and a concussion. She filed a police report against her alleged attacker. Brianna vanished while the case was still open. Despite Brianna’s parents’ objections, the district attorney dropped the complaint after she vanished.

Brianna may have left on her own accord; she mentioned to friends her plans to possibly take a short trip out of the area. She is described as an independent, restless young woman who was dissatisfied with her rural surroundings and had previously fled.

Brianna had just passed her GED exam on the day she went missing, and she had planned to attend college part-time. Authorities believe she was a victim of foul play and that her disappearance was possibly related to drugs; drugs are widely available in the Montgomery area.

Brianna’s parents believe she came to harm as well, but they maintain that their daughter was not heavily involved in drugs and that drugs were not a factor in her disappearance. Her parents divorced following her disappearance, and her mother now resides in New York.

Some agencies claim Brianna went missing in East Franklin or Sheldon, Vermont.

Investigating Agency

Vermont State Police 802-524-5993

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