Brianna Maitland, 17, disappeared after finishing her evening work shift at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vermont. Her vehicle was found the next day, approximately one mile away from her workplace. After 18 years, forensics has identified DNA that was left near her vehicle. This case remains an open and active investigation.
Brianna Alexandra Maitland was born on October 8, 1986, to Bruce and Kellie Maitland in Burlington, Vermont. Her family has described her as a very independent person and an avid reader. She moved in with a friend, Jillian Stout, in nearby Sheldon, Vermont, which would allow her to be closer to her friends. Maitland had been enrolled for a short time in two different high schools but ultimately withdrew and pursued her GED. She worked at two different jobs: one in Montgomery, VT and one in St. Albans, VT near the Canadian border.
The Day That Brianna Maitland Disappeared
On March 19, 2004, Brianna Maitland took her GED test in the morning. She met her mother, Kellie, for lunch, to celebrate taking her GED test. After lunch, they went shopping and while standing in the check-out line, Brianna told her mother that she was going to wait for her outside. When Kellie met Brianna at her vehicle, she noticed an obvious change in Brianna’s demeanor. Kellie would later say that Brianna appeared agitated and upset. Brianna told her mother that she wanted to go home to get ready for her evening shift at the Black Lantern Inn. Kellie stated she dropped Brianna off at her home between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.
Brianna left a note for her roommate, Jillian Stout, saying that she would be home after she finished her shift. Brianna worked her shift as normal, with nothing extraordinary occurring. She clocked out at around 11:20 p.m., telling her co-workers that she wanted to hurry home so that she could get enough rest before she had to report for work at her second job in St. Albans, VT.
The Discovery of Brianna Maitland’s Car
On March 20, 2004, the Vermont State Police were dispatched to an abandoned house in Richford, Vermont. The officer found a 4-door green 1985 Oldsmobile 88 that had backed into the side of the house. Plywood that had been covering one of the house’s windows was lying on the trunk of the car. The state trooper discovered two pay stubs made out to Brianna Maitland in the front seat. Brianna’s ATM bank card, glasses, contact lens case, and her migraine medication were also inside the vehicle. On the ground near the Oldsmobile, the state trooper found a water bottle and unsmoked cigarettes. A towing company was arranged by the officer, thinking a drunk driver had left it.
The Investigation of Brianna Maitland’s Disappearance
Jillian Stout saw the note that Brianna had left her on Friday and then spent the weekend away. When she came home on Monday, she noticed that Brianna’s note was in the same spot, suggesting that Brianna had not been home. It wasn’t until the next day, March 23, 2004, that Jillian and Kellie, Brianna’s mother, were in contact and they realized Brianna had not been heard from for a couple of days. After calling Brianna’s friends and work places, and learning that Brianna had not been in contact with anyone, Brianna’s parents filed a missing person’s report. They provided photographs of Brianna on March 25, 2004. It was during that visit to the state patrol barracks in St. Alban that they learned that Brianna’s Oldsmobile had been towed and was being held at an impound lot. It had been located one mile from the Black Lantern Inn, where Brianna was employed,
Investigators initially had a theory that Brianna might have run away. That theory was dismissed. Investigators and the forensic technicians processed the Oldsmobile and the location where the vehicle was found, including k9 search dogs. Investigators discovered possible DNA evidence, but initial results yielded nothing that would further the investigation. Ultimately, no additional evidence was discovered, but investigators determined that Brianna’s disappearance was suspicious. The FBI became involved and released a missing person’s flier.
Movement in the Case
Since 2004, investigators have followed many leads, tips, and reports regarding the disappearance of Brianna Maitland. Several tips have suggested different versions of her death. One account was given by an incarcerated woman who provided investigators with an affidavit that Brianna had been murdered and dismembered before her remains being taken to a pig farm. Investigators never substantiate the account. There have also been possible sightings in different areas of the country, but no tip has given investigators any new evidence of the location of Brianna Maitland.
The advancement of DNA technology has offered further insight into a DNA sample that had been recovered from the location of where Brianna’s Oldsmobile was discovered. Investigators say that they have been able to pinpoint the donor through the assistance from Othram, Inc, in Houston, Texas. It was reported that a gentleman named Paul Holes from the Murder Squad Podcast funded all the testing the Othram, Inc. performed. Detectives have said that they have eleven people of interest and the DNA evidence collected 18-years ago matches one of those people. That person of interest is cooperating with investigators but, at this point, no arrests have been made. You can find the Vermont State Police press release regarding the most current DNA testing here.
Investigators state that this is still an active and ongoing case. If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brianna Maitland, you are asked to please contact the Vermont State Police at (802) 524-5993. You can also contact email@example.com or submit an anonymous tip online to https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.