Saturday, April 02, 2016

B Is for Brianna Maitland

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Unsolved Mysteries. Today's letter is:



At 11:20 p.m. on March 19, 2004, Brianna Maitland left her job as a dishwasher at the Black Lantern Inn and drove out of the parking lot. She was never seen again.

The next morning, this was where her car was found:



There was nothing unusual about Brianna's life. She was a hard-working teenager with friends and family who loved her. This was her the day before she disappeared:




Police gathered all evidence, but one photographer who saw the car before police discovered it reported seeing loose change, a water bottle, and some jewelry near the car. There were no signs of a struggle. Police have said that evidence taken from the car could lead to a suspect, but details of that evidence were never released.



Her disappearance is often linked with another missing girl I've written about, Maura Murray. Initially the FBI connected the two but after an investigation, they stated that the cases aren't linked. They both went missing in early 2004...both in the same area of the country...both leaving wrecked cars behind. Some have speculated the two may have fallen victim to an as-yet-undiscovered serial killer in the area at the time. Or perhaps the Connecticut River Valley Killer?


Brianna Maitland
Maura Murray
What do you think happened to Brianna Maitland?

⬅️ A Is for Amy Lynn Bradley 

83 comments:

  1. I have to tell you, Stephanie, I am really, really loving this theme! These stories (coupled with the pictures you're using) are so chilling. I used to read a lot of true crime books, and your posts are making me want to read those again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can't tell, I read a lot of true crime! The Generation Why podcast is great, as is of course the Maura Murray Missing podcast. I'm also reading Ann Rule's crime files series on audio--I think you may have been the one who also read those. I am a bit of a Dateline fanatic, as well!

      Delete
  2. It sends shivers down my spine to read this. Such tradgedy in the world. But I am intrigued by the theme. Thanks Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you watch a lot of true crime shows and read a lot of books on the topic, some cases stay with you more than others. The picture of her car backed into that barn has haunted me for a long time. Such a strange position for the car to be found in. Nothing bugs me like a young girl who just vanishes. I want to protect them all!

      Delete
  3. Your A-Z is going to make me paranoid for my daughter. The unknown makes a tragedy even worse cause it lingers without closure. My heart breaks for her and her family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And both Brianna and Maura were doing nothing but driving home. Brianna was even more innocent--Maura had been involved in a couple of car accidents before her disappearance and there was alcohol in her car. The only mysterious thing about Brianna was that she was shopping with her mom earlier that day and went outside to make a phone call for a second. When she came back, she seemed agitated. Honestly, things like this are rare when you consider all the crazy things we all did as teens and we came out okay!

      Delete
  4. It does sound like they were abducted. Although odd about the evidence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember them saying the moment they opened the trunk was really traumatic because they were sure they'd find her back there...she wasn't, obviously. But to be backed into the barn like that, it made me wonder if she tried to get away but accidentally went in reverse?

      Delete
  5. It definitely sounds like the cases where linked. If not, it is a very weird coincidence that they were both in same area, in the same sort of time and both left an abandoned car!
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially since there was a serial killer. In Maura's case, her car was locked and her backpack was missing...so she may have left on foot and someone picked her up. Some think she may have gotten in a passing car, but she turned down a bus driver who stopped and offered to help her. She didn't even want him to call the police...and her car was drivable, so nobody's sure why she didn't just drive away.

      Delete
  6. My guess is that she was taken by force, is being used in the sex trade. I'm pretty sure she's still alive. It's a gut feeling. I pray that she will be found and set free.
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a scary proposition, isn't it? Megan Whitson's book had me rethinking a lot of these missing person cases. Apparently there's a lot of that going on, which is scary.

      Delete
  7. Wow...I don't know what happened to her. I mean, it's terrifying when it first happens. And when nothing is ever found out, it's so sad.

    LuAnn (approx #369 on the list) @ Back Porchervations.
    (and one of co-host AJ Lauer's #wHooligans)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the sad thing is there are many, many cases of it. A man was found recently who disappeared in the mountains years ago... The area had been searched, but it's just impossible to search everywhere. But while it's possible Maura Murray went into the woods and died there somewhere, Brianna likely was abducted...or willingly got into someone's car, but with all of the stuff found on the ground outside her car, it sounds like an altercation.

      Delete
  8. Your stories are fascinating! Sad, but fascinating. I feel so much for the families of these unsolved mysteries.

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/b-is-for-boatyard-nancy-drew.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do, too...and if somehow getting the word out can eventually lead to an answer, I'm all for it. Maybe someone will read this and look into it or spread the word to someone who will look into it. You never know!

      Delete
  9. This series is so enticing. Ok, yes I am a true crime fan so there's that but this wants me to read more true crime. Lol I was trying to escape from mystery fiction so maybe I just switch it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is somehow more fascinating than straight mystery, although I still LOVE Harlan Coben's mysteries. Sometimes they feel almost Twilight Zone-ish at first.

      Delete
  10. As I said on your blog yesterday, this is a great theme. Again, I did not know about this one either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many out there, it would take a lot more than a month of posts to get to them all!

      Delete
  11. There's just too much evil in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great theme. Anything that keeps a missing person in the minds of the public is a great service. I'm sure their families appreciate you highlighting their loved ones disappearance. Who knows what will help bring these girls back home or their abductors to justice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only hope someone would see this who may not already know about it. I think many of these cases can die off as the years pass and that's sad.

      Delete
  13. I love your theme. It's true and that makes it even better. Like cold case files.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you--yes, this sort of thing fascinates me. I know there are so many cold cases. Such a tragedy.

      Delete
  14. It's a scary thought that there might be an undiscovered serial killer out there.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there are. They never caught the Zodiac Killer, in addition to the guy mentioned in today's. There are many other unsolved cases that have similarities, as well... Oh and Jack the Ripper--of course, we don't have to worry about him attacking now!

      Delete
  15. Hmm, curious yet very, very scary. Never heard of this case before.
    Rosa
    @RosaT_Author
    Rosa Temple writes...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to introduce it to a few people today!

      Delete
  16. The whole thought that a loved one is here one day and gone the next is horrifying. I'm one of those Moms who worry that their kid is in an accident when he is late without calling. I'd just implode, if faced with this.

    YOU, my friend, are doing a great theme.


    Cherdo
    Cherdo on the Flipside
    "Favorite Characters, Favorite Lines" on the A-to-Z Challenge 2016

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I can only imagine what parenthood must be like. There's comfort in knowing the vast majority of kids make it well into adulthood just fine! We just always hear about the few cases where they don't.

      Delete
  17. Watching Criminal Minds doesn’t make me an expert but the circumstances of both disappearancestors & that the girls do look similar. They're dark haired and have the same face shaped. Very high chance their cases are linked just not enough evidence was found to support it. Or find either girls. Wherever they are, hope they're safe and can return to their families one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like Criminal Minds, too, as long as someone isn't being tortured. The one where the guy broke the girls' bones and turned them into marionettes still haunts me. It's worse than a nightmare. Or what about the one where the guy paralyzed his victims and turned them into dolls?

      Delete
  18. Really about these mysterious disappearance of 2 young girls is really scary. The world is not a safe place any more. I dare not imagine what may have happened to the girls. Makes me worry for all the young moving around alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will say that as I was researching cases, there were scary missing person stories going all the way back to the 1800s. In fact, there were a LOT in the 1950s-90s.

      Delete
  19. oh dear- was hoping it was a short story and no 'real life'
    zannie A-Z challenge

    http://allfeathersfurandfins.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tragic! The two girls look awfully similar too. Serial killers tend to pick out victims with similar looks or circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Not much to go on here, huh? Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a scary story! It makes me sad that there are so many dead-end mysteries out there.

    @HeatherJacksonW from
    WriteOnSisters - Masterplots from A to Z

    ReplyDelete
  23. It just hits hard, thinking of the families grieving their loss. A kidnapping? I hope they find her alive.

    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

    ReplyDelete
  24. So scary and sad. I think it was most likely a serial killer, one of those ones who stalk young women in cars and run them off the road.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Frightening to think you can leave work and just vanish and more so, that no one has found her after all this time.
    Discarded Darlings

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is so spooky that someone can just disappear without a trace. Did no one see what happened? It sure makes a person want to stay home, or always have a friend with you when you go some place. I hope eventually both cases will be solved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An ex-boyfriend of hers (I think?) drove past the scene and saw her car parked there. He swore the headlights were on when he passed, but they were off when the car was found. I can't remember if they checked to see if that was because the battery died...I rewatched the Disappeared episode while writing this, but there was also a Dateline episode about her that had a lot of facts about the case...and combined it with Maura's info.

      Delete
  27. This is just so sad. So many girls vanish in this country!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Given their similar appearances I could believe in a serial killer being the reason for the disappearance. Serial killers generally have types they stick to.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're right. Right after the news of the case broke, Maura's family contacted Brianna's family because they thought it was connected. The FBI got involved, thinking it might be a serial killer, but they dropped Maura's case because they said it wasn't connected. I haven't heard if they officially dropped Brianna's or if they're still addressing it as a possible serial killer.

      Delete
  29. I have a feeling she is dead. I wonder about that photographer and where the items went to. So sad how many do disappear. I bet they are linked

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they were just rubberneckers taking pictures, but I sure hope the police checked them out. I'm sure they must have.

      Delete
  30. I tend to agree with the serial killer theory. The similarities between the two girls is hard to ignore. Authorities typically withhold information when they've turned it over to 'higher' sources; which would stand to reason in a suspected serial case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know in Maura's case there is SO much the police aren't releasing, even to the family. Her dad has gone to the legislature to ask to see it, but they won't. There's even photos from her stop at an ATM before she disappeared that nobody's seen. I'm sure the FBI doesn't release anything unless it could help the public identify a suspect.

      Delete
  31. Odd that her car is backed up into the building like that...

    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sounds like a victim to a random serial killer, or some petty criminal

    ReplyDelete
  33. wow. I have no clue as to what could have happened. It's so tragic to hear and read about.

    Mary
    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    ReplyDelete
  34. A parent's worse nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Very spooky. I echo Denise's sentiments.
    How ya doing, Steph?

    ReplyDelete
  36. A fascinating subject because they lived normal lives - one day there and the next... gone.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This sounds like it could be a serial killer to me- but even if it isn't- it is spooky. Even spookier- that is the last name of one of my best friends. I am now wondering if she is relate in some way. Was this in CT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She disappeared in Montgomery, Vermont, so they could be related.

      Delete
  38. Terrible thing to have happened. Ruined her family entirely I'm sure. How does someone even pick up the pieces after something like this and move on? Heartbreaking!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Very scary. You must be very brave to research these stories.

    Good luck on the challenge! We're doing “I’ve Got The Music In Me” this year on The Road We’ve Shared. – looking at how important music is in the Down syndrome community. I hope you’ll stop by and see/hear! http://theroadweveshared.com/category/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2016

    ReplyDelete
  40. No idea what happened. This story is really chilling. Maybe someone ran them off the road then kidnapped them?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks for putting Brianna's story out there, I am confident there will be a resolution in this case this year. I'm working hard towards it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I don't know what happened to her. But I know this must be so terribly hard for her family.

    ReplyDelete
  43. EPIC theme choice! These girl's stories need to be told and told again until they're resolved.

    I have long loved true-crime stories and used to read about / watch them all the time.

    These poor girls - sounds to me like they got caught in some kind of spider's web. You hope they're alive and you kind of hope not because you don't want them to have been suffering all these years.

    The last guy to have been executed in IL killed my HS classmate's sister after abducting her, and I always think of her when I read about stories like this. These monsters leave so much heartbreak in their wake.

    I'm glad you're doing this. You may help to solve a cold case. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I wonder what led the FBI to declare the cases weren't linked. On the surface it definitely looks like they were, but of course the authorities have lots of things they never tell the public.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's possible they've been able to collect DNA evidence in Brianna's case from her car... Maura's car was locked and her backpack gone, so some have said she likely either got in another car or ran off. However, if she got in another car, that could have been the person who killed Brianna.

      Delete
  45. Great writing prompt...at least, I hope it is. Otherwise, these poor girls. I would love to see it solved. It has all the makings of a serial killer on the loose. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are all true stories of unsolved mysteries. I never do fiction on my blog. There's enough of that in my books!

      Delete
  46. Such beautiful young ladies, and so sad. Their families deserve closure, and I pray these cases are solved. I had not heard about this and appreciate the info. Hugs..

    ReplyDelete
  47. That's so sad, I hope she simply staged her own disappearance and is living happily anonymous somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. Sad story and interesting just the same. I think I'll visit again during the challenge to see what else you uncover if missing people is your theme.

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER (www.donnalmartin.com) and my KICKS Kids Club blog (www.kickskidsclub.blogspot.com) . If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm wondering if she had car problems and was picked up by a said, serial killer. These stories are so strange. I love your theme.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh wow. This might be my favorite entry so far. It makes me sad, but also furiously curious as to what happened to them.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sadly, I think both of the girls are dead.

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is bizarre and kind of fascinating, yet more than a little creepy because it's happening to real people. O_o I don't usually have the time to visit blogs every day, but I might have to make an exception in April to get these stories from you. Assuming it doesn't end up completely creeping me out.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Shudder...

    Scary and unsettling to ponder.

    ReplyDelete
  54. So eerie! This reminds me of a women who went missing from my area in November. She dropped her son off at school one day and her truck was found abandoned at a bar the next day. She has not been seen since then.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Chilling. There are some real monsters in this world who kidnap and kill people.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I really love a good mystery so I am going to really enjoy your A-Z!

    ReplyDelete
  57. This happened in my state, in a town not far north of where I live. Very scary and creepy. There was a news story about her just recently: http://www.wcax.com/story/31498228/wcax-investigates-new-details-on-brianna-maitlands-disappearance.

    ReplyDelete