Police renew search for Brianna Maitland

(May 10) — Investigators in Vermont launched a ground search today in a renewed effort to locate Brianna Maitland, whose baffling disappearance six years ago sparked national media attention.

The new sweep, which focuses on an area not previously searched, was prompted by information that authorities received “as part of the ongoing investigation,” Sgt. Tara Thomas, public information officer for the Vermont State Police, told AOL News.

Police have said there is a strong possibility that Maitland, who was 17 when she vanished, was the victim of foul play.

Dozens of searchers, including crime scene technicians and search and rescue personnel, are concentrating today on an area along Prive Hill Road in Richford. The location is a few miles from where Maitland is believed to have gone missing, Thomas said.

Maitland was last seen at approximately 11:20 p.m. on March 19, 2004, as she was finishing her shift as a dishwasher at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery.

The following day, Maitland’s car, a green 1985 Oldsmobile 88, was found backed into a barn at an abandoned farmhouse on Route 118, roughly one mile from the Black Lantern Inn. The keys were missing, but two uncashed paychecks were on the front seat, and other miscellaneous belongings were found strewn on the ground around the car.

During a search of the area, investigators found a gun and drug paraphernalia inside the farmhouse, which had stood vacant for roughly six years.

According to the Cue Center for Missing Persons, it was not the first time investigators been to the farmhouse. In 1986, Myron and Harry Dutchburn, two brothers who lived at the home, were brutally beaten and robbed. The brothers were later placed in a nursing home due to their injuries. The crime remains unsolved.

More than 500 police officers and volunteers searched the woods around the farmhouse, but found no further signs of the missing teen.

Vermont State Police Capt. Glenn Hall said there is “no evidence” to indicate that Maitland had vanished on her own accord. On the day of her disappearance, she had passed her General Equivalency Diploma exam and was making plans to enroll in college.

Authorities thought they got a break in the case in October 2007, when a weathered pair of blue jeans was found in a wooded area not far from where Maitland went missing. Her parents told police they were the same brand and style their daughter would have worn. But state police technicians were unable to collect enough DNA from the jeans to determine if they were hers.

Maitland’s parents, Bruce and Kellie Maitland, were unavailable for comment today. Both have been critical of the investigation in the past, especially when police decided to block a potential search by Texas EquuSearch, a missing-persons search and recovery group that has been involved with several high-profile cases, including that of Natalee Holloway in Aruba.

Investigators did not comment publicly on that decision, other than to say they were still following up on leads.

“I wish that no other parents would have to suffer what my husband and I have been through,” Kellie Maitland said in a 2008 statement to the media. “I wish that somehow this whole thing could have been prevented.”

According to Thomas, Maitland’s parents, who now reside in New York, are believed to be en route to Vermont today. It is not yet known if they will be making a statement to the media.

As of late afternoon today, Thomas said it is too soon to determine how long the search will continue. “It all depends on whether we find anything,” she said.

According to a state police press release issued today, the Maitland family is offering a $20,000 reward for information, which includes $10,000 for anyone who can identify where Brianna is and $10,000 for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vermont State Police at 802-524-5993.

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13 thoughts on “Police renew search for Brianna Maitland”

  1. i read through all of this..it seems so crazy, i went to school with brianna in eighth grade we were school friends, not much outside of that seeing i was in foster care. i cried when i saw that come across the tv that she was missing. i really hope this gets solved, and i would like to send my prayers out to her family, and other friends.
    i was told by a friend that he had some information about this case, and he believed a guy that goes by joker from franklin area may have information…not sure if i can help anymore but ..my friends name is matthew lapan..i am not sure if he still lives in plattsburg ny, or if he moved back to swanton, but i hope you talk with him(i left my boyfriends email address, i do not have one)

  2. I also heard about Joker…I heard he killed her because she owed him money for drugs or didn’t give him drugs. I guess he lives in St. Albans, and he has kids and a wife…went to jail, but when they were transporting him to another jail he escaped…I was told by someone that he still comes to st. albans to see his kids, running from the law. I also heard he threw Brianna’s body into a manure pit somewhere in Franklin county…I think sheldon. And I believe Joker mainly sold and or did cocaine.

  3. so i just watched the show the disapeared on ID channel 104 and im hurt that this lovly girl is still not found after all these years but it sounds to me like she went to montreal and is now being sold? how can no one find her when millions of people are in this world someone somewhere has to know something THE TRUTH just give urself up already! hoe hard is it how can u live with guilt of killing and inoccent person! when the devil wraps his arms around u crooks i will be on my kneese praying to god the he gives u all u deserve ! turn urselfs in already give her parents the closure! dont be selfish about it!think of how u would feel if u were in their position!

  4. i saw yesterday on Investigation Discovery the story of Brianna Maitland. The story has shaken my hole spirit. something boiled in my heart. I really have pity for this girl and rage for those who abducted her. I just felt as if this girl was my sister. I really hope i can do something to find her. I guess i can only pray that she is still alive somewhere. i will pray to God to inspire me in my dreams to tell me where she is. Sometimes God Tells me secrets like this. In case i have some information from heaven i’ll surely tell you. God bless you all.

  5. Sounds like this Joker is totally involved!!!! i have been reading on about this case after watching a short clip on Dissapeared about her, and on one of the sights there is an affidavid from a girl who gives the same story…. In a small town like this people talk, maybe the police should listen! I know it MUST be the worst thing for her parents, however; I have been a drug abuser, known plenty of Drug abusers, Parents of abusers, and am currently the Mother of a drug abuser and I can say W/O doubt that the Parents are always the last to “admitt that “thier” child would EVER do hard drugs”. I know this because my parents said it, my friends parents said it and as a parent i Say it! Because, this is what we tell ourselves so we can sleep at night. I Prey for your family, and that you (police) WILL LISTEN to the stories, and Solve this Crime!!!

  6. Now, listen to me. This girl was in need for money. She had 2 jobs. Can you figure how much she was in need for money?!!! Yes, 2 Jobs at just 17 years old !!! Brianna was possibly trading drugs too to have more income. So I guess, she probably made some drug trading mistakes, and some drug criminals made her pay those mistakes. That’s why I think police should investigate more those drug dealers who said that they knew Brianna, and gave her some drugs for some time, given that Bri’s mother said that one day while she was with Brianna in a supermarket few days before her disappearance, somebody outside caught the eye of Bri. She left her mother a little bit to focus on the person outside…So it’s possibly one of the drug dealers who was following her. Bri didn’t tell her mother about this person outside !!! Knowing that Montgomery is known for the drug dealing… So Police must follow the traces of those bad boys once again…

  7. So 17 year old white girl hangs out with drug dealing black men and disappears…..sorry, she lost my sympathy at that point.

  8. Out of all the Disappeared episodes I have viewed, this one touched me the most. If Law Enforcement would have been more dedicated they would of found her years ago when it happened. The Officer that found her car, didn’t even take pic’s even though it was backed into a building. (The pic’s were taken from passer byers not cops.) He still didn’t speak to anyone about the vehicle. This is the type of investigative intelligence her parents have had to deal with. You are suppose to leave no stone unturned, not just walk on past them. Cases involving drug dealers are hard to get an arrest on because you never really know at what level “Authorities” are involved with the actual business. I think the investigators blew the chances of convicting whoever is responsible from the very beginning. The one who speaks on the show doesn’t seem to be very knowledgeable or tenacious. Cases like this actually have to be worked, you can’t look at something and just because one fact doesn’t solve it, dismiss it completely. You are suppose to investigate it. If it was drug related I don’t know. But, one things for sure they should of investigated a lot harder and with more determination then what they did. I pray that soon they find her and whoever is responsible.

  9. Katie you should be ashamed of yourself! If I didnt care about disrespecting this site and ppl who comment here I would tell your ghetto self what I really think of you and your attitude! God forbid it be your daughter or sister or self that disappears one day, it doesnt matter if she hung out with BigBird she didnt deserve this. My prayers are with her family

  10. Here’s my theory.
    Briana was never at that farm house. I think some gossip was forming that instigated people driving by and looking and taking pictures. I think something had already taken place at another location and her car was dumped there. I fnd it interesting that the lights or turn signals would stay on that long in an older car without killing the battery. I think the 1st witness probably saw something they don’t recall. I think the that as soon as the police start asking who heard what and where it came from and start working backward from that point they’ll find out very quickly what happened. I’m sure the people taking pics wanted to document what they already know but just aren’t saying. This girl was probably missing the minute she left her job and that several people knew it was going to happen and the rumors started and then curious people who wanted a thrill started wandering about her car to see for themselves. I doubt it had much to do with her being a drug dealer as much as it had more to do with the girl just wasn’t liked by someone who was in with the in crowd. I’m sure they’ll find that its a group of probably 4 or 5 people that are behind her missing. So find the last few people she worked with at both her jobs and where all they were for the 12 hours or more before that car was found. Look at the opposite end of the county as to where that car was found. Its all staged to confuse people. Get off the drug angle and go after the people in that town that hang close, probably the same people that are still hanging in the same group all these years later. I think all these tips are just people entertaining themselves watching the cops run in circles. If it were drugs someone would have bargained out somewhere by now. Quit blaming the two boys, that’s too easy and typical to blame them. Widen your scopes. I’m just sayin!!

  11. regarding joker was nothing but TROUBLE in franklin county area while he was here lots of rumors and facts about this guy getting people to sell his crack for him he was here with about seven or eight people from springfield mass area selling their crack cocaine in franklin county they would meet people and become so called friends so they would have them help sell the crack to people they know as far as Brianna goes I would not put it pass him at all

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