Brianna Maitland was born on the 8th of October 1986. She lived with her parents, Kellie and Bruce Maitland, and her older brother, on her parent’s farm in East Franklin, Vermont.
On Brianna’s 17th birthday, she decided that she wanted to move away from her parent’s farm. Her mum Kellie, says that there was no stress at home and that Brianne just wanted to be more independent and closer to a group of her friends. Her friends lived just over 15 miles (24 km) away and attended a different high school.
By the end of February 2004, Brianna moved in with her childhood friend Jillian Stout, after moving in and out of several friends’ houses. Brianna had also dropped out of high school and instead enrolled in a GED programme to complete her education.
On March 19th, 2004, Brianna took an exam to achieve her GED. Brianna then went out for lunch with her mother to celebrate. Kellie described Brianna as being in good spirits and saying that she was planning on going to college. After having lunch, Brianna and Kellie went shopping and ran some errands.
Whilst Kellie was in the checkout line in one store, she noticed that something outside had caught Brianna’s eye. Brianna then told her mother that she would come back, and left the store. Kellie reunited with Brianna in the parking lot, where she said that Brianna seemed shaken and agitated. Brianna said that she needed to return home to get ready for work that evening, so Kellie dropped her off at her friend’s house where she was staying.
Kellie did not ask Brianna anything about what she saw in the parking lot, or why she seemed so shaken.
After Kellie dropped Brianna off, Brianna got ready for work. She left a note for her friend Jillian saying that she would be back after her shift. She then left for the Black Lantern Inn, her workplace, in a 1985 Oldsmobile sedan.
Brianna clocked out of the Black Lantern Inn at 11:20pm, and she told her co-workers that she needed to go home and get some rest before working her second job the next morning. Brianna got into her car and left the building.
This was the last time anyone saw Brianna. She has not been seen or heard from since.
Just a few weeks prior to Brianna going missing, she had been psychically assaulted at a party by a former friend, Keallie Lacross. Brianna had been hit across the face several times, which resulted in Brianna suffering from black eyes, a broken nose and a concussion. Despite her martial arts training, Brianna refused to fight Keallie back.
Brianna filed charges against Keallie, although these were dropped three weeks after Brianna went missing. Police have stated that Keallie was not involved in Brianna’s disappearance.
The reason for the assault is unknown, although Brianna’s father thinks it stemmed from jealousy over Brianna’s interactions with a male friend at the party.
On March 20th, Brianna’s car was found abandoned on a property known as the “Old Dutchburn Barn”, which is located just off East Berkshire Road and Route 118, a mile outside of Montgomery, Vermont.
The car was backed up onto the outside wall of the barn, which had caused minor damage on the rear bumper and the rear wheels of the car were raised. The car doors were unlocked, but there was no sign of the car keys.
Inside the car, police found two unopened paychecks from the Black Lantern Inn, some clothes, migraine medication, Brianna’s driver’s licence, make up and contact lenses. Despite the car being registered to Kellie, police suspected that the main driver of the car was Brianna due to the paychecks and most of her belongings inside the car. They went to go and talk to her at the Black Lantern Inn, but it was closed.
Brianna was reported missing on the 23rd of March after her parents had not been able to get in contact with her.
Brianna’s missing person report was filed to the Vermont police, who were also the ones to have found her abandoned car. After realising that she was missing, the police conducted a search of the abandoned property.
Alongside the police, search teams, sniffer dogs and volunteers helped to search through the wooded area close to where her car had been found. Unfortunately, they found no evidence of Brianna.
Authorities believe that Brianna was taken against her will by a stranger, and that foul play is now strongly suspected in her case. Brianna’s dad, Bruce, says that as Brianna was highly-trained in jiujitsu, it would have taken more than one person to overpower her.
Over the years, authorities investigated and looked into every lead they could in order to try and find Brianna, but nothing was ever found.
One tip they received was from an anonymous person who said that Brianna was being held in a house against her will. The house was located in Berkshire, Vermont which is roughly 10 miles (16 km) from Montgomery. At the time, the house was occupied by Ramon L. Ryans and Nathaniel Charles Jackson, who were two known drug dealers from New York. Upon searching the house, police found large amounts of weed and cocaine, but there was no sign of Brianna.
When police interviewed Brianna’s friends, they discovered that she had recently experimented with some hard drugs, specifically crack cocaine and that she was acquainted with Ramon and Nathaniel.
Late in 2004, law enforcement received a statement from an older female who has remained unidentified and claimed that Ramon and Nathaniel were responsible for Brianna’s disappearance and murder. In the signed statement the woman gave to the police, she described how Ramon murdered Brianna over an argument over some money that she had lent him to buy some crack just over a week after Brianna had gone missing. Brianna’s body was then stored in the basement of a recently arrested woman’s home before her body was dismembered using a table saw and then disposed of on a pig farm.
Police have never been able to confirm these allegations.
Brianna’s family said they have received several phone calls from an unknown person claiming that Brianna was “tied to a tree in the woods” and had been disposed of at the bottom of a lake.
In 2016, twelve years after Brianna had gone missing, investigators announced that they had been able to obtain DNA from Brianna’s car. They have not made the results of the DNA public.
2022 marks eighteen years since Brianna went missing. Where is she?
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