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March 25, 2013


About a month ago I received an e-mail from Slam Dunks with a question from a reader interested in knowing more about Brianna Maitland. The reader listed names of persons she had heard might be involved and asked about a rumor of a truck idling nearby on the night she disappeared. She wanted to know what color the truck was.

After nine years, the names looked back at me and I drew a blank. It's not that some of the names weren't familiar, but rather the fact that today the names mean very little. There was a time I could discuss some of those she named... that time has passed. It's one thing to be on the ground working nearly every weekend with the family of a missing person, and quite another to be nine years past. Some of the names were in fact familiar to me, such as those associated with other cases of murder victims in Vermont. Or they were questioned and given polygraphs by VSP.

Today, that is in the past. The Maitlands moved away around 2007. They cut all contact with people they knew, very close friends in fact. The family website came down, although it's still there none of the online activity that took place between 2004 and roughly 2007 is there any longer. It's safe to say it's considered evidence, in a crime involving a "drug addict" who couldn't pay off her dealers.

Many think the world to be a big place. We are often reminded it's not that big. When the person asking for help on Slam Dunks site said she had important information about Brianna's location, we took it seriously. When she became frustrated that we were simply bloggers without any clout, we took that seriously. I did a Google search and found the Maitlands location and phone number.

I explained to Bruce Maitland the nature of my call and that someone claimed to have information about Brianna. I asked him for permission to give her access to connecting with him and he approved. He apologized to me that he couldn't talk. He explained VSP was working on Brianna's disappearance, but he'd agreed that he would disclose no additional information in return for their cooperation. He did provide permission for me to give the interested party his phone number, which I did. I received one more phone call from him letting me know he's talked with this person and was considering the information provided.

Regarding that list of names, well we can probably add to it... like recently deceased"thrill killer", Israel Keyes, Washington State, known to have committed a murder in Vermont during the time Brianna was last known to be alive. And since Maura Murray was considered at risk within a three hour radius of that area, it can be information added to the list of names possibly  involved in her disappearance too. Add to that list of suspects, the co-conspirators involved in a plot to castrate and kill Justin Bieber... Justin-Bieber-Murder-Plot-CNN News;  this bizzarre plot will be sure to get your attention as the alleged suspects were apprehended at the US border to Canada, just a stones throw away from where Brianna was last seen. They were allegedly operational during the time Brianna disappeared.

The question about the color of the truck rumored to be idling nearby, even if it's presence was ever validated the color was never determined.

A supposed sighting of Brianna in a NJ casino got everyone going for awhile, as well as a supposed sighting of Maura Murray in a Hampton Beach club. Both were eventually disregarded as not being either person. But the truth is that hope remain that in both cases the missing person will resurface, although the reality of that is that neither will.

Maura Murray is now part of a newly created Cold Case Unit in NH after then Attorney General Kelly Ayotte left to become a state senator. Despite an insistence on the part of law enforcement in NH that Maura took her own life, her things were never returned to her family and her disappearance is still considered a high profile case of foul-play. No one need question authority in this matter.

Looking back on when I first joined the Brianna Maitland family website the overall topic of interest was her use of drugs, and the obsession with her being a victim of drug related violence. It was a feeding frenzy, with almost every comment relating to her potential accidental overdose or her death due to not paying drug dealers. To be fair, why would this be such  cause for concern? Nearly everyone involved believed she was responsible for what had happened to herself... that friends had simply panicked and that they were the victims as a result of her questionable lifestyle and drug use.

I won't begin to try to understand law enforcement protocol, but it seems they jumped to a biased assumption in both cases, and the result was very poor followup and investigations, in both cases. I guess though to be fair any unusual circumstances have to be figured into an event... in Maura Murray's case it was the alcohol - DUI and an accident and she'd run from the scene. They had time to issue their arrest warrant for DUI when she eventually surfaced, which we now know she never did. They made an assumption it seems that she was in fact intoxicated, but having done so on a cold Winter night, in the middle of nowhere, they couldn't have done a more thorough search for her?

By the time Brianna's car was found, although 48 hadn't elapsed, although they picked personal effects up off the ground indicating a possible struggle, it's possible they took in account the pot leaf trinket hanging from her rear-view mirror, the beer caps glued to her radio controls, and naturally assumed something similar. A DUI where the driver would show up again fairly soon, so they could issue an arrest warrant.

In the meantime, both persons were considered runaways... and there was no indication they were endangered. Good police work or a dangerous protocol?

What's past is past... but not forgotten. That's one thing I learned about law enforcement... yes, partially through TV... that they are in no rush. A cold case to the family is torture, but to the police they have all the time they want. It isn't uncommon for cold cases to lapse 20 years or longer, and for a crime to eventually be solved. "Patience Is A Virtue", my father always said... it's been nine long years, but I doubt we have to wait too much longer.

  Links to Part 1 - 4:

Part 1: "Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray - Missing Nine Years..."
Part 2: "Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray - Missing Nine Years..."
Part 3: "Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray - Missing Nine Years..."
Part 4: "Brianna Maitland and Maura Murray - Missing Nine Years..."


  1. Excellent post Bobkat! As you know, it only takes the right person to see yours or someone elses post about a missing person for them to come forward with the right information. Best wishes to Brianna and Maura.

  2. What makes you think, that we won't have to wait to much longer?

  3. Anonymous, Thank-you for your comment!

    RE: your question... "think" is the correct term, as I do not have insider information, nor a crystal ball.

    Partly it is a hope, and partly a gut feeling. The gut feeling is based on the fact that for over two years I worked closely with the Maitland family, staying many weekends with them at their home while we searched for Brianna, and much time I spent talking with people who knew her.

    A little over a couple of years ago I spoke to Mr. Maitland and although he could not share any progress made finding Brianna, he did tell me it's still a very active investigation. I know the Maitlands very well, and I know if Bruce Maitland, Brianna's father told me that that he means it! He is the kind of father that if VSP wasn't actively pursuing leads he'd find other means to find out what happened to her himself. That is why in the early to middle stages of the investigation when VSP was hesitant to act, we were a team working together to do just that.

    Based upon what I experienced and found out during the time I worked with Brianna's family there are two possibilities:

    1) It is possible it was a random encounter she had; a person posing as a police officer who attempted to pull her over. Or a serial killer, someone unknown who targeted her.

    2) The other possibility is well established, and supported by allegations that an ex-boyfriend claims he knows where she can be found. This second possibility also brought about the likelihood that more than one person knows what happened that night nine years ago. If that is true, the more people who know the more likely one of them will talk. The more likely one of them has already talked.

    Again, it's my hope and feelings that we don't have to wait much longer for answers.

  4. Thanks, for answering my question! Very informative/interesting blog. Keep up the good work!

  5. I watched this for the first time today (show called disappeared). So sad. I'm curious about a few things:
    1. The girl that broke Brianna's nose, when asked about her case she seemed to already know that she would get off. Is there a chance that she knows more about Brianna’s disappearance? The local police clearing her means nothing to me based on their handling of the case. Who was the girl?...2. The note that Brianna left for Jullian- is that normal for her to leave a note saying that she will be back? every day? She had been staying with Jullian and her father for 3 weeks at that point...4. Did Brianna really write that note? 5. Were Jullian and her father questioned? Perhaps her leaving town should be looked at. Was Jullian friends with the girl that broke Brianna’s nose? How long had the items been in the trunk? Whose is this ‘girlfriend’ and why did Brianna have to hold her stuff? Why didn’t she move it into Jullians home instead of keeping it in the car. I wonder whether the police when through those items 6. Why was all of that stuff in the Trunk of the car? Brianna’s mom described it as “the belongings of her girlfriend, her treasures that Brianna was keeping and Briannas items from her childhood.” 7. Any fingerprints pulled from the steering wheel, door, Dna from water bottle--nevermind, just read that the police didnt finger print the car even though it was impounded for MONTHS. Good grief - those "Investigators". 8. Is there a chance she was asked to meet the ‘girlfriend’ to return the items. 9. Odd that her Ex boyfriend drove past that scene thinking it might be her car but didn’t stop. 10 any boyfriends? 11. What area did the cadaver dogs check? Did they check way out there by the trees?

    I think its time for a fresh set of eyes on the case. The local police really messed this one up right from the beginning.

  6. Bobkat,
    I know this is a very old blog post, and if I don't get a response, I wouldn't be at all surprised.
    However, having just seen the episode of Disappeared, and probably having seen it a few times before, this case bugs me so much that I needed to do some web searching to see if there had been any progress in the case. None so far, it seems, sadly. I think it bugs me mostly in that anyone in my family could easily be grouped in with that same "drug user, ne'er do well" stereotype, should the police have to investigate one of our disappearances. A large number of people in my family use marijuana, or drink, or do both, and some of us have even had run ins with law enforcement, so basically, first impressions could be very misleading, if viewed by the authorities, their view being pretty narrow. The mere possibility frightens me.
    Anywho, the episode puts a lot of weight on the possible involvement of the two drug dealers from NYC, yet the suspects seem to disappear from any posts or stories on this case after 2011. Do you know why they were so quickly cleared?
    Thanks for your blog, and your obvious humanity. I'm just a fellow New Englander (Boston, originally from Tewksbury MA, though) with a long standing, dark interest in true crime.
    Sincerely, Kerry

  7. Kerry
    Hope you get back to read the reply and see updates.
    Please visit my latest two posts and especially view the Episode 38 YouTube vid.
    This can be very true. While living in New Hampshire the State Motto, "Live Free or Die" was interesting. I can use marijuana legally as in the State I live now, Maine it's legal medically and for adult use. Sure takes the edge off trying to help onesself with something that works!
    View Episode 38. One was never really a suspect and the other passed a lie-detector test.