17 year old Maitland was last seen driving home from work on March 19, 2004 in Montgomery, Vermont. Her abandoned 1985 Oldsmobile was found the next day on a property known as the “Old Dutchburn Barn,” off East Berkshire Road and Route 118, about a mile outside of Montgomery, Vermont.
The DNA found near her car was originally submitted through a FBI database and compared with 11 individuals, but did not return any matches.
In the fall of 2020 the DNA was sent to a sequencing laboratory in Texas which identified a number of possible matches that police were able to interview and collect DNA samples from.
The sample has since been matched to a person whose identify is not being released by authorities, who state the new information does not mean a suspect has been identified.
In a release, Vermont State Police Sergent Angela Baker wrote “The use of genetic genealogy to identify the DNA found 18 years ago is just one example of how detectives continue to track down every potential lead in this case.”
Investigators do not believe Brianna left the area willingly, and that she was a victim of foul play.
Brianna Maitland’s Disappearance
On the morning of March 19, 2004, 17 year old Brianna Maitland passed her GED examination and went out for breakfast with her mother to celebrate. They spent the afternoon shopping and discussed her plans for college.
Around 3:30 pm, Brianna was dropped back off at her residence. Before leaving for work, she left a note to her roommate saying she would be home that evening after her shift.
That evening, Brianna went to work at the Black Lantern Inn. After her shift her coworkers asked her to have dinner with them. Brianna declined as she had to get up early for her second job at KJ’s Diner in St. Albans the following morning.
Around 11:20 pm, she left in her 1985 Oldsmobile 88 to drive home to Swanton. Brianna never returned home, and has not been heard from again.
Brianna’s roommate was away visiting family at the time, and did not immediately notice her note.
On March 23, 2004, her parents filed a missing persons report to the Vermont State Police when they weren’t able to contact her.
On March 20, 2004, Brianna’s vehicle, a 1985 green four-door Oldsmobile Delta 88 sedan was found abandoned on the property known as the “Old Dutchburn Barn,” off East Berkshire Road and Route 118, about a mile outside of Montgomery, Vermont.
The car was discovered backed up onto the outside wall of the barn on an abandoned farm, with minor damage on the rear bumper and the rear wheels of the car raised. The doors to the car were unlocked, despite the missing keys.
Inside the vehicle police found Brianna’s personal belongings, including two unopened paychecks from the Black Lantern Inn, some clothes, her migraine medicine, driver’s license, makeup, and contact lenses.
When police checked the vehicle’s registration, the registered owner was Brianna’s mother. As the paychecks found inside the vehicle were Brianna’s, they assumed she was the primary driver. They went to follow up with her workplace at the Black Lantern Inn, but the establishment was closed.
When authorities linked the abandoned car to Maitland’s disappearance, an extensive search was conducted in the area around the abandoned farm.
Police officers, along with search teams, scent-tracking dogs, helicopters, and volunteers combed the woods near where her car was found, but no trace of Brianna Maitland was found.
Foul play wasn’t initially considered in Brianna Matiland’s disappearance as there were no signs of a violent confrontation at the scene where her car was found. Throughout the years investigators have pursued multiple leads, but none have led to Brianna. Authorities now believe foul play was involved, and that she didn’t leave the area willingly.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brianna Maitland please contact the Vermont State Police at (802)-524-5993 or the State Police Crime Information Tip Line at (802)-241-5355.