More than 15 years after she vanished, advanced DNA testing is being used to re-examine evidence in the Brianna Maitland disappearance
THE WOODLANDS, Texas September 29, 2020
On the morning of March 20, 2004, the Vermont State Police received a report of an abandoned car on the property known as the “Old Dutchburn Barn” in the town of Montgomery, Vermont. A green 1985 Oldsmobile Delta was found at an odd angle, backed into the side of the building. The vehicle had collided with the building in such a manner that the rear bumper was stuck on the foundation of the house, causing the rear tires to be elevated and thus disabling the vehicle. There were no indications that the vehicle had come off the roadway in an uncontrolled manner. The responding trooper did not find anyone with the vehicle or inside the abandoned farmhouse. The doors to the vehicle were unlocked, and the keys were missing. He noted several items inside the vehicle, including two unopened paychecks from the Black Lantern Inn addressed to Brianna Maitland. The trooper went to the Black Lantern Inn to attempt to contact Maitland, but the establishment was closed. The car was then towed to a local tow yard.
The day before, Kellie Maitland had gone shopping with her 17-year-old daughter, Brianna Maitland, in St. Albans, Vermont. Brianna had a shift as a dishwasher at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery later that evening, and she seemed anxious to get home and get to work. According to co-workers, Brianna’s shift was uneventful. She did not have any visitors or make or receive any phone calls. At the end of her shift, around 11:20 p.m., Brianna was seen by a co-worker getting into her car and leaving the parking lot. This was the last time Brianna Maitland was seen alive.
On March 23, 2004, Kellie Maitland contacted the Vermont State Police to report Brianna missing. On March 25, 2004, Kellie and her husband, Bruce, went to the State Police Barracks in St. Albans to drop off some photographs of Brianna. It was then that a trooper showed Bruce and Kellie a picture of the green Oldsmobile, backed into the Dutchburn Barn. They confirmed their daughter had been operating the vehicle on the night of March 19, 2004. The Black Lantern Inn is less than 2 miles from where her car was found.
Although initially believed that Brianna might have run away, it was later determined she could have been a victim of foul play. Investigators have pursued multiple leads throughout the years, but none have led to Brianna.
The Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit has partnered with Othram in the hopes of generating a lead using DNA evidence recovered during the investigation. Those with any information that could assist the case are encouraged to call the Vermont State Police at 802-524-5993. A fund has been established by Othram to cover the costs of testing for this case. This case is logged in NamUs as MP2030.
Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. Visit dnasolves.com to learn how anyone can make a difference in helping solve the next cold case.
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