Reading about Brianna Maitland and how her friends and family talk about her continually leads me to the same conclusion: I wish I would have met her. She seemed uniquely herself - bubbly, outdoorsy, friend to everyone. My two favorite things about her were that she loved funny hats and had a cat and a dog named Muffin and Lau.
Chloe from Crawlspace provides perhaps the best and clearest picture of Bri: "Her unconventional upbringing, as well as her adventurous, confident personality and originality, lead her friends to see her as their beloved "backcountry hippie chick". She popped popcorn using a wood stove, tore her Jeep Wrangler on rural dirt roads, and loved any outdoor activity. She could track wild animals through the woods and tended to the family horses and cows. She was extensively trained in the Brazilian martial art of Jiu-Jitsu. She loved her pets, a wrinkle-faced Sharpei named Lau and a cat named Muffin. Her most prized possession at age seventeen was her light green 1985 Oldsmobile Sedan 88 Royale, which she had inherited from her grandfather Tommy Fisher.
Brianna was described as bubbly, free-spirited, and charismatic. Three of Brianna's friends say they met her because Brianna had introduced herself to them on their first day of school when they knew no one. She was also descried as unashamedly sentimental, someone who hugged and kissed her friends and decorated the interior of her car with and written notes from them. She never forgot a birthday. By the time she was in high school, Bri had blossomed into a head-turner. She was described by friends as "the hot girl", the most beautiful girl in Franklin. She was lean and leggy with shiny brown hair, hazel eyes, and a bright smile. While she had the style and charisma of a grown woman, Brianna was still a teenage girl. She was silly and carefree. She had an affinity for funny hats."
Friends and family also describe her naïve, which led to her making poor judgements and being easily taken advantage of. Was it these characteristics that contributed to her disappearance on March 19, 2004?
What we know: Brianna was last seen leaving her job at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, VT around 11:30 that night. She told coworkers that she was headed home because she had to go to work early the next morning. Brianna never arrived though and after several days, her parents were notified that she was missing.
Three days earlier, Brianna's vehicle had been found - the rear of the car was partially inside an abandoned barn. Bypassers found the sight compelling and several stopped to take pictures. They are haunting images, and suggest that something untoward had happened to Bri. Inside her car were two uncashed paychecks and other personal belongings.
Curiously, the registered owner of the car, Brianna's mom, was not notified that the car had been found, and it was only after the missing persons report was filed, that they make the connection to the abandoned car.
There are many theories about Brianna's case, from drug deal gone bad to a serial killer. Explore Brianna's case and see if you can find the answers to what happened to this beloved friend, daughter and sister.