Monday May 10, 2004
Families Issue Emotional Plea For FBI Help
By Gary E. Lindsley
WOODSVILLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- When Fred Murray and Kellie Maitland met for the first time Saturday morning, it was a very emotional moment for the parents of two missing young women.
Maitland went up to Murray and they tenderly embraced, both knowing one another's pain of not knowing what has happened to their daughters.
Murray's daughter, Maura, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill the night of Feb. 9.
Maitland's daughter, 17-year-old Brianna, has been missing since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt., the night of March 19.
Maitland, her husband, Bruce, and Murray were joined by Charlotte and Michael Riley of Chester, N.H., in a press conference at the American Legion, Ross-Wood Post 20, in Woodsville Saturday morning.
The Rileys were told their daughter, Amie, who had been missing since August, was found in April in a swamp in Manchester. She had been brutally murdered.
Murray and the Maitlands clamored for public support in having the FBI brought in to investigate not only the disappearances of Maura and Brianna, but also the murder of Amie.
Murray has been beseeching New Hampshire State Police officials at Troop F to call in the FBI to join the investigation since learning his daughter was missing.
The FBI will not join an investigation until asked by the police agency handling a case.
And after learning about the disappearance of Brianna, Murray and the Maitlands called for state police in both New Hampshire and Vermont to call in the FBI.
State police officials in both New Hampshire and Vermont have said there isn't any connection between Maura and Brianna's disappearances, other than they both were involved in car accidents.
However, they also have not said how they have ruled out any connection.
"Something has to be done," Charlotte Riley said. "It's important. No one knows where to turn. I don't want (the media) to portray my grief. I want them to portray something has to be changed."
She spoke about how the police in Manchester did not place her daughter's information into the National Crime Information Center until three months after she had disappeared.
Riley said until a case gets an NCIC number, parents of missing children do not receive any help with searches or posters or from support groups.
Kellie Maitland said her daughter had been at a party a week before she disappeared. She had been assaulted at that party. "Maybe she knew something," she said. "We are hoping someone out there knows something."
Murray said, "We need help. All three families need help. None of us have our daughters. If these three cases are connected, and they very well could be, it's horrendous. You could have a killer locally in your midst." He said there is ample reason for the FBI to become involved.
"We are asking for your help," Murray said, pleading to the public through the media. "People should be screaming for the FBI. We want this to be brought to a close. You owe it to yourselves, folks."
Bruce Maitland said although he has been told the cases aren't related, he believes no one has really looked into whether they are connected.
"I am going to practically beg the governor (Jim Douglas) to step up to the plate," he said. "Let's give (state police) some help."
Kellie Maitland said she felt as if they are up against the wall.
She spoke about a drug bust at a crack house in Vermont in which those busted were let back out on the street the very next day.
"We can't keep having a revolving door for criminals," Kellie Maitland said. "They are back out there. We don't have our daughter."
"Not one more girl!" she continued, her voice quivering. "Not one more beautiful girl! They are bright. They are talented. Not one more. It's a pretty bad Mother's Day."
With that, she walked away from the microphones and went over to Murray, tears streaming down her face. He hugged her, trying to console her.
Her husband joined her and laid his head on top of hers, encircling his arms around her as they listened to Charlotte Riley speak. Riley said until people are in such a situation, they have no idea what it is like.
She spoke about the lack of media coverage after it was determined her daughter was missing. "She was at a bar," Riley said. "Does that make her less of a person?" The Maitlands and Murray responded with a resounding no.
She also emphasized the importance of pressing police to enter the information into the NCIC system. "The system is not working," Riley said. "Three months! It was three long months before she was considered missing!"