The Caledonian-Record

May 31, 2004

Another Vermont Woman Reported Missing - Police Find Her Jeep

By Gary E. Lindsley

Lamoille County authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a 35-year-old Johnson woman who hasn't been seen since Thursday morning -- the third woman to disappear in Northern New England since Feb. 9.

Jodie Whitney, who has a 3-year-old child, was last seen by her husband, Edgar, before he left for work Thursday morning. She not only failed to show up for work at Stoweflake Resort in Stowe, but she also did not return home.

Like the two other women who are missing, Whitney is described as a petite woman.

On Feb. 9, 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student Maura Murray disappeared after she was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in the town of Haverhill, N.H.

A little more than a month later, 17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., disappeared after she left work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery late the night of March 19. Maitland's vehicle was found about a mile from the Black Lantern Inn, partially ensconced inside an abandoned building.

Sheriff Roger Marcoux said Whitney's white Jeep Cherokee was found within a 5-mile radius of her home by a citizen Friday afternoon.

Marcoux is not releasing where the vehicle was found because it's part of the ongoing investigation.

He said the vehicle is being looked at by a Vermont State Police crime lab team.

Kellie Maitland, Brianna's mother, was heartbroken to learn another woman had disappeared.

"I believe it's (the work of) a serial killer," Maitland said. "And the clock is ticking.

"One is too many," she went on to say. "Enough is enough! They (law enforcement) should pull out all the stops."

Marcoux said there isn't anything to lead investigators to believe there is any connection between Whitney's disappearance and the disappearances of Maitland and Murray.

"We have no evidence to tie them together at this point," he said.

Marcoux said police are conducting a missing person's investigation into Whitney's disappearance because nothing so far has indicated a criminal act has been committed.

He said Whitney is a reservations supervisor at Stoweflake Resort. She was supposed to be at work at 8 a.m.

When she had not returned home by 10 p.m. Thursday, her husband reported her missing.

"This is very out of character for her," Marcoux said. "She seems to be a very responsible person ... she has a young 3-year-old child at home."

Co-workers and members of Whitney's family have been interviewed, he said.

"Everything seemed fine," Marcoux said, referring to Thursday morning when Whitney's husband last saw her.

Investigators are tracking down some leads. One, according to Marcoux, came from officials at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

They reported they had a woman in the hospital possibly fitting Whitney's description. Investigators went to Dartmouth, but the woman was not Whitney.

Marcoux said about 50 law enforcement officers and the New England canine team, led by Vermont State Police Search and Rescue, conducted a ground search Saturday of an area consisting of a 1-mile radius of where Whitney's vehicle was found.

That search area was expanded, but nothing was found. An aerial search was conducted Sunday.

Authorities also searched about 3 miles of the Gihon River.

Whitney is described as being 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighing 110-pounds. She has shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes.

People with any information about Whitney should call the Lamoille County Sheriff's Dept. at 802-888-3502.