April 9, 2004
Vermont, N.H. State Police Rule Out Connection Between Disappearances - Search Resumes For Vermont Teen
By Gary E. Lindsley
Vermont and New Hampshire state police say there isn't a connection between the disappearances of two young women within the past couple of months.
They say both disappeared after their vehicles were involved in motor vehicle accidents, but that is the extent of the similarity.
Maura Murray, a 21-year-old University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student from Hanson, Mass., has been missing since she was involved in a one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H., the night of Feb. 9.
Brianna Maitland, 17, of Sheldon, Vt., has been missing since she left work at the Black Lantern in Montgomery the night of March 19. Her car was found the next morning with its rear end partially inside an abandoned building about a mile from the Black Lantern on the East Berkshire Road.
"We have been in contact with Vermont State Police several times," said Lt. John Scarinza of New Hampshire State Police Troop F.
He said there aren't any similarities other than Murray and Maitland disappeared after accidents.
Lt. Thomas Nelson of the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation at the St. Albans barracks, also said there isn't a connection.
Bruce Maitland, Brianna's father, said the family and friends will be conducting another search for her this weekend.
Maitland said a command center will be set up at the East Franklin Store. A search will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. The phone number at the store is 802-933-4100.
The family received help with a major search last weekend from Brad Dennis of the Klaaskids Foundation Search Center. The foundation was established in 1994 after Polly Klaas was abducted and murdered.
Maitland said the experience was invaluable and will help the family conduct another search this weekend.
During the search last weekend, duct tape and clothing were found and turned over to state police. However, Nelson says none of it was connected to Brianna's disappearance.
Maitland said a lot of tips have been received. He praised VSP for doing a good job, although he believes they made mistakes in the beginning.
On the other hand, Fred Murray, Maura's father, is upset with the response of New Hampshire State Police in its investigation into his daughter's disappearance and what he says is law enforcement's reluctance to get the FBI fully involved.
Murray is going to be speaking with Scarinza today to appeal to him to bring the FBI in. He also is asking for the public's help.
"I am appealing to the public," he said "I want people to walk their fence lines and their property. Get help if you need it."
"She could have ducked up a driveway and around a house," Murray went on to say. "And I am not just appealing to people in New Hampshire. I am also appealing to people in Vermont, especially since a young girl in Vermont is missing."
When members of Maura's family searched her 1996 black Saturn after her disappearance, they found information indicating Maura may have intended on going to the Stowe and Burlington areas in Vermont.
People with information about Maitland should call Vermont State Police at 802-524-5993.
Anyone with information about Murray should contact New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636.
July 12, 2007