Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

VSP offers $40K reward to help find Brianna Maitland 20 years after disappearance

A man stands at a podium.
Liam Elder-Connors
Vermont Public
Col. Matthew Birmingham, director of Vermont State Police, speaking to reporters on Tuesday. State and federal law enforcement officials are now offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Brianna Maitland, who went missing two decades ago.

State and federal law enforcement officials are offering a $40,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of Brianna Maitland, who went missing 20 years ago.

During a press conference on Tuesday, which marked 20 years since Maitland’s disappearance, Vermont State Police and FBI officials urged anyone with information about the incident to reach out to law enforcement.

The $40,000 reward, which is being provided by the FBI, is for tips that lead to the “recovery” of Maitland, said Craig Tremaroli, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albany field office.

“Today is about Brianna and bringing her home,” Tremaroli said during Tuesday’s press conference.

Maitland was last seen on March 19, 2004 leaving her job at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery. Her car, a 1985 Oldsmobile, was found at an abandoned farm about a mile from the restaurant. She was 17 at the time of her disappearance.

“It's especially important today on the 20th anniversary of Brianna's disappearance to recall this vibrant young woman, and let her family know that today, as always, we are thinking of them and seeking diligently to bring this case to a resolution,” Col. Matthew Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police, told reporters during Tuesday’s press conference.

A poster with several pictures of the same woman on it.
Liam Elder-Connors
Vermont Public
Brianna Maitland disappeared 20 years ago after leaving her job in Montgomery.

Maitland wasn’t reported missing for four days because she’d moved out of her parents’ home and was couch-surfing with various friends at the time of her disappearance.

Police were initially skeptical that Maitland was the victim of a violent crime and thought she might have run away, but after about three months, they determined that her disappearance was likely connected to foul play.

“I do think that the state police's position on it evolved over time,” Birmingham said. “It's hard to judge what they knew at the time, and it was 20 years ago … But, you know, thinking back on what I know about it, I don't think it fundamentally changed the information or the evidence that we had and processed at the time.”

Two years ago, police identified the source of a DNA sample found on an “item of interest” near Maitland’s car, but authorities said on Tuesday that it didn’t lead to any suspects.

“We were able to vet that source and ruled that information out,” VSP Maj. Dan Trudeau said. “So although it wasn't a positive in solving a case, it was certainly a thing that's been on the list for a long time that we can now rule out.”

Trudeau, the commander of VSP’s criminal division, declined to speak in greater detail about the ongoing investigation.

Tremaroli, with the FBI, said the new $40,000 reward was determined by the bureau’s criminal investigation division as an amount that would “incentivize the public to come forward with some new tips.”

State police officials on Tuesday said they couldn’t recall any time where a reward in a high-profile case like this had been paid out.

“But anything that we can do to help elicit information from people that they may have is beneficial to us,” Birmingham said. “So if it happens one time, then it's a benefit to us.”

Law enforcement officials say anyone with information about Maitland’s disappearance can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the Vermont State Police tipline at 1-844-84-VTIPS (1-844-848-8477).

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.


Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
Latest Stories