VSP collaborates with DNA experts on Brianna Maitland case

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VSP collaborates with DNA experts on Brianna Maitland case

Tue, 09/29/2020 - 1:39pm -- tim

Vermont State Police As part of the Vermont State Police’s ongoing investigation into the 2004 disappearance of Brianna Maitland, detectives are partnering with a Texas-based company on new analysis of scientific evidence that may help shed light on what happened to the missing 17-year-old.

Brianna was last seen the evening of March 19, 2004, leaving The Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, where she worked, in her 1985 Oldsmobile 88. The car was located the next day backed into an abandoned building about a mile from the restaurant. Although initially believed that Brianna might have run away, it was later determined she could have been a victim of foul play. Investigators have pursued multiple leads throughout the years, but none have led to Brianna.

Now, the state police Major Crime Unit is collaborating with Othram, a Houston business that specializes in forensic testing and works on the cutting edge of DNA and scientific techniques to help identify victims, locate missing persons and uncover perpetrators of crime.

Through this partnership with the Vermont State Police, Othram will analyze DNA evidence recovered during the investigation into Brianna’s disappearance. The company has launched a fundraising drive to cover the costs of testing.

“We’ve never lost sight of Brianna’s case and have worked relentlessly to find out what happened to her so we can provide answers for her loved ones and hold any offenders accountable,” said Capt. Scott Dunlap, commander of VSP’s Major Crime Unit. “This partnership, leveraging the latest scientific tools and techniques available, provides our investigators with another avenue to pursue.”

The use of genetic genealogy tracing in the Brianna’s case follows a similar partnership announced earlier this summer. The Vermont State Police collaborated with Parabon Nanolabs of Reston, Virginia, to conduct genetic genealogy testing in the unsolved homicide case of an unidentified infant, “Baby Boy Doe,” who was found dead April 1, 1982, on Mill Hill Road in Northfield. Parabon launched a fundraising campaign to cover their costs, which was fully funded through contributions from the public in August. Parabon is now proceeding with its work on this case.

Members of the public can help in several ways with the Brianna Maitland investigation. Anyone with tips or other information that might in any way be relevant should contact Detective Sgt. Angela Baker at angela.baker@vermont.gov, or submit an anonymous tip online (https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit).

To learn more, visit the case page on the Vermont State Police website, or go to the fundraising page posted by Othram.

The direct links are as follows:

Source: WATERBURY, Vermont (Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020) — VSP