|MISSING FEMALES One rationale provided for the "no-body-required" rule is that a murderer should not be entitled to acquittal simply because he successfully disposes of a victim's body. "That is one form of success for which society has no reward."|
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Affidavit : Brianna Maitland Murdered ? & Mja Profile of Affidavit.
Mja Inc Investigations
Brianna Maitland Public Record Files
Mja Inc--TK Stout
Mja Inc Investigations
Mja has been working on Miss Maitlands case since 4-3-04..
Mja Case File # BRI_M--059
Latest Maitland revelation another marker along a complicated, troubling
path.Written by H.P. Albarelli Jr. & Jedd Kettler
Thursday, 01 February 2007
A recently unearthed Burlington Police Department report may point to a
tragic and grisly end to the investigation into the disappearance of Brianna
Maitland on a night nearly three years ago as she drove home from her job in
The notarized police affidavit recounts the statement of Debbie Gorton, of
Colchester, the sister of Ellen Ducharme, who was convicted in the July,
2004 drug murder of Ligia Collins.
Gorton claims Maitland was killed by Ramon Ryans one week after her March
19, 2004, disappearance,and her body disposed of on a pig farm.
Gorton claimed that Ryans killed Maitland over drug money. She told the BPD
officer that Maitland had given Ryans' a "couple thousand" dollars to buy
crack cocaine, but eventually asked for the money back. Maitland, she
claimed, was killed following the argument that ensued.
Gorton claimed that Ducharme told her of the murder and that
Maitland's body was in Ducharme's basement at one point.
In the Burlington Police Department report, from a separate March, 2006
police investigation in Colchester, Gorton suggested that her sister and
several others — Moses Robar, Darrel Robar, Timothy Crews—were also
involved, particularly in the disposing of her body.
Police cautioned this week, however, that the dolampent, obtained by the
County Courier and independent investigative journalist Hank Albarelli, has,
like so many other tips they have received, led to no solid evidence of
Maitland's whereabouts or her fate.
The lead Vermont State Police investigator on the Maitland case, Det. Lt.
Glenn Hall in the St. Albans barracks, said the statement appears to be
another unsubstantiated tip in the labrynthian case.
"Right now we have a missing persons investigation; that's what we have,"
Hall said this week, when asked about the police report. "We have no reason
to believe that there's any truth to this statement at this point. If we
were able to corroborate it, obviously we would continue (following it). I
would compare it to other information that we've gotten."
Hall and other police sources said the St. Albans office has known about
Gorton's dolampented claim since March 2006. Hall took over the
investigation in August 2006, when Det. Lt. Brian Miller transferred from
St. Albans to the Williston station.
"I'm aware of this dolampent. I can tell you that we've looked into this
information and none of it's been substantiated," Hall said. He said law
enforcement officials pursue all tips and potential leads, but said this
one, like so many others, has borne no solid case.
Hall said this is not the first tip suggesting Maitland may be dead, but
nothing along those lines has been corroborated.
"We have an abundance of information that comes in," Hall said. "The stories
sometimes have consistencies and sometimes they change ..This information gets recycled ...
That's obviously part of our job—to follow up on anything.Hall said similiarities between tips
may simply reflect rumors being "recycled."
Unlike most other tips suggesting that Maitland was killed, though, Gorton's
statement contains more detail.
Gorton's accusation also raises possible connections to several people
involved in the illegal drug trade between New York City and Vermont,
particularly Ryans, who was considered a person of interest in the Maitland
case by the Franklin District State's Attorney and police officials until at
least July 2005. Gorton's statement suggests connections, at least
indirectly, through some people in a prominent Vermont murder case,
the drug killing of Ligia Collins just months after Maitland's disappearance.
Brianna's parents, Bruce and Kellie Maitland, were unaware of the police
dolampent until last week.
"I'm surprised that something like this would exist and we were not told
anything about it… I'm surprised to know there even is such a statement,"
Bruce Maitland said.
Both Maitlands commented about their sadness over Vermont's criminal justice system as it relates to youth and drugs.
Said Kellie Maitland: "Drugs are imbedded in the pop culture, and the media
promotes the pop culture regardless of the destructive stuff that goes with
it. It is a paying business with few moral guidelines or concerns for the
youth digesting it. If you are a bored teen in the Vermont countryside, this
lifestyle comes across as exciting and glitzy when in reality it has a dark
side loaded with destruction and violence… we have seen that dark side."
Nearly three years ago, on March 19, 2004, at about 11:30 p.m., 17-year-old
Brianna Maitland disappeared on her way home from work at a Black Lantern
Inn in Montgomery.
Her light-green, 1985 Oldsmobile 88, with the headlights still on, was found
one mile from the inn, backed into the clapboard side of the ramshackle
farmhouse commonly referred to as the "old Dutchburn house." In 1986, two
elderly brothers, Myron and Harry Dutchburn, had been severely beaten by an intruder
who burglarized their home. The brothers, who were hospitalized and then placed in a nursing home,
never returned to the house.
Never before reported by the Vermont media is that on March 20, less than 12 hours
after her disappearance, Brianna's abandoned car was first spotted by a passing
State Police trooper on regular patrol along Route 118.
The officer stopped to examine the vehicle, which had punched a hole in the
clapboard siding of the Dutchburn house, causing a heavy piece of plywood
covering a window to fall on to the vehicle's rear trunk.
The trooper opened the vehicle's unlocked doors, saw two Black Lantern Inn paychecks made out to Brianna Maitland on the front seat, and reportedly picked up several items off the ground nearby the vehicle, including a broken necklace, and tossed them into the vehicle's back seat.
He noted the vehicle's license plate number in his notepad, took a photo of the scene, and then continued on his way, reportedly thinking someone, perhaps a drunk driver, had abandoned the vehicle.
Three days later, 17-year old Jillian Stout, a close friend of Brianna's
since 4th grade, called Bruce and Kellie Maitland, Brianna's parents, at
their Franklin home. At the time of her disappearance, Brianna had been
staying with Jillian at Jillian's father's home in Sheldon. Worried about
Brianna, Jillian asked the Maitlands if she had returned home, and the
Maitlands quickly realized their daughter was unaccounted for.
Brianna's parents immediately called the Vermont State Police to report
their daughter missing.
The police said they would put out post-haste an APB [all-points-bulletin]
on Brianna's car. When the Maitlands went to the local State Police barracks
in St. Albans the next morning to fill out the necessary missing-person
forms, and to provide police a photo of their daughter, the patrol officer
who had discovered Brianna's car at the Dutchburn house days earlier
happened to be there. He quickly recalled the abandoned vehicle at the
Dutchburn house, opened his notepad and extracted a photo. He asked the
Maitlands if the vehicle pictured was Brianna's.
Up until this time, the Maitlands knew nothing about their daughter's car
being discovered abandoned. Kellie Maitland looked at the photo and felt
herself becoming sick. Bruce Maitland asked why they had not been notified
earlier about the car's discovery. The officer explained that he was just
returning from a long weekend off and that was why he had not contacted the Maitlands.
"I didn't understand why someone else with the police couldn't
have called us," Bruce said. "The car was registered in my wife's name."
After a series of additional snafus that stalled the investigation's start,
law enforcement officials launched intensive efforts to locate Brianna.
State police officers received "a good many tips" and conducted numerous
interviews, bringing in "over 160 persons for personal interviews and
interrogation," according to Vermont officials. At least three individuals
were given polygraph examinations that were "inconclusive" with at least one
revealing "deception." The first few months of State Police efforts included
the participation of the FBI, and prolonged ground and air searches were
conducted. Many of these searches included hundreds of volunteer citizens.
The first good lead
One of the earliest leads that came in to the State Police, less than a
month after Brianna's disappearance, concerned a confidential tip that
Brianna was in the basement of a Reservoir Road farmhouse in Berkshire,
against her will. Police investigators, accompanied by U.S. Border Patrol
and Vermont Fish and Game agents, quickly raided the rented house,
about 15 minutes away from the Black Lantern Inn.
When police entered the farmhouse on April 15, 2004 they discovered several
people inside, but following a thorough search of the house and property,
found no signs of Brianna. During the search, however, police did discover
various amounts of marijuana, cocaine, handguns, and drug paraphernalia.
State police arrested the occupants of the house, Ramon L. Ryans, 28, of
Queens, N.Y.; Nathaniel Charles Jackson of New York and North Carolina;
Timothy Powell of Berkshire; and Stephanie A. Machia, reportedly 17, also of
Berkshire. At the time of the arrest, both Ryans and Jackson were fairly
notorious among local residents in Richford and Enosburg for "hanging around
public parks and school yards" and allegedly "selling crack cocaine." Some
young teens and adults in the towns knew both men by their respective street names,
"Street" and "Low." In addition to "Low," Jackson was also on occasion referred to as "Nasty."
All of those arrested at the Berkshire farmhouse admitted to knowing Brianna
Maitland, but maintained they did not know where she was or what had
happened to her. After being arraigned and, pending trial without bond set,
the four were released. Jackson reportedly returned to a Richford apartment
that he shared with several other individuals, and Ryans left for
Burlington, some 50 miles away, where he lived in an apartment he shared on
occasion with a 25-year old single mother of two, Ligia Rae Collins.
Disappearance & murder in Burlington
About two months later, on July 4, 2004,around midnight, Ligia Collins,"Gia" to her friends, disappeared from her Burlington apartment.
Ramon Ryans, according to police affadavits, was still living with Collins, and was the person who first reported her missing to police.
On July 6, a Burlington detective, Shawn P. Burke, responding to Ryans'
report, visited Collins' apartment on St. Paul Street, and interviewed
Ryans, who was there with Machia of Berkshire.
According to Burke's affadavit, Machia told the detective she was a "babysitter" for Collins' two young children.
Ryans told Det. Burke that a woman, Ellen Ducharme, owed Collins "a couple hundred dollars or something like that," and that Collins had received a telephone call from Ducharme at around midnight on July 4 and was told she "had the money (Collins was owed)." Collins, according to Ryans, told him she was going to Ducharme's apartment "to pick it up."
Ryans told Burke he woke up at about 4 a.m. and discovered Collins had not
returned home and assumed that she had stayed at Ducharme's
apartment. He said he never saw or heard from Collins again, and at
about 2 p.m.that same day,he reported Collins missing to the police.
Det. Burke also interviewed Machia at the same time. Machia, who advised
Burke she was born Aug. 1, 1984, told Burke she had babysat Collins'
children overnight, July 2-3, and that on July 5 she learned from Ryans that
Collins was missing. Det. Burke noted that Machia referred to Ryans as
"Street," rather than by his legal name. Burke later wrote in his affadavit,
"I asked Ramon what his street name was and he laughed, looked at the
ground, and then pointed at me. I asked Ramon if he did not understand my
question to which he laughed and said, 'I got no street name.'"
Det. Burke, later that same day, attempted to contact Ellen Ducharme at a
hotel she worked at in Colchester, Handy's Extended Stay Suites. The manager at the suites told the detective that Ducharme had "resigned the previous week" after being suspected of "stealing payroll checks from a guest of the hotel." The manager told the detective that Collins had cashed the stolen checks.
After further intensive investigation, Det. Burke eventually met with Ellen
Ducharme at the headquarters of the Burlington Police Department. Ducharme told Burke that she had long known Collins and that both Collins and her "boyfriend (Ryans)" often sold her crack cocaine. Ducharme told Det. Burke,according to his report, "she only knows Collins' boyfriend as 'Lyle' or 'Homie.'" Ducharme additionally told Burke that she had no idea where Collins was or what had happened to her, but did relate an earlier incident in which Collins had come to her house on July 4 at about 2 a.m. to sell her "one gram of crack cocaine."
Ducharme went on to tell the detective that while Collins was at her
apartment her boyfriend [Ryans] called her on her cell phone and began
screaming at Collins "to make the next delivery." Wrote the detective later
in his report, "I questioned Ducharme about her relationship with Collins
and the male she refers to as 'Homie' who I know to be Ryans. Ducharme only describes Ryans as a black male in his mid-twenties who is in Vermont
selling crack cocaine."
Det. Burke's affadavit continues: "Ducharme advised that she has purchased
crack cocaine from Collins and Ryans on countless occasions over the past
two months. [She] advised that she spent hundreds of dollars on crack
cocaine from both Collins and Ryans. Ducharme also advised that she has
purchased crack cocaine from a white girl she only knows as Stephanie who is a friend of Collins.' Ducharme's description of Stephanie is consistent with
the person I identified as Stephanie Machia."
Machia entered the Franklin County Court Diversion program after entering a
plea and making a deal with the state, following the April 2004 Berkshire
raid, the Franklin County State's Attorney's office revealed last year.
After interviewing Ducharme, Det. Burke met the following day with
Ducharme's boyfriend, 52-year old Moses Robar. Robar, who had been jailed
for domestic assault against Ducharme on July 3, 2004, and had been ordered by the court as a pre-trial condition to stay away from Ducharme, told Burke he had been with Ducharme on July 6 and 7. Both Robar and Ducharme claimed that during that time they traveled to Maine to go to a racetrack and attempt to make up with one another, a claim that further investigation proved to be untrue. Robar told the Burlington detective he knew nothing about where Collins was or what had happened to her.
The next day Burlington police executed a search warrant at Ligia Collins'
and Ramon Ryans apartment on St. Paul Street. Investigators found Ryans in
the apartment. They also found "a .22 caliber pistol, $600 in cash, and a
scale typically used to weigh controlled substances, and a small amount of
marijuana," according to a police report. Ryans told investigators that at
the time, he and Collins had nothing to do with the sale of illegal drugs.
On July 12, 2004, Burlington detectives went to the Milton home of Moses
Robar's father and brother. Moses was not home at the time, but police
seized "some of Moses clothing, which had blood on them."
Later that day, at about 7:30 p.m., police investigators spotted Moses Robar
in his vehicle in Burlington. When they attempted to stop Robar and
approached his white 1992 Chevrolet truck, he raised a gun to his head and
shot himself. He was rushed to the hospital, and was pronounced dead two
days later; the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Maitland/Collins connection
The investigation into Collins' disappearance continued for almost another
week, drawing in several additional suspects and possible witnesses. On July
13, 2004, Burlington detective Arthur Cyr and FBI Special Agent Jody Corbett
met with Ellen Ducharme at the Chittenden County Correctional Facility,
where she was being held as a suspect in the Collins case.
The County Courier has exclusively learned from confidential sources that they were there to specifically question her about possible involvement in the
disappearance of Brianna Maitland. Reportedly, minutes into their questioning regarding Brianna Maitland,Ducharme broke down and confessed to the murder of Ligia Collins.
Ducharme gave the two law enforcement officers a statement, which was not tape recorded,that she had known Collins for about six years and that since March 2004, the same month Maitland disappeared, she had been purchasing cocaine from Collins and Ryans. Ducharme further stated that she had tried to stop doing drugs, but that Ryans and Collins had "pushed it on her."
In a later police statement, it was reported that Ducharme told the two law
enforcement officers that "her house was broken into recently and that
Moses' (Robar) gun was stolen. Ducharme advised that Moses accused her of
selling his gun for crack cocaine. Ducharme advised that Collins arrived at
her house on 'July 4' and that she had Moses' gun.
Ducharme advised that she asked Collins if Collins had broken into her house to which Collins replied, 'Don't worry about it.' Ducharme advised that Collins continued to walk into the kitchen and at this time Ducharme took (a baseball bat) and hit Collins in the back of the head." Ducharme continued her statement and told the two police officers that she hit Collins several more times with the bat and that "Collins fought back." She explained that there was "blood all over the place" and that finally she pushed Collins down her cellar stairs. Ducharme reportedly said that Robar was in her living room when all this occurred and that he "laughed" and told her that Collins "was not her friend because Collins sold her cocaine." Ducharme said she was in a "rage" and "so high" on cocaine at the time.
After killing Collins, Ducharme told investigators that she called a friend
to come over to help her and Robar dispose of Collins' body. The friend,
Timothy Crews, eventually came to her apartment, and he and Robar, according
to Ducharme, drove Collins' body to Lincoln Gap, where they dumped it near a
deer camp that both men had used in the Green Mountain National Forest.
Crews lived near Ducharme, and had previously been imprisoned for murder.
The connection deepens
In the confusion surrounding the Collins investigation, Ramon Ryans' name
was only mentioned once in any media accounts, early on when Ryans was cited
in a brief news account as having been the person to report Collins missing.
Law enforcement officials in Burlington said that after the arrest of Ellen
Ducharme for Collins' murder, Ryans quietly slipped out of Vermont and
returned to New York City. Within weeks of his leaving, Ryans was placed on
Vermont's 10 Most Wanted list because he failed to show up for the St.
Albans court hearing on the Berkshire raid.
Months later, on May 23, 2005, Ryans was arrested in New York City.
Reportedly, his "drug lord" had turned him in to law enforcement authorities
in return for $5,000. Ryans was brought back to Vermont by U.S. Marshals and State Police detectives to stand trial in St. Albans for his Berkshire
At about this same time, the Maitlands, who, assisted by Kellie Maitland's
sister, Tammy Cox, had set up a web site to garner leads to their daughter's
disappearance, received several tips about a man called "the Joker."
According to tips, the Joker, whom police have identified as Jorge E. Soto,
26, of Springfield, Mass., was an associate of Ramon Ryans and Nathaniel
Jackson, as well as several other known drug dealers in Richford, Enosburg,
and St. Albans.
Soto, who sometimes lived in Richford, reportedly had been
bragging that he had killed Brianna. People in Richford said that Soto was
notorious in town for having killed a puppy by strangulation at a party
because its barking got on his nerves.
When police questioned Soto about his boastings concerning Brianna, he told
them his claims were only bravado, made up to make him "appear big and mean" in the eyes of those to whom he dealt drugs and to those who owed him money.
After police had questioned him, Soto reportedly continued to tell people
that he killed Brianna, and even told one group of teens he had buried her
body in a St. Albans cornfield behind a Lake Street house he occasionally
In early June 2005, Ryans appeared in Vermont district court in St. Albans
and pleaded guilty as charged to possession of cocaine and marijuana in the
Berkshire bust. The judge in the case sentenced Ryans to 45 days to 18
months, with all time suspended but 45 days. The 45 were then completely
erased by granting earned credit for time served.
According to published reports, Ryans' felony cocaine charges were amended
to misdemeanors after speaking with Vermont State Police Lt. Tom Nelson
about Brianna Maitland. Ryans also took a polygraph test concerning her
At that time, Assistant State's Attorney Diane Wheeler wouldn't elaborate on
the results of that test, but later revealed to an independent reporter,
"the results were inconclusive." Others have said that Ryans' test also
revealed "deception." The local media, police and Wheeler said nothing at
the time about Ligia Collins' death. Some Burlington law enforcement
officials expressed doubt that officials in St. Albans were aware of any
connections with Ryans, Collins, and their associates.
The Maitlands, who by the time of Ryans' sentencing had received numerous
tips and information concerning the involvement of Ryans and Jackson in
their daughter's disappearance, were shocked by Ryans' light punishment.
"This guy made a mockery and a joke out of the police and the court system," said Bruce Maitland. "From what I know, he gave the police nothing.
He destroyed countless young lives in Vermont,and by
sending him back out on to the streets, he'll keep right on doing it."
Reports have it that once he walked out of the St. Albans courthouse,
Ryans once again headed to New York.
The Maitlands were not the only ones angered at the sentence. Vermont State Rep. Norman McAllister, by trade a full-time farmer who is widely known for his no-nonsense style, expressed his own outrage at the sentence. On Ryans' sentence, McAllister said, "This kind of sentence sends all the wrong messages to all the wrong people. Vermont needs to get serious about crime and its rapidly spreading drug problem. We have heroin and cocaine everywhere in this state, and we have dealers pouring into our rural areas to sell drugs because of a lack of law enforcement and the laxity of the courts here. Every young person in the state is at risk. It's an epidemic.It simply has to stop."
This week, Vermont State Police Det. Lt. Glenn Hall declined to comment on
Ryans' current status in regards to the investigation, except to say, "He
was somebody that has been interviewed. His name came up along with many others."
Nearly a year ago, St. Albans Assistant District Attorney Wheeler told an
independent journalist that Ryans did offer state police investigators
"information in the Maitland case that drew them away from false leads and
put them on the right track with things." She declined to elaborate on what
that meant. Bruce Maitland, at the time, said, "That's fine, that's good. If
he put them on the right track, where are they going? It's been months and
nothing seems to be happening. Police are telling me that they are no closer
to solving the case than they were months ago."
Defending the investigation
Hall and Wheeler, speaking this week, defended the police investigation,
saying investigators have been diligent in following the many leads they
have received in the case, and that information from many different
departments has been shared with St. Albans police soon after being
Hall also said he believes other police departments and investigative units
throughout the state have been and will continue to be forthcoming with any
information relevant to the Maitland investigation. In particular, Hall
said, they have been in contact with the Burlington Police Department a
number of times, inlcuding when Gorton's claims were recorded by police
"We're in contact with them," Hall said. "This is a small state. They're
well aware of this case. I'm very confident that if they get any information
they pass it along to us."
Wheeler said that while information coordination between departments around the state can run into snags, the Maitland investigation has not hit such obstacles.
"Not in the Maitland case at all," she said.
The high-profile nature of the case has ensured that officers from around
the state are aware of it and, from roadside stops to anonymous tips, she
believes the information has been forwarded quickly to investigators
assigned to the case.
Wheeler added that investigators in the Maitland case have included a number of agencies in the investigation, including a Federal Bureau of
Investigations officer who attends formal meetings on the case.
"They've engaged so many agencies," she said. As in other high profile
cases, small details are examined and collected, and they do make an effort
to see the tips they've received with "fresh eyes," she said.
Many have expressed frustration with progress in the investigation, though.
And fear that such pieces of information have not been vigorously
investigated have led Bruce and Kellie Maitland to take steps of their own
A P.I. is hired
Months ago, Brianna's parents, Bruce and Kellie Maitland, reluctantly
decided to hire a private investigator to pursue a number of leads
concerning Brianna's disappearance because they felt "law enforcement was
not aggressively" following up on some of the leads they had received.
State Police officials vigorously deny this and say in their defense that
the Maitlands don't understand that "not everything can be shared or
discussed" with family members "in such a sensitive investigation."
Said Bruce Maitland: "We really didn't have the money to hire anyone, and if
Greg hadn't called us out of the blue, I'm not sure how we would have found
"Greg" is Greg Overacker, a 39-year old private detective who works for
Eastern Private Detectives in Mohawk, N.Y. Overacker has also worked as a
bounty hunter, process server, and private security agent to celebrities,
and bail bondsman all over the United States. While working in Northern New
York on a case on Father's Day in early 2006 he saw a "Missing" poster for
Brianna. Overacker "became haunted by her face."
"I eventually called the Maitlands," Overacker said, "because I felt that I
just had to do something." Overacker agreed to dig into the case in return
for telephone and mileage expenses only. Last summer he made a trip to
Vermont and spent nearly a week interviewing people in Richford, Montgomery,Enosburg, St. Albans and Burlington. "Two days into my meetings with various people," Overacker said, "I knew and understood how deep and convoluted this case was going to be. It seemed that lots of people were involved in aspects of the case and that there was somewhat of a conspiracy of silence about certain events."
One of those events that kept repeatedly coming out in his interviews
concerned a late-night party in Richford the night Brianna disappeared.
Overacker said, "The party report which kept coming up had Brianna in
attendance and had something horrible happening to her at the party. Some
people claimed she was killed at the party, others said she over-dosed,
others said she was deliberately over-dosed."
Several reports that Overacker heard had Brianna's body disposed of "on a
farm somewhere in Franklin County." Said Overacker: "The reports for the
most part were very gruesome. When I was able to sit down with (an
independent journalist) and compare notes, I knew there had to be a strong
element of truth to the reports. I spent a few days with (him) in Richford,
and we met with more people all over the county and then I was really
convinced, but still things were cloudy in some ways."
Things remained somewhat cloudy until Overacker called a couple in Enosburg
last month to confirm a few basic facts about Brianna. The couple, who
requested anonymity, told Overacker about a possible statement that had been given to Burlington police "months ago" concerning Brianna's alleged murder.
A horrific turn
Last week the Maitland case took a horrific and brutal turn after Overacker
and an independent journalist finally located a copy of the statement. New
and shocking information contained in that dolampent, and others, is now
drawing a reinvigorated and intensive focus to the case. That information,
obtained exclusively by the County Courier, has also greatly heightened
concerns about the rampant rise in illicit drugs sales and violence in
Franklin County, as well as statewide.
The bulk of the new information is contained in a notarized affidavit from
March 2006, signed by a uniformed Burlington police officer, consisting of
an accusation by Debbie Gorton that Maitland had been killed and her body
disposed of shortly after her disappearance.
Wheeler this week declined to comment on the dolampent or Gorton's
accusations or its effect on the case. She also declined to comment on any
changes in the Maitland investigation, except to say, "Just like many cases,
this case is dynamic ... so certainly there have been changes in the last
six months. But every case has those dynamics."
The affidavit was produced shortly after the officer assisted the Colchester
Police in March 2006 "with an investigation that (led) them" to a home
occupied by Debbie Gorton and her three children. The investigation,
according to the affidavit, led to one of Gorton's sons being arrested.
While police were in the process of arresting her son, reads the affidavit,
Gorton "became outraged and began shouting at the officers that she would
not testify against her sister, Ellen Ducharme, in the upcoming Ligia
Collins murder trial, if police took her son."
The affidavit continues: "In a fit of rage, [Gorton] also shouted some
things about Brianna Maitland, the subject of a high profile missing persons
case in Vermont. After the police left the residence, I asked to speak to
Debbie in private, and she agreed ... I digitally recorded our
Gorton then told the officer "that as a parent, she would want Brianna's
body found, but insisted that no one would find it. [She] said she received
all of her information about Brianna from her sister, Ellen Ducharme, who is
currently incarcerated. Ellen allegedly told Debbie that Moses Robar…Timothy
Crews, and Ramon Ryans killed Brianna. She said they took Brianna's body to
a farm and cut her up into pieces. They transported her body in a truck to
Debbie said this happened about one week after Brianna went
missing. She said that Brianna's body was in Ellen's basement at one point,
according to Ellen…. Ellen told Debbie that Ramon was the person who killed
Brianna. Debbie then commented that she never told Detective Burke about
Brianna because Ellen told her about Brianna after Detective Burke
interviewed her. Debbie further commented that this was the first time she
had spoken to a police officer about what she knew of Brianna. She was not
sure if Ellen disclosed this information to police."
The two-page affidavit concludes:
"Ellen knew Ramon through Ligia Collins because Ramon supplied Ligia with drugs and was also her boyfriend. Debbie said that Ellen told her the information about Brianna after Detective Burke questioned Debbie about the deaths of [name withheld] and Ligia Collins….
Debbie said Ellen was present when Brianna was killed and witnessed her
killing…. Debbie speculated…that was why Moses Robar killed himself… Debbie
swore to the truthfulness of her statement …"
Det. Lt. Hall this week said this statement, like so many other tips,
remains unsubstantiated, despite efforts to corroborate its claims.
"It would be easy to look at this and say it could be something. And that's
our job to figure that out ... When we get information, we've got to look at
it, we've got to decipher the truthfulness of this. We haven't been able to
substantiate any of this ... It's one piece of many that have come in and
will continue to come in."
H.P. Albarelli is an independent, investigative journalist who has performed
investigate work for the federal government and whose articles have been
published in books, magazines, and newspapers across the country, and on the Internet. Albarelli lives in Richford and is at work on a non-fiction book
entitled "Green Mountain Gothic."
Mja Inc Staff
Posted Apr 9 2007, 12:14 AM
Mja Inc Investigations
Joined: 30-November 04
From: Indiana and New York
Mja Inc Investigations
We must say this is a very well written article and we know the pain-staking
work that was put into this article..The reporters done an excellant job with what they had to work with considering the type of people they had to interview to gain such insight...
But the Affidavit containing the statements from Debbie Gorton reads like
pure fiction..These type of statements always come from people involved in the drug culture when it involves a case like Miss Maitland's..During my several years as an investigator and working undercover on the drug
infested streets,I cant begin to count how many times I have heard such
Even though some things in the Affidavit have been said and talked about by
several people,like a broken record that doesnt make these statements true..Those close to the investigation know many of these statements have been investigated and it led NO-WHERE...
Mja refuses to let Miss Maitland become a part of the Folk-Lore for her
generation to pass down thru the ages while sitting around a camp fire..The people that know Miss Maitland the best,knows she deserves much better and with the grace of God this mystery will be solved..
As for the article and the Info provided,let us get back to REALITY and face
it head on..Please bare with me and read the points I am about to make..
In my world Debbie Gorton would be given a polygraph test,in doing so it
might clear up alot of things..Also notice how many people and whom she states were involved in Miss Maitland's disappearence and what happened to her..
As for the pig farm story which we have heard several times before and there
is one little flaw to that story..Also if the pig farm story were true and if the location of this farm was found Miss Maitland's DNA could be found..We have learned this by the trial of the pig farmer in Canada and what other type of evidence you would recover..
Debbie Gorton claims to have all this Info..But yet Mja finds it odd she
cant give Miss Maitland's location ? She claims to know everything else but the location,that makes us wonder about the truth of her statements..
Moses Robar and Timothy Crews were involved in disposing of Miss Collin's
body..So why didnt they dispose of her body in the same way that Debbie Gorton claims they did to Miss Maitland..
We just find that very odd,if something had worked once why not do it in the
same way??They made no attempt to hide the murder weapon or Miss Collins body..There is no question that if not before Miss Collins and the murder weapon would have been found during the hunting season..
As for Ellen Ducharm,if she knew the fate of Miss Maitland wouldnt you think
she would have confessed as she did concerning Miss Collins ? Remember Ellen Ducharm confessed to everything concerning the Collins case and naming who else was involved..We feel if she knew anything about Miss Maitland she would have confessed.. In doing so she might have been able
to get a better deal and reduce her sentence even more for confessing too
As for Ramon Ryans,yes he is a very shady person and yes he played the VSP like a fiddle but whats more upsetting the VSP and the courts let him get away with it..When a polygraph test results turns out being "INCONCLUSIVE" in my world another test is given at a later date so the
results of both tests can be compared to each other..My understanding is
Ryans wasnt given another test..
As for the sources claiming that Ryans test showed he was being
deceptive,you cant have it both ways..There are only 3 results that a polygraph test should show and in my world those are:
1.The subject was being truthful..
2.The subject was being deceptive..
3.The test was Inconclusive..
Not long after Ryans took the polygraph test a VSP source told me:" That
they know Ryans was lying but they didnt know what Ryans was lying about.." That sent up red-flags to me that the VSP didnt conduct the polygraph test in the correct way..That is the whole purpose of a polygraph
test being given,to find out WHAT the subject is lying about or WHAT the
subject is telling the truth about..
Conducting the test in the correct way,you will know what questions the subject answered truthfully and what questions the subject answered with
deception..Its that simple..
These conflicting reports could also say that the VSP has "TUNNEL VISION"
and are stuck on Ryans and his group as the only suspects in Miss Maitland's
disappearence..There for the VSP are not looking any where else for possible leads or other suspects..When the actual truth could be that Ryans and his group had nothing to with Miss Maitland's disappearence and they have
only heard the rumor's that everyone else has heard..
Mja doesnt believe Debbie Gorton's claim that Miss Maitland gave Ryan's
$2,000 dollars to buy crack cocaine and then decided she wanted the money back..That an arguement took place between the two and in a rage Ryans abducted Miss Maitland and later killed her..
.Remember it wasnt long ago the story was that Miss Maitland owed Ryans
money for drugs and thats why he killed her...When the reality is you cant collect money from a person who is dead..The reality is,if Miss Maitland did owe money most drug dealers would have came up with a plan so she would have been able to pay them back..
After all Miss Maitland had two jobs and lets not forget two of her
paychecks were found in her car..Also my sources tell me when you dealt with Ryans and his group you had to have the cash to get the drugs--they didnt give you drugs on credit..Giving credit is a
very bad business practice for drug dealers..
Mja has several other concerns about the AFFIDAVIT that bares NO-PROOF to the claims being made..But I hope the case and point we made,thats printed above is enough for several people to Question whats being stated in the Affidavit..Mja feels the merits of the Affidavit wouldnt help solve the disappearence of Miss Maitland..
But once again thats just our opinion,that doesnt make it true..Anything
could happen during a missing person investigation..Mja strongly feels the answer's will come to solve this mystery, a step at a time until you get the Info needed..
Mja Inc --Kaz & Mja Staff
" We come into this world and we are given a name..
Its only moral Justice & Fair that we are buried with a name...
Even if it means being Re-Buried "...
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Re: Affidavit : Brianna Maitland Murdered ? & Mja Profile of Affidavit.
It was really interested to read your thoughts and possible answers to this or that questions. Ive heard about this case and now im happy to hear that there are maybe some justice served there...
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