Thursday, February 16, 2012

Young Woman's Skull Found on Roadside in Vermont

The skull of a young caucasian woman found on the side of the road in Danby, Vermont was likely the victim of homicide, according to WCAX. Authorities are combing the area for the rest of the skeleton. It appears the remains are quite old.

31 comments:

  1. Wow. I hope it's not Maura, and that she's safe living her life somewhere else, but the proximity to Maura's last known whereabouts and the fact the skull is old makes you wonder. Nonetheless, it's someone's skull, and I hope whoever it belongs to, their family gets the closure they need, if in fact this is a missing person.

    -Jenny

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    1. Proximity? Slightly more than a hundred miles away...

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    2. I agree, It's someone's skull. Which means she had a mother and a father.

      whether it's Maura or not, someone died at the hands of another. Hopefully police can figure out who this is and help.

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    3. That still seems fairly close to me. If indeed Maura was picked up by a stranger and was murdered, 100 miles or so doesn't seem so far away to dump a body. Or, the body could have been dumped at a distance less than that and then the skull was moved by an animal. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility.

      -Jenny

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    4. first heidi,then Brianna,who even though its so far apart in years. this could still be the work of a serial killer.

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    5. I bet it is a serial killer.

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  2. Sheesh. Does quite old mean a century or ten years, do you know? ~ John Green

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  3. Wow, this could be significant, whether it is Maura or not.

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  4. If and I stress IF this skull belongs to Maura then what a coincidence. After all these years just when things are starting to heat up a little and she is found. Kind of makes me wonder if the skull was planted there for someone to find. Of course, chances are it doe not belong to Maura.

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  5. One thing is for sure - if these are Maura's final remains, foul play is most definitely in the epicenter of this mystery. Maura can't have run that far even in the best of weathers.
    If, as I'm dearly hoping, this isn't Maura but turns out to be another missing girl/woman, it is either a very big coincidence or she and Maura might have met the same fate.
    If this turns out to be completely unrelated, we're back to square one.

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  6. What does "quite old" mean?

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  7. If basing on proximity, it's more likely to be Heide Wilbur than Maura. Simple internet research shows Heidi last seen in a town nearby to Danby.

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    1. Hedie Wilbur disappeared the same day as Maura, but 13 years earlier in 1991. The town where she disappeared is about 30 minutes from where the remains were found.

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  8. This came from the Burlington Press:
    DANBY — It could be some time before investigators are able to determine the identity of a young woman's skull found by the side of the road in Danby, the Vermont State Police said Thursday.

    Detectives and others who scoured the area along Danby Hill Road on Wednesday where the skull was found by a passer-by three days earlier, found no additional clues that could help lead to its identify. However, an examination by the office of the Vermont Medical Examiner found trauma that indicated the woman could have been the victim of a crime.


    The deteriorated skull is believed to be that of a young adult Caucasian female.


    Police are checking missing persons cases and they noted two Vermont cases that fit the profile: the 1991 disappearance of Heidi Wilbur from Middletown Springs, and the 2004 disappearance in Montgomery of Brianna Maitland, both 17 when they disappeared.


    But police cautioned the skull could belong to that of a person who was never reported missing or someone from out-of-state.


    Wilbur, who had a history of running away from home, disappeared from her Middletown Springs home in 1991, but has never made contact with family or friends. Over the years there were a number of unconfirmed sightings of her, but she was never found.


    Maitland was last seen when she got out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery at 11:20 p.m. on March 19, 2004. The next day, her car was found about a mile away smashed into an abandoned barn. She was reported missing four days later.

    Anon WV

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  9. There is sadly a surprising number of missing persons cases in the states of NH and VT.
    Apart from more recent cases such as Maura Murray and Brianna Maitland and others, there is also a considerable amount of older vanishings in the VT-NH region which come to mind.
    I shall just be mentioning two here:
    Lynne Katharine Schultze, who vanished from Middlebury College, VT, in 1971 and Paula Jean Welden, who disappeared from Bennington College, VT, in December 1946.
    Both cases are just as mysterious and strange as those of Maura Murray and Brianna Maitland.

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  10. I always find it quite odd when suddenly there is a huge discovery such as a skull by a roadside- especially when it's stated that the bones are said to be 'rather old'. How is it that no one noticed it there previously? My interpretation is that it's at least a few years if not decades old. What is the likelihood that this was recently moved to this roadside in hopes of discovery? Maybe a killer was finally hoping to gain some notoriety?

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    1. I've been thinking the same thing. Was the skull found right on the side of the road or beyond the road in a wooded area? It seems possible, but unlikely that it would suddenly just appear on the side of the road. Maybe I've just been reading too much of the blog lately but the timing of finding the skull is pretty suspicious.

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    2. sometimes animals will dig-up skulls/bones and transport them. This has helped with one other murder case being solved.

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  11. I just finished watching a one-hour show about Brianna Maitland, who disappeared five weeks later in Vermont (90 miles from where Maura's car was found), also with a wrecked car. I can't help but wonder if there's a connection.

    -TJ

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  12. According to the news reports, a 'passerby' found the skull in the embankment next to the road- just spotted it while walking. So, Anon 12:32, it wasn't up in the woods at the point of discovery but perhaps that was it's point of origin. I read another news report that stated no other bones were found near the skull which indicates it was in fact moved.

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  13. This could be a lot of people depending on how old the skull is. Selinda Winegar, Lynn Burdick (missing from MA, but this site is directly north of where she disappeared), Grace Reapp, and Iris Brown (known to be killed somewhere between Barre VT and Springfield MA) are all possibilities in addition to Brianna Maitland and Heidi Wilbur and, of course, Maura.

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  14. Just watched the TV show about the missing woman. The car was stuck, the bus driver knew her cell phone wouldn't work, why didn't he go back and pick her up to use his land line phone? Or, maybe he did.

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  15. So did they figure old whose skull it was?

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  16. I would also like to know if there has been any new developments in the case? Heidi Wilbur is my older sister, I received the phone call when the skull was discovered to let me know that they are looking into that it may or may not be her.
    As I now live in Florida, they wanted me to get the facts instead of rumors ran wild from friends still in the area. I have spoken to the police a few times since, but not for many months, was informed that it could take a long time to identify the skull if at all. It just depended on what they had to go on from the remains.
    Weather she is my sister Heidi or Brianna, or neither, she is still someones loved one. No family should have to go through what our family has gone through all these years, it is life changing and it leaves a hole in your heart that can not be filled. I pray for all the families that are having to go through each day not knowing if a loved one is safe. I pray that this young woman's skull is identified soon, and for her family to find peace as they grieve.
    Crystal Wilbur Grantham

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    1. As of 9/14 the Vermont State Police issued a news release saying they are "reasonably sure" that is the skull of an asian woman between 20-40.

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  17. Although I'm a long time reader, this is the first time I've posted here...

    Has there been ANY new developments or ID to the skull that was found way back in February, IIRC? Any further insights as to who she is/was or might be? In any case, I hope for the family's affected that an ID comes very soon.

    TIA


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  18. I just saw this story about this young women on id i am from belgium and i just wanne say that i hope you find her and that she is in good health, if something els happend with her i hope she find peace and wanne send a lots of love and strenght to the family. xxx

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  19. Update about the skull: http://www.wcax.com/story/19709260/danby-skull-mystery-now-points-to-out-of-state-victim

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  20. I just watched the documentary on her disappearance also. Was the bus driver questioned further? you would assume he would be being the last person to see her there. If he wasn't questioned who is to say he had no part in it. He was an older man and that claim that Maura was seen with an older man when she mouthed 'help me' could make that seem like a worthy person to look into further.

    I agree with the comment before that if the bus driver knew her phone wasnt working why leave her there? Perhaps if he wasn't questioned he was assumed innocent because he contacted the police when he returned home, but that seems presumptuous to think he had nothing to do with it just because he advised the police of her crash.

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  21. You really should learn more about the case before you go accusing people. It is absolutely known by the neighbors (who's house she crashed just outside of), that they witnessed Butch Atwood (the man you are referring to) stop, speak to Maura and drive home. The neighbors then witnessed Maura in and around her car for several minutes after he left. It was only 7 - 9 minutes later that the police arrived and Butch Atwood was home the entire time.

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  22. Likely a serial rapist/killer in this region -- possibly a cop -- because now another young woman, this one a teen, has mysteriously disappeared. She's from North Conway New Hampshire. (Google 'Abigail Hernandez' or visit the Killing Killers crime site for a pic, and you'll see a similarity in features to Maura Murray.)

    E.R.

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