Police now have some doubts about the abduction story of a Montana woman whom they found dead in the trunk of her own car earlier this week.
Authorities found the body of Mrs. Rita Maze closed up in her trunk on Wednesday. Near her body were two bullet casings and a gun. They found her car locked, the keys still in the ignition and her handbag, which had about $50 inside, in her car on the passenger side. According to New York Daily Times, they also found blood on the ground outside the car, which ended up almost 350 miles from where Maze said the abduction took place.
Maze called both her family and police and told them that someone abducted her at a rest stop and threw her in the trunk of her vehicle. Police treated her abduction and death as a homicide case, but now authorities doubt that her abduction story was one hundred percent true. Officials say that they cannot rule out any scenarios, including suicide.
Woman abducted from rest stop called husband and police from the trunk of the car — she was later found dead pic.twitter.com/Rn1wXqy8f4
— HLN (@HLNTV) September 9, 2016
When describing her abduction story, she explained that a man hit her over the head from behind and shoved her into the open trunk of her vehicle. However, officials must now piece together the events of the abduction story as Rita told it and the evidence they found in order to prove, or disprove, these new doubts.
Maze left her daughter’s house after an overnight stay with her on the night she called describing the abduction. According to Newser, Rochelle replied to the doubts officials had about her mother’s story.
“[My mother] did not hit herself, stuff herself in the trunk and drive all the way to Spokane and shoot herself… [an assailant] shot her and left the gun and keys in [the car] to make it look like she killed herself… It makes no sense,” Rochelle said. “They could have taken the car, could have taken money from her. And then they leave the car there, and that’s because this is an evil monster of a person.”
However, on Thursday, Spokane County Sheriff Knezovich said police should question the story of the abduction that Rita gave to her family.
“We know where the body was located; we know where she started out,” he told the newspaper. “What happened in between? Don’t know… [people] should not call her death a homicide until we actually find out what is going on.”
— KIMA Action News (@kimatv) September 8, 2016
Officials traced pings from Maze’s cell phone to verify details from her abduction story. They found that Maze’s bank card was used in three different locations for gas. Police watched footage from the three gas stations, but later ruled out the suspect they first believed responsible for Maze’s death.
Rochelle elaborated on the story her mother told her family on the night of the abduction, hoping to prove that the authorities’ doubts were unfounded.
“[She said she was] overpowered by a massive guy, who was 6’5″ tall and wearing a black hoodie… [my mom] was terrified because he had access to her gun—a Ruger she kept in her purse for protection. I believe she was abducted.”
According to Rochelle, officials checked Maze’s car for any forensic evidence that might lead them to a new suspect.
“My mom had no enemies… Nobody would want to hurt her. There’s an outpouring in this community that you would not believe.”
With the new doubts arising with the investigators, officials now say that Maze’s abduction story and death classifies as a death investigation until new leads suggest otherwise.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]