Montana Woman, Rita Maze, Called Family From Trunk Of Car Only Hours Before She Was Found Dead In It

Rita Maze, a missing and abducted Montana woman, was tragically found dead in the trunk of her car near the Spokane, Washington, airport on Wednesday. Rita Maze’s horrific ordeal reportedly began late Tuesday morning at a rest stop along Interstate 15 near Wolf Creek, Montana. That was where the 47-year-old Montana woman was reportedly hit over the head and abducted by an unidentified assailant in a brazen, daylight crime.

As KREM 2 reports, Montana woman Rita Maze was on her way home from a trip to Helena, Montana, heading toward Great Falls when she was struck over the head and taken. According to reports, after knocking her out, Rita Maze’s abductor threw her in the trunk of her own vehicle and began driving west toward Washington state. Her family says that Rita Maze had been in Helena visiting her elderly mother.

“She went to see her mom. She’s elderly and failing, so she was in Helena to see her.”

Her family told the media that the trip between Great Falls and Helena was one that the Montana woman, a longtime cook at Morningside Elementary school, had made dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the years, and it wasn’t uncommon for Rita Maze to make the trip along the fairly rural stretch of highway alone.

When Maze didn’t come home on time and her family was unable to reach her, they became concerned for her safety. As The Great Falls Tribune reports, the husband and daughter of Montana woman Rita Maze called local law enforcement at about 8:20 Tuesday night to report her missing. Bob Maze told the police that he had last spoken to his wife at around 11:30 that morning and hadn’t heard from her since.

montana woman
[Image via Shutterstock]

Police began investigating the disappearance of Rita Maze as a missing persons case. Then, at 10:25 p.m. on Tuesday, everything changed. That’s when the missing woman reportedly called her family in a hysterical panic. She told her husband that she had been abducted, that her attacker had hit her over the head. Rita Maze told her husband that she believed she was in the trunk of her own vehicle, but she didn’t know where the car was heading. Both her husband and her daughter were able to tell her that they loved her, she vaguely described her assailant, then the line went dead.

“She was talking to my Dad and had told him help me, help me, she was in the trunk of her car, she thinks she was hit with something or by someone, she didn’t really see.”

That was the last time the family of Rita Maze would ever speak to the Montana woman. Helena police put out a national alert in an attempt to find the car, but they were too late. By 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, just a few short hours later, investigators had located Rita Maze’s vehicle, her dead body inside.

When Montana woman Rita Maze described her attacker to her family, she said that he was a large man, roughly six-feet, five-inches tall, either Native American or African-American, and wearing a black hoodie. Police have yet to publicly name a suspect in the case, but say they are looking into a person of interest. They are reportedly further investigating the possible connection between Montana woman Rita Maze and that person at this time, and have plans to release a photo to the public in the near future.

Law enforcement have yet to publicly comment on Rita Maze’s cause of death, but her family had previously mentioned that she always traveled with a firearm and said during her final phone call that she was terrified that her attacker would get his hands on her gun and possibly use it against her.

The abduction and murder of Montana woman Rita Maze is being investigated by both the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s office and the FBI (because she was transported across state lines), and authorities are reportedly working on a timeline of events (her credit card was allegedly used during the time that she was kidnapped), and reviewing a gas station surveillance video that may have captured her kidnapper/murderer on film.

Right now, the family of Rita Maze is simply trying to come to terms with her tragic, senseless death. According to loved ones, she was a wonderful woman and her family is completely heartbroken. They are also unsure that there can ever be true justice in her case, because nothing can bring her back.

“I just hope they find him, I don’t know, there’s not a punishment that’s going to give her back to us, there’s not a punishment that’s going to bring her back.”

However, the friends, family, and loved ones of Rita Maze do want to see her killer apprehended, if for no other reason than to spare his next victim from suffering the same fate as the beloved Montana woman.


Authorities investigating the abduction and murder of Montana woman Rita Maze are now saying that her cause of death was a single gunshot wound, and that they do not have a person of interest in the case.

[Image via Maze Family]

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