Abducted woman calls husband from car boot before being found dead

Rita Maze’s body was found by police who traced her mobile phone signal 

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 08 September 2016 16:02
Rita Maze (left) was abducted in a layby in Montana
Rita Maze (left) was abducted in a layby in Montana

A woman who was hit on the head and locked in the boot of her car was found dead after police tracked her mobile phone signal to the abandoned vehicle.

Rita Maze, 47, was driving home after visiting relatives in Montana, and pulled into a layby where the attack happened.

After coming round in her own car boot, Ms Maze was able to use her mobile phone to call her husband to alert him to her abduction.

He called the police, who immediately launched a missing persons inquiry, and an officer was also able to speak to Ms Maze.

County Sheriff, Leo Dutton, said: “She's saying she's kidnapped. She was at a rest stop and a suspect approached her and hit her in the head and put her in the trunk.”

Her number plate was eventually picked up by an automatic camera travelling through Post Falls, 250 miles away from where she had been.

Using mobile phone towers, investigators were able to pinpoint the car’s location to a car park near Spokane International Airport, where the car and Ms Maze’s body were discovered.

According to ITV, Sheriff Dutton said: “There were phone conversations with her from this office, from the Helena Police Department just prior to her death.

“We're relatively certain of the time when she became deceased.”

He added: “We do know that Rita was in Helena visiting her relatives earlier that day.

“She fuelled up and was headed back to Great Falls and stopped at a rest area which she thought was south of Craig some place,” he said.

Police are currently viewing surveillance video taken from a shop and the FBI is also investigating as the kidnapping crossed state boundaries.

Police also confirmed there is a person of interest in the case, but have not announced whether they are in custody yet.

A cause of death is yet to be established.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Ms Maze's family, and has so far raised almost $9,000.

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