A woman who was kidnapped at a Montana rest stop in broad daylight was able to talk with her husband by cellphone several times and even talked with police, but she was dead by the time authorities found her vehicle 325 miles away near Spokane International Airport, Montana authorities said.
Authorities said Rita Maze, 47, managed to call her husband and talk to police from inside the trunk of her abductor's auto but died before she was able to be rescued. Rita Maze told her husband that she believed she was in the trunk of her own vehicle, but she didn't know where the auto was heading.
Her family told police what she said, and detectives were able to call her back while she was in the auto, using her cellphone to track her location, according to KHQ-TV.
Rita Maze (left), spoke with her daughter Rochelle after she had been kidnapped.
The FBI Salt Lake City Field Office, along with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office continue to investigate Maze's death.
An investigation is raising questions about the death of a woman who reported being kidnapped at a Montana rest stop and spending hours in the trunk of her vehicle.
A license plate camera captured her auto near the Idaho-Washington state line, using phone data police located the vehicle near the Spokane Airport where Maze's body was found in the trunk.
Investigators said Maze was abducted from a rest area between Helena and Great Falls around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Her body was found inside the auto shortly after midnight Wednesday, 250 miles away in a parking lot outside Spokane, Washington, International Airport, authorities said.
Asked Thursday if Maze's version of events she gave to her family before she died should be questioned, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said, "yes, you should", according to the Spokesman-Review.
Police said a "person of interest" had been indentified in the investigation, and surveillance video was also being looked at.
That was the last time the family of Rita Maze would ever speak to the Montana woman.
"She went to see her mom".
Her husband Bob Maze and daughter Rochelle Maze called Helena police about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, saying that Maze was missing and that they suspected foul play.
She wasn't even sure if she was in her vehicle or not. We as a community will come together in this horrific time for the Maze family.
Since Maze did not know her whereabouts, authorities from Montana and Washington state tracked her phone and alerted police departments nationwide. He was able to talk with her about two hours later, Rochelle said.
But for 47-year-old Rita Maze, there was not enough time. Next to her body authorities found a handgun and two spent casings. Her loved ones have set up a GoFundMe account to support her family, and the campaign has raised more than $12,000 in just one day.
Rochelle Maze believes her mother met with foul play.
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