Woman's Trunk 'Kidnapping' Was Elaborate Suicide: FBI

Rita Maze called family saying she was abducted
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 2:55 AM CDT
Updated Sep 1, 2017 6:46 AM CDT
FBI: Trunk 'Kidnapping' Was Elaborate Suicide
In this July 28, 2016 photo, Rita Maze, left, and her daughter, Rochelle Maze, pose for a photo in Great Falls, Mont.   (Lanni Klasner via AP)

A woman found dead in the trunk of her car after calling police, her daughter, and her husband saying she had been kidnapped at a Montana rest stop actually killed herself, according to the FBI. The agency said Thursday that the gunshot wound that killed 47-year-old school cook Rita Maze was self-inflicted, the New York Daily News reports. The Great Falls resident was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest on Sept. 6 last year near Spokane International Airport, more than 300 miles from the Wolf Creek, Mont., rest stop where she claimed to have been carjacked. In whispered calls to her family, she said she had been forced into the vehicle's trunk by an attacker who took her gun.

A handgun was found next to Maze's body and her keys were in the car's ignition. FBI spokeswoman Sandra Yi Barker said the agency would not be releasing any more details on the death, the Spokesman-Review reports. Asked why Maze would stage such an elaborate suicide, Barker said: "That's the big mystery." Relatives still believe Maze was murdered. "She did not hit herself, stuff herself in the trunk, and drive all the way to Spokane and shoot herself," daughter Rochelle Maze said last year after doubts first surfaced. "I believe they shot her and left the gun and keys in there to make it look like she killed herself." (More Montana stories.)

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