HELENA — A woman who reported being kidnapped at a Montana rest stop and was found dead in the trunk of her car in Spokane, Washington, killed herself, the FBI said Thursday.
Rita Maze, 47, was found Sept. 7, 2016, near Spokane International Airport. The FBI said its investigation concluded she died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Rochelle Maze has said her panicked mother called on the evening of Sept. 6 and reported she’d been abducted at a rest stop along Interstate 15 between Helena and Great Falls, was riding around in the trunk of a car and didn’t know where she was. She said she feared her abductor had access to her gun, which was in her purse.
The call cut off and the family was unable to reach her again, Rochelle Maze said.
Law enforcement officers pinged Maze’s cellphone to determine her location. Her family learned her bank card had been used to make purchases of about $25 at gas stations in the towns of Kingston, Idaho, and Ritzville, Washington.
An officer who called Maze’s cellphone during the search said someone answered the phone and the officer heard gunshots, then silence. The gun was found in the trunk.
Just days later, Spokane County investigators indicated that they did not believe there was any danger to the community.
In December, the FBI announced it was not actively seeking suspects in the case.
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