The cold wind in Enosburg made it difficult to light candles. But a small circle of friends stood close together to remember the one who was not there. Brianna Maitland has been missing now for three years.
"A girlfriend was staying at my house two nights after Bree went missing. She says, 'Bree's like the wind.' We're sitting there with all my lights on, candles on and all the candles blew out," remembers Katie Manning.
Manning has organized this vigil every year on the anniversary of Brianna's disappearance.
"This is the last time I'm doing it. Not to say goodbye to Brianna, but it's closure for me," she says.
The 17-year old was last seen leaving her job on March 19, 2004. Her car was found the next day near an abandoned farm house. Friends said she got caught up with drugs-- a good person who just went down the wrong path.
"I remember she was a very nice person, very likable, everybody liked her," recalls Ian Giroux.
Vt. State Police say they've followed numerous leads over the past three years. None have provided any clues about Maitland's disappearance.
"Some of those leads have indicated she's no longer alive, but I just want to emphasize we've yet to verify that information," says Lt. Glenn Hall.
Police are still treating this as a missing person's case. But they say the trail is getting cold.
"Obviously as time goes on, it does become more difficult. We're still hopeful that someone will come forward with information, possibly someone with direct knowledge," says Hall.
"She's dead," says Manning, in tears. "I don't know how or who, but..."
Manning says the public vigil is comforting, but she'll still have her private grief.
"I can't do it anymore. It's way too hard to plan-- not her funeral-- but a goodbye to your best friend."
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
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