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Frantic woman calls family from trunk of car before death

Rufina Vignone | 09 Settembre, 2016, 10:37

She tells them she's in a trunk of a vehicle, but she's not sure if it's hers.

Maze's husband reported her missing.

In this July 28, 2016 photo provided by Lanni Klasner, Rita Maze, left, and her daughter, Rochelle Maze, pose for a photo in Great Falls, Mont.

Police began investigating the disappearance of Rita Maze as a missing persons case.

Rochelle Maze, the victim's daughter, told the Great Falls Tribune that her mother was hysterical and hard to understand when they spoke. Then, at 10:25 p.m. on Tuesday, everything changed.

About two hours later, his phone rang. She told her daughter her abductor had hit her in the head.

The phone then went dead or lost a signal, and the two were unable to reach each other again. Her kidnapper put her in the trunk of her auto.

The call set off a frantic search by her family and law enforcement that ended when Rita Maze's body was found Wednesday in the trunk of her auto, abandoned near Spokane International Airport in Washington state.

Law enforcement used "pings" from Maze's cell phone to locate her auto in a parking lot west of Spokane, Washington, the following day.

Police are now viewing surveillance video taken from a shop and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating as the kidnapping crossed state boundaries.

Initial reports that a possible person of interest had been identified, and that a photo would be released, were inaccurate.

Sheriff Dutton said a police officer had spoken to Mrs Maze before her death.

A Helena police officer talked to Maze shortly before she died, Dutton said. The cause of death was not released. According to loved ones, she was a wonderful woman and her family is completely heartbroken.

"I just hope they find him, I don't know, there's not a punishment that's going to give her back to us, there's not a punishment that's going to bring her back."

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

However, the friends, family, and loved ones of Rita Maze do want to see her killer apprehended, if for no other reason than to spare his next victim from suffering the same fate as the beloved Montana woman.

Rita Maze of Great Falls died of a single gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen, but the manner of death is pending further investigation, the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday.

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