POLICE have poured doubt on the story of a kidnapped woman who allegedly called her family from the boot of her car before she was found dead.
Rita Maze, 47, of Montana, allegedly made desperate phone calls to her husband Bob and daughter Rochelle on Tuesday night, saying she had been abducted at a rest stop and thrown in the boot of her car.
By the time authorities found her car two hours later and more than 500km away, she was dead with a single gunshot wound to the torso.
In an interview with Great Falls Tribune, Rochelle Maze said her mother always travelled with protection and “was really scared” while on the phone.
“She travelled with a gun, and she knew he had her gun, and she was terrified,” she said. “I told her that I loved her. That’s the last thing she heard.”
After the short phone call with her family, Mrs Maze’s phone went dead and neither they or the police were able to contact her again.
However when asked if news outlets should be sceptical of Maze’s kidnapping story, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich replied “Yes, you should,” Spokesman reports.
The sheriff’s office say they are not ruling out the theory that Maze may have committed suicide.
Police say while Mrs Maze’s body was found in the boot of the car, her keys were still in the ignition, a purse was found on the front seat and a $20 note nearby.
There was also blood outside the car.
“We know where the body was located; we know where she started out,” Sheriff Knezovich said. “What happened in between? Don’t know.”
Rochelle Maze refutes any suggestion her mother would have taken her own life.
“I believe she was abducted,” she said. “She did not hit herself, stuff herself in the truck and drive all the way to Spokane and shoot herself.
“I believe they shot her and left the gun and keys in there to make it look like she killed herself. I know she did not (kill herself).”
A GoFundMe page set up to cover costs of her funeral has raised more than the $10,000 goal.
If you are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal feelings contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 224 636