(HELENA) The FBI has taken the lead in the investigation of the abduction and murder of a Great Falls woman.
Rita Maze was found dead in the trunk of her car near Spokane International Airport early Wednesday morning.
The 47-year-old was reported missing by her husband Tuesday when she failed to come home after visiting relatives in Helena.
During a press conference Wednesday, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Maze was in contact with police by cell phone when she told them that she had been struck in the head and abducted from an I-15 rest area.
Dutton said a license plate reader located Maze car last night in the Post Falls, Idaho area.
Police then pinged her cell phone, which led them to her car.
“There were phone conversations with her, from this office, from the Helena Police Department, just before her death. So we’re relatively sure of the time when she became deceased. It’s a terrible thing to have to happen, but we will work to find out what did happen. We’ll cooperate with Spokane County that’s where we believe that the death occurred. But that gotta be confirmed by cell phone records,” said Dutton.
Sherrif Dutton also stated that the cause of death had not been announced, and investigators have a person of interest in this case.
A GoFundMe account has been established for the Maze Family.