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More questions than answers in woman's death in trunk

Posted at 10:59 AM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 14:31:06-04

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- As investigators try to piece together how a Montana woman ended up dead in her car near Spokane International Airport, they're running into more questions than answers.

The Spokesman-Review reports court documents say 47-year-old Rita Maze was found in her closed trunk early Wednesday with a handgun and two spent shell casings next to her. Her purse and keys were in the locked car.

Law enforcement initially said there was a person of interest but later said that person has been ruled out.

Maze's daughter said her mother called Tuesday evening saying she had been overpowered by a man and was in the trunk of a moving vehicle and didn't know where she was.

KHQ-TV reports an officer then called Maze's cell phone number. Someone answered and the officer heard gunshots.

Associated Press reported on September 8, 2016, on the details of this case which a Montana woman was abducted from a highway rest stop and found dead in the trunk of her car.

The Spokane County medical examiner's office said Thursday that a single gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen killed 47-year-old Rita Maze. Her body was found Wednesday near Spokane International Airport.  

Hours earlier, she had called her family to say she was in the trunk of a moving vehicle and didn't know where she was. Her family called authorities, but when they found her car, she was dead.

Rita Maze's daughter, Rochelle, says her mother was terrified because she knew her abductor had access to the gun she kept in her purse for protection. The coroner's office didn't say what type of gun killed Maze.