Maureen Brainard-Barnes’ Family and Kids Are Now Hoping for Justice

Image Credit: ABC News

When Connecticut native Maureen Brainard-Barnes suddenly disappeared on July 9, 2007, upon deciding to spend a day in New York, it obviously turned her family’s whole world upside down. Though, as carefully explored in ABC’s ‘Truth and Lies: The Hunted,’ arguably the most heartbreaking aspect of her ordeal is the fact she was found brutally slain in Long Island in December 2010. So now that her alleged perpetrator has finally been identified as well as indicted for murder, let’s just find out more about the loudest voices that are still fighting to attain her justice, shall we?

Who is Maureen Brainard-Barnes’ Family and Kids?

Although born on July 18, 1982, in New London, Connecticut, to Marie Ducharme and William Vieu Sr. as one of three, Maureen’s early years were unfortunately not at all conventional or ideal. That’s because she was primarily raised by her mother as well as her stepfather, Robert Senecal, alongside younger brother William Vieu Jr., sister Melissa Vieu, plus half-sister Bryona Senecal. In fact, it appears as if her biological father was not even in the picture much for some reason, which is why she has always only been referred to as the daughter of Marie and Robert publicly.

Image Credit: Tom Keller/Find A Grave

The truth is Maureen did have a seemingly sound support system as she grew older, yet she struggled and ultimately had to depend on sex work to make ends meet while remaining independent. According to reports, she did try to go straight by leaving this industry behind after years towards the end of 2006 but had to return a mere seven months later to make her mortgage or face eviction. The fact she had the responsibility of her kids — Nicolette plus Dylan, whom she shared with ex-husband Jason Brainard-Barnes — was the primary reason she didn’t take any other unknown route.

Maureen thus told her family she was going “to spend the day in New York City” on July 9, 2007, where she actually managed to set up shop at a local motel and even got a client through Craigslist. As per official documents, she’d later contacted a friend back home to convey she was going to meet this new customer outside in a short while, only to sadly never be seen or heard from alive again. We say sadly because she was ostensibly reported missing by loved ones within 48 hours, yet her case wasn’t taken seriously at first due to her profession, and then it was too late — it was her body that was found over three years later along Ocean Parkway, Long Island.

Where Are Maureen Brainard-Barnes’ Family and Kids Now?

It was December 13, 2010, when Suffolk County officials finally recovered Maureen’s remains, and her family got a clear answer to what’d transpired, but not all of them were lucky enough to get this closure — her stepfather as well as her brother had died sometime prior. As for this frozen 25-year-old’s kids, since they were just 7 and 5 at the time of her vanishing — hence being raised by relatives — they were made aware of the circumstances without any gory details. They eventually learned of it as they grew older, driving them to work alongside their maternal grandmother, aunt, plus the authorities to ensure her perpetrator would be identified and then face his penalty.

However, it was only after suspect Rex Heuermann was charged with Maureen’s murder, reportedly the very first “Gilgo Four” victim, that Nicolette broke her silence concerning the matter. During a press conference, this North Kingstown High School graduate said, “For years, it looked like there might not be charges filed against any suspect for the murder of my mother. While the loss of my mom has been extremely painful for me, the indictment by the grand jury has brought hope for justice for my mom and my family.”

The North Kingstown, Rhode Island resident also expressed, “I was only seven years old when my mother was murdered. Her loss drastically changed the trajectory of my life. There were countless times I needed her, and she was not there. I remember she read to me every night, and now I can no longer remember the sound of her voice. I wish she was here today, but she was taken from us… I owe so much to my mom, and I know she would want me to speak out for her in this process and let everyone know who she really was. Even though it was difficult for me, I’m doing this because I want her to be remembered as the loving mother that she was.”

Even Melissa then came forward to state, “Throughout those years, I had continued to hold on to hope that… whoever took Marueen’s life would be held accountable. Today is another important chapter in the long pursuit of justice for Maureen. It has been 16 years since the last time I saw my sister, and 16 years since I heard her voice because 16 years ago she was silenced. Losing Maureen has become a wound that never truly heals. It remains a part of me.” Nevertheless, this 39-year-old happily married woman — she goes by Melissa Cann — now seems to be focusing solely on keeping her lost family members alive in her heart while also continuing to hope for justice. As for Dylan as well as Marie, they seemingly prefer to keep their life well away from the limelight these days, meaning we unfortunately don’t know much regarding their recent personal or professional experiences.

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