When does Maya die in Pretty Little Liars? (How does she die?)

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There's no denying that Pretty Little Liars was THAT show when it was airing on Freeform from 2010 to 2017. In fact, many people still view it as one of the best teen mystery-thriller series to this day. Because of its success, it even went on to spawn several spinoffs, including the Max original Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Talk about impact!

Based on the book series of the same name by Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars centers around four formerly close friends who must team up together against a mysterious person named "A," who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, new and old. But the thing about this show is that no one is safe. Over its seven season run, there were so many character deaths. Some we saw coming and weren't really affected by, and others that were truly heartbreaking.

One character death that hit us hard was the death of Maya St. Germain (Bianca Lawson). We're first introduced to Maya in the pilot episode, and from her very first interaction with school athlete Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell), we could tell something more than friendship would eventually form. However, they don't get together right away and that mainly has to do with Emily's homophobic mom, Pam.

Pam could tell her daughter was catching feelings for Maya and she didn't want this to happen. Her opportunity to get rid of Maya came when she finds marijuana in her bag. Pam tells Maya's parents about what she found and then Maya is shipped off to rehab, away from Emily. While Emily and Maya do eventually reunite in the series, their moment of bliss is cut incredibly short after Maya goes missing, only to wind up dead soon after. So, how did Maya die, and in what episode? Find out below!

Spoilers from Pretty Little Liars seasons 2 and 3 ahead!

After several episodes of trying to figure out what happened to Maya, we find out in the season 2 finale titled "Unmasked" that her dead body has been found at the DiLaurentis house. Emily and the rest of the girls are walking down the street headed to Emily's place after the masquerade gala when they hear and see an ambulance headed to the DiLaurentis house. As the girls near the house, they see a bunch of cops and reporters surrounding it. Emily begins sprinting to the front door only to be stopped by her mother who informs her that the cops found Maya's body. As the cops transport the body to the ambulance, Emily immediately starts breaking down as the other girls console her.

With Maya's body found, we know someone must've killed her. However, we don't find out who her killer is until the twelfth episode of season 3 titled "The Lady Killer." Nate, who comes to Rosewood in the third season and introduces himself to Emily as Maya's cousin, invites Emily to spend the weekend with him and his and Maya's family at a place called Lighthouse Inn. While there, Emily starts to become suspicious of Nate when she finds a letter that he promised he'd give to Maya's parents still in his bag. Later, she notices that he has on shoes that have neon paint on them. She takes out her phone to find an old picture of Maya at rehab, and notices that she has on the same shoes. She now knows Nate isn't who he said he is, so she tries to get away from him and call for help.

But Emily isn't able to get far and Nate brings her back to the cabin where he shows her a video that Maya had made for her before her death. In the video, Maya says that her stalker from rehab is back and that she would be on her way back to Rosewood to win Emily back. After Nate abruptly stops the video, we find out that he's not Maya's cousin. He's her stalker/ex-boyfriend from rehab, Lyndon James. He was jealous that Maya wanted to be with Emily instead of him, so he followed her back to Rosewood and killed her. In the end, Emily stabs Lyndon in the stomach with a knife, ultimately killing him.

When it comes to the way in which Maya died, we find out in the eighth episode of season 3 that she was strangled and her trachea was crushed by a pipe or a metal bar. That's how Lyndon killed her. It's sad that such a beloved character had to meet such a tragic demise.

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