CANTON — After a text message from police on Thursday at 9 a.m. — “It’s going down today” — Richard Moreau grabbed his lawn chair, drove 20 minutes from Jay and took a seat near the home of one of the last men to see his daughter, Kim, alive 29 years ago.
Police plan to spend at least two days searching Brian Enman’s 5-acre property at 502 Pleasant St. (Route 108) with ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs.
Detective Sgt. Mark Holmquist from the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit declined to reveal what led to serving a warrant and conducting a search now, and whether, by noon Thursday, they had found anything.
Enman built the double-wide mobile home in 2006, according to town records. Neither he nor his family owned the property when 17-year-old Kim Moreau went missing on prom night, May 10, 1986.
In the decades-long investigation into what happened to Moreau, that address hasn’t been searched before.
Holmquist said the new search was a coordinated effort with state police, the Maine Warden Service and local and county police, with an assist from the University of Maine.
“We actually have a couple of professors that have come down and given us their time, as well as their equipment,” Holmquist said. “Basically, (the ground-penetrating radar) scans the ground underneath and looks for any signs of any gaps within the ground that aren’t normal.”
Richard Moreau, 73, watched police walk around Enman’s lawn Thursday morning poking sticks in the ground, a way of coaxing the earth to release more smells for the dogs that had yet to arrive.
He felt like this search could be it. But he’s felt that way before.
“One of the things I’m trying not to do is let my emotions get away from me,” Moreau said. “Twenty-nine years of searching. It would bring a great deal of relief.”
Over the years, police have said that the night Kim Moreau went missing she drove around town with a girlfriend and two 25-year-olds, one of them Enman. After telling her sister at 11 p.m. that she’d be home in an hour, she wasn’t seen by her family again.
“We’re just doing a very thorough search of the 5 acres of this property,” Holmquist said, standing at the end of Enman’s dirt driveway. “I’m not going to comment specifically on the information we received, it’s just another example of very good police work. Over the course of time, there have been several investigators assigned to this.”
Enman was not home during the search. A call to a phone number listed to him was answered by a woman, who then hung up.
Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant, also at the scene, worked in Rumford in 1986 and was part of the original investigation. A search of property up the road two years earlier, he said, hadn’t yielded anything.
“I’m optimistic,” he said. “There are people out there that know what happened. This will hopefully stir up some memories and maybe some guilt for some people.”
Richard Moreau hanged thousands of posters with Kim’s picture on telephone poles around western Maine asking for help finding his daughter. On Thursday, one was on a pole near Enman’s driveway: “Please Help Bring Kim Home!!!”
At one point, police offered him coffee and a sandwich during what was expected to be a long wait.
“I know that they’ve done a tremendous amount of work,” he said. “They’re very good people.”
According to the Oxford County Registry of Deeds, Enman purchased 5.7 acres at 502 Pleasant St. from Lee-based Maxwell Farms in November 2000. Maxwell Farms had bought it from David and Linda Wainwright in September 1991, who had purchased it from Frank Campbell in March 1980.
Richard Moreau didn’t have any theories on how or when his daughter’s body could have been buried on the property — if it was — and said he wasn’t thinking about it.
He doesn’t want to know what happened; he just wants Kim found, period.
“If they find Kim, I bury her and I take down the posters. That’s the end of it from me,” Moreau said. “I see absolutely nothing, except gaining more hurt, hearing details I don’t need to know.”
At the Canton Variety convenience store, Victoria Waite and a co-worker had been talking about the news just up the road.
“When I first heard about it, it almost makes you want to cry because she’s been gone so long,” Waite said. “I want her dad and her family to have closure. It’s a tragic thing to happen to the family and even more tragic for the family not to know where she has been all this time. I pray to God that it is time.”
She and her co-worker see Enman around town, but they didn’t want to talk about him. They wanted Thursday to be Kim’s day.
Staff writers Scott Taylor and Scott Thistle contributed to this report.
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