UPDATED 8:38 A.M.: CANTON (AP) — Maine law enforcement officials have temporarily suspended their search for the remains of a Jay teenager who went missing almost 30 years ago.
Detective Sgt. Mark Holmquist said Sunday that a fourth day of searching for 17-year-old Kimberly Moreau on the Canton property of Brian Enman, who authorities say was the last person to see her alive, didn’t uncover any human remains.
Police say she disappeared on May 10, 1986, after canceling plans to go the junior prom with her boyfriend and instead went out with a female friend to meet up with Enman and another 25-year-old acquaintance. She was last seen getting into a car with at least one of the men that night.
Holmquist says state police will not return to Canton on Monday to continue their search.
UPDATED 9:40 P.M. SUNDAY: CANTON — While investigators continued the search at 502 Pleasant St., Karen Dalot waited with her aunt and uncle for any news that evidence pertaining to the disappearance of Kim Moreau 29 years ago was found.
“Now it’s about one thing — bringing her home,” Richard Moreau said Sunday morning as Maine State Police Major Crime Unit vans arrived for a fourth day of searching Brian Enman’s 5.7-acre property in Canton.
Kim Moreau went missing May 10, 1986. Dalot was the last to speak to her at 11 p.m. that evening. She said she went through what “everyone does” after that night, asking herself, “Why didn’t I ask more questions?” and other “what-ifs.”
“She was just starting life. I should’ve been an aunt. She would have been a great mother,” Dalot said. “You go through the mourning process.” Anger is part of it, she said.
“Kim’s family wants her home,” she said.
Dalot’s aunt, Carol Worthley, said, “Karen has never wavered — she’s always been steadfast.” Dalot has spoken in front of a legislative panel on the necessity of a cold case squad and was grateful that the Legislature passed the bill during its last session to form a cold case unit.
“Someone has to represent those who can’t speak,” Dalot said of why she spoke to the Legislature on the necessity of a cold case squad.
“Our family has gone through hell,” Dalot said. “We don’t have a choice what life throws at us, you have to deal with it.”
Worthley, of Waterville, said because of Kim’s disappearance, she changed parenting and “I know my kids parented different,” she said.
The hardest thing was to let her daughter live life — a normal life — while always thinking something was going to happen to her. One thing Worthley did differently was to question her daughter more. Her grandchildren are 8 and 9 years old and are asking questions about Kim because of the current search.
There are ways you can talk to kids that won’t scare them, such as telling them “not to go with untrustworthy people,” she said.
“The development of the cold case squad is amazing; it’s time Maine gets this,” Dalton said. Since New Hampshire developed their cold case unit, six cold cases have been solved, she said. “Six families have closure, that’s a ton of people,” she said.
Over the next few months, Maine’s cold case squad will be developed, according to detective Sgt. Mark Holmquist of the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit.
Dalot said she will be just as hopeful if it’s another family that gets closure if a case is solved once the squad is developed. “Maybe the publicity will help others,” she said of why she is speaking to the media Sunday.
According to Dalot, Enman and Moreau did not know each other before the day she disappeared. Rhonda Breton was the friend in the car with her that night. “She never gave any information,” Dalot said. Breton moved to California and was killed years later in a hit-and-run, Dalot said.
“Family is everything,” Dalot said, adding that she doesn’t understand families who aren’t close.
In terms of searches, this is No. 5, Worthley said. “You toughen up,” she said. “I’m hopeful; I want it to end. Right now we don’t have that proof that something bad happened.”
Every time there’s a news story about a girl being found, the family thinks it’s Kim. Recently, they heard on the news a girl who was held captive for 27 years was found alive.
“You just don’t know,” Ron Moreau of Jay, Kim’s godfather, said.
Around 11 a.m., Holmquist addressed the media.
“The plan for today is to continue our search,” Holmquist said. Maine State Police have brought in a couple of teams, including evidence-response team members and scientists from University of Maine to look at the ground that was cleared yesterday.
“Although we narrowed it to this spot yesterday, it is still a difficult search,” Holmquist said. There are several spots the teams are looking at today, Holmquist said.
Investigators were surveying the area for the purposes of forensic mapping and documentation, according to Holmquist. The crime labs are deployed when the evidence response team is on site, he said.
Professors from the Earth and Climate Science department were at the site Sunday. Also on site was Dr. Ed David from the Office of the Maine Medical Examiner, renowned as a cadaver-dog trainer. Although he brought a dog to the site Sunday, Holmquist said it was not a certified canine and would not be working.
Holmquist said the teams are optimistic, yet they are trying to keep expectations on an even keel since this isn’t the first search over the years.
“We’ve brought in the best and the brightest … for a reason,” Holmquist said.
Although Holmquist couldn’t say what the tip was that resulted in searching Enman’s property or where it came from, he did say that it “warranted going before a judge and getting a search warrant.”
Sunday was the fourth day of the search. The warrant was received Tuesday and is is good for 10 days.
Enman has been staying at his home while the search has taken place. There is security during the night to protect the site, Holmquist said.
“That reassures us,” Dalot said. “That was a fear of mine.”
Holmquist thanked the Canton Fire Department for providing meals and water, Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Jay Police Department and the Maine State Police Canine Response Unit.