I won’t lie to you. I’ve more or less stopped reading stories about Kimberly Moreau. 

Kimberly Moreau, who went missing in May 1986. Her father has offered a new $5,000 reward and a friend doubled it Monday to $10,000 for information leading to her remains. Submitted photo

It’s not that the case isn’t fascinating. It is. It’s beyond fascinating. 

On May 10, 1986, the 17-year-old Moreau told her family she was going for a ride and then she vanished — from their lives and from the world, as far as anyone has been able to determine. 

For 35 years, her family has waited and prayed and hoped, and yet in spite of a sprawling investigation and heaps of public interest, the girl has not been found. 

Not a hint of her. Not a clear sign one way or another of what became of the young lass who walked out the door of her family home and just seemed to slip out of the universe completely. 

When you read the updated stories about Moreau, it’s damn near impossible to put aside the anguish of her family in order to read the story with a clear head. 

Against your will, you find yourself trying to imagine what it must be like to still be searching for a missing daughter three-and-a-half decades after some unknown force snatched her away from you. 

Of course, most of us can’t imagine it. Not with any real sense of the true impact it must have on a parent’s heart, mind and psyche. The cold indifference of the heartless unknown must drive a mother, father, sister or brother to a place that’s very close to true madness. And who among us would blame them if they went stark raving insane? 

That cruel unknown and all the haunting questions that go with it must prey on the mind like some hell-borne parasite. 

Did she suffer and if so for how long? Could I have done something differently to save her and if so, what? And dear God in heaven, won’t you give me one chance to go back and do whatever is necessary to keep Kimberly out of that void? 

Suffering with a vanished child might, in many ways, be worse than losing one outright. For the parents of people like Kimberly, there is no sad sight of the coffin containing the remains of one they loved so mightily. There is no grave site over which to weep. There is nothing but memories and the black pit of unanswered questions. 

And knowing that SOMEBODY has those answers surely must propel a parent still closer to that realm of madness. 

It is almost certain that some fiend among us is responsible for the fate of Kimberly Moreau. She didn’t just fall through a hole in the fabric of space and time. Somebody took her and if that somebody is still alive, he or she has the power to ease the suffering of those who loved the girl, and love her still. 

When I read stories about the ongoing investigation, I wonder how Kimberly’s loved ones get through their days without harboring suspicions about everyone they meet. Is the person responsible for Kimberly’s probable demise somebody they see thrice a week at the market? Is it somebody who attends the local church or who is known as a pillar of the community? 

May 10 was the 35th anniversary of the disappearance and in spite my earlier declaration, I DID read the story. I went through the usual round of sympathy and lame attempts to understand the true power of this special brand of suffering.  

But it also occurred to me, as I read with gritted teeth and white knuckles, how other-worldly strong Kimberly’s father has been. 

I don’t know anything about the man, of course. I don’t know if he’s always been made of such strong stuff or if he was made this way by decades of unrelenting sadness. But Dick Moreau is a man who is still swinging — who is still doing everything in his power to find answers, not so much for himself, but for his remaining children. He doesn’t want his remaining daughters to suffer the rest of their lives without answers and so he keeps on pounding away at it, even if it might be easier to just try to forget. 

I admire that, and as much as I empathize with Mr. Moreau and his family, I loathe the creature who inflicted this pain upon them twice as much. 

In all likelihood, this faceless person did something unspeakable on that bleak day in 1986, and maybe he or she spends every day and night wracked with guilt over it. Maybe he or she has picked up the phone a thousand times meaning to confess, only to hang up again under the force of their shame. 

Of course, that shame means nothing if you also have that power to ease the suffering of others and choose not to use it.  

I wish, as so many do, that there was something I could say or write or scream to compel that person to take this one shot at redemption by coming forward at long last. 

Kimberly Moreau deserves rest. Her family deserves it even more. 

Note: If human decency doesn’t compel a person to come forward with information, perhaps greed will do it. The family of Kimberly Moreau is offering a $10,000 for verifiable information. Call Maine State Police at 207-624-7076 or 1-800-452-4664.

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