AUBURN, Maine — Twenty-five years after his 17-year-old daughter disappeared without a trace, Dick Moreau hasn’t slowed in his quest to find out what happened.
Kim Moreau last was seen the night of May 9, 1986, when she left her home in the small western Maine town of Jay and never returned. Police suspect foul play and she is presumed dead, but her remains have not been found and nobody has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.
Through the years, the unanswered questions have vexed Dick Moreau. What happened that night? Who was responsible? Where are his daughter’s remains?
To this day, Moreau continues to work with detectives, put up fliers with his daughter’s photo and appeal to the public for information. He has enlisted psychics, scoured woods, riverbanks and caves, and dug up bones in search of answers.
“Bringing her home to rest is my only goal,” Moreau, 68, said Monday before a news conference with police to appeal once again to the public for information. “I promised my wife and kids and my parents that I’d never give up until she’s home or I’m dead — whichever comes first.”
Kimberly Moreau last was seen leaving her home on a chilly spring evening dressed in a white blouse, bluejeans and white high-top sneakers. Her boyfriend’s class ring engraved with “Mike ’87″ hung from a chain around her neck. Her parents were tending bar at a function at the nearby VFW hall.
Moreau said his daughter and a friend had been out with two men in their 20s during the day, and that she went back out with one of the men after stopping at home for a few minutes at around 11 p.m.
The man has told police he later dropped off Kim a block or two from home in the early morning hours but he didn’t know what happened to her after that.
Moreau thinks his daughter was dead within hours of leaving home — perhaps it was a tragic accident, he said — but he hasn’t been able to rest without knowing for sure.
Moreau, who still lives in the same house he lived in in 1986, is reminded of his daughter every day. He has a poster-sized photo of her on a wall to keep him going. His first wife died in 1988; he now lives with his second wife.
Moreau estimates he has put up more than 50,000 fliers over the years with his daughter’s photo below the words, “Please Help Bring Kim Home!!!” He calls investigators regularly, and dozens of psychics have offered their help.
Maine State Police Lt. Brian McDonough said Monday that 25 years is too long for anyone not to know what happened to a loved one. Police have identified a person of interest in the case, but McDonough wouldn’t name the person.
“It is now time for the person responsible for what happened to Kimberly to come forward and relieve themselves of the burden, remorse and regret that you carry,” he said. “To that individual responsible for the disappearance of Kimberly, you know who you are and you know we have a good idea of who you are.”
About 800,000 children are reported missing every year, with 10,000 to 15,000 of the cases not resolved, said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. Many parents are left wanting answers, he said.
“No case is ever closed until we find the child or we learn with certainty what happened,” he said.
For Dick Moreau, the search gets harder with each passing year.
“It’s 25 years now,” he said. “That’s eight years longer than she was alive on the face of this earth.”
But people across Maine continue helping. Harold Murray has helped search wells, woods and riverbanks and used night-vision cameras to try to capture Kim’s spirit in hopes of learning what happened. Murray heads a group called Bangor Ghost Hunters that he says is a paranormal investigative unit.
“Dick Moreau deserves a medal for what he’s been doing and going through the past 25 years,” Murray said. “He has the same beliefs I do — never give up. He knows someday she will be found, and he wants to make sure that’s during his lifetime. That’s a dream he has, and I like being part of that dream.”