CANTON — Richard Moreau has spent nearly three decades looking for answers.

So he wasn’t bothered by waiting a few more days while detectives and cadaver dogs scoured 5 acres in this tiny eastern Oxford County town for signs of his daughter.

Kimberly Ann Moreau disappeared on May 10, 1986 – the day before her junior prom. Twenty-nine years and three months later, members of the Moreau family hope a search warrant issued this week is the break they have been waiting for.

Richard Moreau has devoted his life to bringing his daughter home.

He’s put up thousands of signs all over western Maine, on trees, telephone poles and storefront windows.

He has searched dense forests, trampled through muddy swamps and looked down wells with a flashlight.

He’s even done his own investigating, interviewing witnesses and trying to build a timeline of the night his daughter disappeared – not because he needs to find the person responsible for her disappearance and her probable death, but because he needs closure.

“I really don’t care about anything else but giving her a proper burial,” Moreau, 73, said Friday, standing across the street from the site of the latest police search.

“Justice is just revenge,” he said. “It won’t take away all those sleepless nights I’ve had. It won’t give me back all that time I spent searching, all the money I spent.”

He didn’t always feel that way.

Richard Moreau speaks about the 1986 disappearance of his daughter, Kimberly Moreau, in Canton on Friday. Police will continue to search the property of Brian Enman of Canton on Saturday for signs of the missing girl.

Richard Moreau speaks about the 1986 disappearance of his daughter, Kimberly Moreau, in Canton on Friday. Police will continue to search the property of Brian Enman of Canton on Saturday for signs of the missing girl. Photos by Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer

Although the case hasn’t been classified as a homicide, police have said foul play is suspected. In the early years, Moreau said he wanted nothing more than to see whoever was responsible pay for what they did.

But time has tempered those feelings.

“I got to the point where the only important thing, the only thing that mattered, was finding her,” he said. “If someone is charged with her death, I don’t want to go to a trial and relive it. I just want it to end.”

Karen Dalot, one of Kimberly’s two older sisters, said the whole family wants resolution.

“It’s all of us,” she said. “It’s not just Dad.”

The latest search of property owned by Brian Enman, one of the last people to see 17-year-old Kimberly Moreau alive, is as close as her family has come to closure in a long time.

But they have been hopeful before, only to be let down.

“That’s the hardest part,” said Ron Moreau, Richard’s younger brother, who spent Friday just outside the search site. “It feels different this time because (police) have a search warrant, but you don’t want to get your hopes up too much.”

FATHER’S OWN INVESTIGATION

Except for the part about his daughter disappearing, Richard Moreau has led a pretty typical Maine life.

He lives in Jay and worked for 41 years in the paper industry, alongside most of the men and many of the women in town.

He got married and had three children, all girls. He was active in civic organizations like the Eagles.

Richard Moreau had a headstone made for his daughter, who has been missing since 1986.

Richard Moreau had a headstone made for his daughter, who has been missing since 1986.

He doesn’t look 73. His exterior is gruff and rugged, but his smile is warm. He wears faded jeans and a cowboy-style belt. He keeps his hair, which turned gray long ago, neatly cropped.

When he talks about his youngest daughter, he doesn’t search for details or pause to keep his emotions in check. He’s told the story so many times in the last 29 years he doesn’t mind retelling it. You never know who it might reach, he said.

Kimberly Moreau went out with a girlfriend on the night of May 10. That friend, Rhonda Breton, told police that they met up with two men – Brian Enman and Darren Joudrey, both in their mid-20s at the time.

Kimberly arrived back home at 11 p.m., but only briefly. Her parents were still out at a social function and she told her older sister, Karen, that she was going for a ride and would be back in an hour.

She never returned.

Breton, who has since died, told police that Kimberly was upset about a fight with her boyfriend, Mike Staples, and wanted to be left alone.

SISTER BLAMED HERSELF

Enman told police that he dropped her off a half-mile from her home at her request.

Dalot, the last family member to speak with Kimberly, said her younger sister wasn’t upset when she stopped in. She seemed normal.

“For a long time, I felt responsible,” Dalot said Friday, fighting back tears. “Why didn’t I stop her? Why didn’t I ask more questions?”

Members of the Maine State Police and the Maine warden service, along with a search dog, gather Friday on the Canton property owned by Brian Enman, where a search has been reignited for Kimberly Moreau who went missing in May of 1986.

Members of the Maine State Police and the Maine warden service, along with a search dog, gather Friday on the Canton property owned by Brian Enman, where a search has been reignited for Kimberly Moreau who went missing in May of 1986.

Moreau’s case wasn’t a homicide, so state police didn’t get involved right away. They thought maybe she just ran away.

Richard Moreau never felt police took her disappearance seriously. But Kim was too close to her mother to just up and leave without telling someone, he said.

So he investigated on his own, spending hours talking to people, including the people she was with that night. He still has a folder of notes at his house.

Moreau said the case started to gain attention after police finally concluded that she was indeed missing and her disappearance was the result of foul play.

He would get calls sometimes from people late at night. Anonymous calls, the voices on the other end telling him, “We know what happened to your daughter.”

But none of the information led anywhere and Moreau wonders if people were pranking him.

“Who does that?” he said.

Enman has never been charged and police have never classified him as a suspect in the girl’s disappearance, but Moreau believes Enman knows more than he’s told investigators. Dalot is convinced, too.

Reached by telephone, Enman said Friday that he understands police need to do their job, but maintains that he had nothing to do with the girl’s disappearance.

Richard Moreau retired as a supervisor from the International Paper mill several years ago, but he still works part time in a local auto mechanic shop.

He lives alone, in the same home that Kimberly disappeared from.

His other daughters, Karen and Diane, are grown.

His wife, Patricia, died in 1988 of cancer, just two years after Kimberly’s disappearance.

“She had already been diagnosed when Kim disappeared,” he said. “And she was doing good (with treatment), but I think the stress of this was more than she could take.”

Before his wife died, Richard Moreau promised her that he wouldn’t give up searching for their daughter.

He’s kept that promise.

“I wish it could have happened before she died,” Karen Dalot said. “She kept saying she wanted to live to find Kim, but it didn’t happen.”

DAUGHTER HAD BUBBLY PERSONALITY

Patricia Moreau is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Livermore Falls. Next to her gravestone is another one with Kimberly Moreau’s name and on the other side is a plot for Richard Moreau.

Moreau said he hasn’t really thought much about the kind of woman Kimberly might have become, had she lived. To him, she will always be a teenager.

She had a bubbly personality, he said. She was pretty and always made sure her clothes were ironed. She wanted to be a model and had entered in the Miss Maine pageant the year she died.

He has pictures of her at his house but not many of her belongings. He doesn’t need extra reminders.

Dalot said her sister’s disappearance has torn the family apart in some ways. She said her father, whether or not he meant to, kept information from her and her other sister to protect them.

“I had to read about some things in the newspaper,” she said.

Moreau said when he got a message from state police Thursday morning that they had obtained a search warrant for Enman’s 5-acre property on Route 108 in Canton, he knew he had to go there.

He’s been at the scene since Thursday. As long as police are there, he said, he’ll be there.

Police spent all day Friday searching the property and adjacent properties. They plan to return Saturday. If they have found anything noteworthy, they aren’t saying.

Moreau said he’s nervous about what they might find, if anything, and what it might mean for his daughter’s case – one of 15 active missing persons cases under investigation by Maine State Police.

While he waited, he talked with detectives. Other times, he patiently went through the details of his daughter’s case with members of the media. Occasionally, people stopped to talk to him and offer their prayers.

Ron Moreau said his brother has lived with uncertainty for nearly three decades. No parent should have to endure that, he said.

Richard Moreau said he figures one of two things will happen when the current search is over.

He’ll either be able to take his daughter home and bury her properly.

Or he’ll starting printing more signs to hang up.