CANTON — Saying police are “grasping for straws,” Brian Enman denied any involvement in the 1986 disappearance of 17-year-old Kimberly Moreau on Friday, the second straight day authorities searched his property in connection with the case.

The search, which included cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar, began Thursday on more than 5 acres Enman owns off Route 108. Police haven’t called Enman a suspect in the cold case or said what led them to the property or what they are looking for, but they have said that he was one of the last people seen with the Jay teen before her disappearance.

The search warrant for the property has been sealed in an Oxford County court since police received it this week and authorities won’t say why they are searching a property Enman bought in 2000 in connection with the 1986 disappearance.

Reached by phone Friday at his home, Enman, 54, said he had nothing to do with Moreau’s disappearance.

“They’re out there doing what they’ve got to do, and we’ll see the end results come up with,” Enman said, “and maybe after all this, if they don’t find nothing, they’ll leave me the hell alone.”

Moreau disappeared on May 10, 1986, after she argued with her boyfriend, Mike Staples, and dropped plans to attend the Jay High School junior prom with him. Instead, she went out with a female friend and met a pair of 25-year-old acquaintances, one of whom was Enman, police have said.

She was last seen at 11 p.m. that night getting into a white Pontiac Trans Am with at least one of the two men. The teenager never returned home and was declared legally dead in 1993.

Moreau’s father, Richard, who’s been at the scene both days of the search, had little sympathy for Enman.

“He thinks that we’re harassing him? What have I had for 29 years?” Richard Moreau said on Friday. “That’s the way I look at it. He can tell the truth of what happened that very night and we can go from there.”

Detective Sgt. Mark Holmquist of the Maine State Police special crimes unit said Enman has been cooperating with authorities and was not being questioned.

“He’s entitled to think whatever he wants to think,” Holmquist said when asked about Enman’s “grasping for straws” comment. “We’re going to do things a certain way, the way we always do it.”

In an interview, Enman said he dropped Kimberley Moreau off that night in 1986, and she said she didn’t want to go home. He said he lives “a pretty clean life.” He has no criminal record in Maine, according to a statewide records check.

“I ain’t that type of person, and if anything ever had happened when she was around me, I would have done right,” Enman said.

Enman said he, the two girls and another man, Darren Joudrey, “rode around,” drank alcohol and did cocaine together. In the early morning hours, he said, he dropped Moreau off alone in downtown Jay. He said she told him that she didn’t want to go home.

Richard Moreau has questioned that version of events previously, saying his daughter wouldn’t have asked to be dropped off because she was afraid of the dark and it was cold outside.

Authorities first arrived at Enman’s property to start searching on Thursday morning, using ground-penetrating radar from the University of Maine to look for abnormal gaps in the earth. It was the first time that authorities had searched the property in connection with the case.

Holmquist said Thursday’s search focused on the concrete slab under Enman’s mobile home, which was cleared. Enman has owned the property since 2000 and the mobile home was built in 2006, according to records at the Oxford County Registry of Deeds.

Dogs began searching Enman’s property again at 6 a.m. Friday and had expanded their search into the woods by 11 a.m., Holmquist said.

Holmquist declined to comment on any evidence found so far, but he said the search would continue on an abutting property Saturday.

“We’re hopefully, cautiously optimistic,” Holmquist said Friday morning, “just maintaining confidence that we’re going to find something here.”

By 4 p.m., police were leaving Enman’s home and preparing for a third day of searching on Saturday. Richard Moreau was leaving too, but he said he’d “definitely be back” in the morning.

“I’ll probably go home, grab my guitar and go play some music, because that’ll get my mind off of what’s going on here,” he said.

Late Friday afternoon at Canton Variety, a small store in the Oxford County town’s center, Diane Ray said she moved to the town in 2001, but the Kimberly Moreau case has “kind of been a constant” in her time there.

Posters on utility poles in Canton and surrounding towns show Moreau’s face, and Ray said it’s a popular topic of discussion — to the point that she feels as though she knew the girl.

“You’re thinking, ‘I hope the family gets some closure,’” Ray said. “That’s, I think, the overwhelming sentiment in the community.”

Portland Press Herald Staff Writers Matt Byrne and Scott Dolan contributed to this report.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.