CANTON — As police searched his property for the second straight day on Friday for evidence in the 1986 disappearance of 17-year-old Kimberly Moreau of Jay, Brian Enman denied involvement and said police are “grasping for straws.”

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

Reached by phone Friday at his home, Enman, 54, said he had nothing to do with Kimberly’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 of the police, “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 getting into a white Pontiac Trans Am with at least one of the two men at 11 p.m. The teenager never returned home and was declared legally dead in 1993.

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

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

Asked about Enman’s “grasping for straws” comment, Detective Sgt. Mark Holmquist, of the Maine State Police special crimes unit, said he had no reaction. Enman has been cooperating with authorities and was not being questioned, Holmquist said.

“He’s entitled to think whatever he wants to think,” Holmquist said. “We’re going to do things a certain way, the way we always do it.”

In an interview, Enman said he dropped Kimberly 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” that day, drank alcohol and did cocaine together. In the early morning hours, he said, he dropped Moreau off alone that night in downtown Jay. He said she told him that she didn’t want to go home.

But 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 any gaps that weren’t normal. 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. Police got a warrant to search the property earlier this week, following several months of work, but it has been sealed in an Oxford County court.

Holmquist declined to comment on any evidence found so far, but he said police hoped to finish the dog search of Enman’s property by Friday evening, but that 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 the third day’s search. 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,” Moreau 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 — so much 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.

 

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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