Daniel Gagnon, a 26-year-old Brunswick security officer who had been missing since May 30, was found dead during a police search Wednesday.

Gagnon’s body was found in dense woods off River Road just before 11 a.m. by Maine Warden Service Cpl. Dave Chabot and K-9 Ruby, according to a statement by Brunswick police Cmdr. Tom Garrepy.

Daniel Gagnon

His death does not appear suspicious, but is still being investigated by Brunswick police and the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office.

He was last known to have left his home on Pleasant Street with just his cellphone and was wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sandals.

Brunswick police have been searching for Gagnon since he was reported missing, aided by the Maine Warden Service, which conducted a search of the Androscoggin River and open spaces in almost a mile-wide radius of Gagnon’s home last Thursday. His family organized their own search Saturday. Members of Maine Search and Rescue Dogs have also participated.

Gagnon’s cell phone provider tried pinging his phone off cell towers, which in this case provided unreliable information.

Police spent the last three days following up on leads provided by friends and family, including some possible sightings.

“Yesterday, we decided we would try another search with the Warden Service and Maine Search and Rescue Dogs, the civilian side of their search-and-rescue team,” Garrepy said.

A couple of wardens and dogs started at 9 a.m. Wednesday with some initial grid searches along the river, and three or four officers searched on foot near the canoe portage off Mill Street. Maine Search and Rescue Dogs arrived at around 10:30 a.m. with five more dogs.

The team of approximately 20 people regrouped at the police station and moved the search pattern north up river with the plan to search as far as the Interstate 295 bridge. The search covered the river’s edge by boat.

It wasn’t long before Chabot and his cadaver dog Ruby located Gagnon’s body about 100 yards off River Road.

“Normally when people disappear, there’s always some evidence or a clue as to where he may have gone, but in this case, we had very limited resources to work with and when we go to the public for stuff like that, we’re looking for any information that people will give us.”

Gagnon worked at Bowdoin College, where he joined the security staff in May 2016. By all accounts, he loved his job and had recently landed a promotion. He had previously been a firefighter in Boothbay Harbor.

Since he was hired by the college, he’d lived in Brunswick with his girlfriend, Kimberly Fickett, and her daughter.

The couple had been together 3½ years and Fickett said Gagnon was considering buying a house for the three of them.

“We were planning our future,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

His sister-in-law Krystal Brewer said Gagnon had called her husband the day he disappeared to ask questions about mortgages. He’d been talking about buying a home with other family members and friends as well. Brewer said her husband, Gagnon’s brother, looked up to his big brother, who served as a role model.

As to what prompted Gagnon to disappear with no warning, the family said there were no signs.

“Everyone has their ups and downs but it wasn’t anything that wouldn’t be normal in life,” Brewer said.

She is thankful the family has an answer now.

“I’m thankful he’s found because always searching and wondering and looking – not having any closure in that way is no way to live,” she said.

She thanked police, friends, family and members of the media who helped in the search.

“He’s really goofy and really funny and he loved so hard; loved everybody so much and was so passionate,” Fickett said. “He was really kind and tried to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.”

Brewer said many of Gagnon’s co-workers have reached out to her, some former colleagues who told her how nice it was to work with him.

“He was a valued colleague and was considered by those who worked with him in security as a top officer, a good man, and a great friend,” said Bowdoin College spokesman Doug Cook.

Gagnon had recently earned a promotion to security officer first-class that was to have taken effect July 1, according to Cook.

“His work as a firefighter and as a security officer demonstrated his care for the welfare and safety of others, and all of us at the college benefited from Dan’s dedicated service,” Cook said.

He added, “Many at the College came to know Dan’s family and friends as staff in security and dining assisted in the search this past week, and our hearts go out to them as they and we mourn his passing.”

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