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Thread: Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

  1. #1

    bynew Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

    Ludger Belanger

    Missing since: Nov. 25, 1975, from Washington

    Contact: State police

    Belanger was dropped off on Route 105 in Washington by his brother and wife to go

    hunting. He had a .30-30 hunting rifle with him. He told his wife he would be home

    in one hour. An investigation revealed Belanger had shot his deer, dragged it to the

    road and was picked up by someone in a vehicle.
    Last edited by Texaskowgirl; 01-10-2010 at 11:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Texaskowgirl Guest

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, Missing from Maine, 1975

    Jefferson, Me. and Hot Springs,
    Va. may be miles apart
    but they have something in
    common. Both were left with"a
    mystery following the respective
    deer seasons.
    While Maine authorities continue
    to investigate the disappearance
    of a Jefferson man,
    those in Virginia at least have
    found the body of the missing
    hunter in that area. It was
    found buried-under leaves-with
    ' a fatal bullet wound in the
    When this was written the
    missing Maine hunter, Ludger
    Belanger, 25, father of three
    children was still missing and
    extensive laboratory tests
    were being made of various
    articles authorities hope maygive
    them a clue as .to what
    happened to him ._
    Belanger failed to return
    from deer hunting near his
    home-on Nov. 25^ Members of
    his family from Canada, experienced
    state police and game wardens
    comb several of the areas
    •- where he might'have gone. Not
    ^a clue was fomrd^before snow"
    precluded further searching
    The Virginia victim was a
    well known man, prominent in
    forest management circles.
    Although authorities involved
    in both investigations
    were reluctant to release much
    information to this writer,
    they are not eliminating foul
    play as a possibility.
    The writer learned about the
    Virginia mystery while visiting
    Mrs. Gerry Jacques and
    family at Hot Springs where
    her husband is ranger .at the
    George Washington National
    A Waterville native, Jacques
    graduated from the University
    of Maine Forestry School and
    has beenwith the Federal
    service for nearly 20 years. He
    was* away at the time of our
    visit conducting a school of
    forest fire fighting at Lexington.
    Hot Springs and Jefferson
    are small communities and the
    deer hunting tragedies have
    be'en similarly disturbing to
    both places
    Should no break in the Maine
    case occur, a renewed search
    for clues will be taking place
    when the snow cover leaves the
    area where Belanger was last
    believed to have been hunting.
    Kentucky to Boston to Maine
    was the vacation circuit for
    this corner, returning just in
    time to catch the cold wave
    and the long-predicted
    January thaw.
    The sudden change in the
    weather and the heavy rainfall
    raised havoc with the surface
    of most Maine lakes and ponds
    and brought a warning that
    slush is going to be a problem
    until another complete freeze
    .takes place.

  3. #3
    Texaskowgirl Guest

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, Missing from Maine, 1975

    8/12/1976.. snippets

    Nearly three years ago 18-year-old
    Debra Ann Dill'was found beaten to
    death on a camp road near the
    Litchfield-Monmouth town line
    Ludger Belanger went hunting in a
    wooded area near his Somerville home
    two days before Thanksgiving last year
    and never returned Police believe he
    was murdered
    Blanch* Kimball 70 was found stabbed
    to death June 12 in her lower State
    street home where she lived alone
    Donald French, a 40-year-old contractor
    was found dead of a gunshot wound
    in the abdomen July 8 in his Farmingdale
    home \
    Of the four Augusta area killings, only
    the French death is close to being
    solved The Attorney General's office
    eTpects juvenile


    The disappearance of Ludger
    Belanger has been equally frustrating
    for Boutilier s department, but his men
    are now working on yet another lead to
    the young hunter's fate
    Belanger went hunting alone near his
    home Nov 25 and vanished State police
    and game wardens have covered large
    segments of the wooded area near
    Somerville on foot for months and
    repeatedly interviewed the man's
    fnends neighbors and otbera who were
    in the area during that time
    Boutilier said he is sure Belanger is
    dead and added there are two persons
    who are thought to be involved with the
    hunter's disappearance.
    "If we could find the body we would
    probably make some arrests," the
    detective said, but a»thnrities have yet
    to find a trace of the Somerville man
    Several lakes and quarries will be
    searched by divers soon in a renewed effort
    to find the body, but Boutilier
    declined to elaborate on what specific
    areas are involved
    The investigator mentioned that
    locating Belanger's body is not essential
    to making arrests in connection with the
    case adding that the possibility of bringing
    homicide charges without finding
    the corpse has been discussed by the Attorney
    General's office
    "They (the AG's office) don't believe
    we have enough evidence yet," Boutiuer
    said. Police are still putting the events
    leading to Betanger's disappearance
    together, however, aided by analysis of
    physical evidence found in the Somerville
    "I can't talk about the analysis
    results." Boutilier said because there
    are some things we know that we don t
    want the suspects to know we know "
    State police theorize, however, that
    Belanger's disappearance could be
    linked to am argument with other
    hunters over ownership of a deer

    Boutilier acknowledged that the
    motive is thin but added ' People have
    committed homicide after arguing
    about who's going to pay for a drink

  4. #4
    Texaskowgirl Guest

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, 25, Missing from Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter

    11/27/76 ... snippet

    ........By late August,
    Boutilier said sufficient evidence had
    been gathered to make arrests in the
    case, if a body was found
    Boutilier explained finding Belanger's
    body is not essential before making an
    arrest on charges of homicide, but it
    would give more weight to the evidence
    police now have "We still don't really
    have enough to take this tocourt without
    a body." he added
    In recent months Boutilier said divers
    searched "all the lakes, brooks and
    quarries for that general area of
    Washington all the way to the Camden-
    Rockland area' with no success
    Fnday Boutilier again said There is
    a strong indication of foul play "
    He said their investigations have
    shown that Belanger was a hardworking'
    family man, with "nothing
    detrimental about his lifestyle That
    the hunter would have left his family
    voluntarily ' just didn t make sense".
    Bouliher added
    Boutilier said "We've found indications
    that he did shoot a deer and was
    apparently dragging it out of the woods,
    when he accepted a ride in an
    "The marks just ended It appeared
    somebody gave him and the deer a ride
    — and we haven't seen anybody since

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

    Does anyone know if they found who killed Debra Dill in Litchfield Maine in 1975?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

    I don't know, but do you have any details ? I'd be interested in hearing about it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

    Since I asked that question, I found out that they did convice a guy named Michael Boucher back in the 1980s. I actually worked with the guy at Bert's restaurant when he was a cook there. I was just a teenager at the time but remember it all very well as my friend's father found her body one sunday am on the way out of his road.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

    Ludger R. Belanger was 25 years old when he went deer hunting alone on Nov. 25, 1975, two days before Thanksgiving.
    His wife and his brother – who had been hunting birds and rabbits with him earlier that morning – dropped him off about 8:45 a.m. along Route 105 in Washington, Maine, about a half-mile from his home. Fresh snow blanketed the ground as Belanger, the father of three young daughters, set out into the woods.

    He carried a 30-30 rifle and wore a red-and-black-checked hunting jacket, blue pants, and orange hat and hunting boots.
    He told his wife, Linda Belanger (now Perkins), he would be back by noon, in time to take her to work for her midday shift at Ho Ho Chinese Restaurant on Western Avenue in Augusta.
    He never made it back.
    On June 20, 2001, a probate court judge in Knox County formally declared Belanger dead “based on the due diligent search of family, the Maine Warden’s Service and the Maine State Police, over a period of 26 years.” The declaration was sought by his wife, who wanted to remarry.
    This year marks the 40th anniversary of Belanger’s disappearance that late November day. Authorities believe he died that day and have classified his death as an unsolved homicide. Belanger, known as Ludge or Ludgie to family and friends, was a heavy-equipment mechanic.
    His body was never found, although a Maine game warden found evidence that Belanger had shot a deer, dragged it onto Creamer Lot Road – a former tote road that’s now a pathway – and got picked up by people in a passing car.
    Investigative work on the Belanger case has continued, according to the state police. Meanwhile, a new four-person cold case unit, whose team of detectives is expected to be named next month, will devote all its time to unsolved homicides. Lt. Jeffery Love of Belgrade, a veteran homicide detective, was selected earlier this month to oversee a team of detectives assigned to the Major Crimes Unit in Augusta, which investigates homicides and suspicious deaths, and to oversee the new unsolved homicide unit.
    Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, would not comment on the particulars of the Belanger case or any other unsolved case “because it gives a false premise that it may be higher in the pecking order and unfair to all the others.”
    In searching for Belanger at the time, police found a receipt in the area where deer drag marks were found. Authorities later told the family they tracked the owner of the receipt, identified in a police report as “Suspect A,” a man from Camden.
    He and another man, “Suspect B,” of Portland, told police they were hunting in the same area of Washington that day, but said they did not see a hunter dragging a deer along the road.
    That’s where the trail gets murky. Investigators say there’s a theory, some corroborating statements, but not enough evidence to charge anyone. Police say Suspect A, whom they do not name in the report, died less than a year after Belanger’s disappearance after he was injured in an explosion at his house.
    A police report issued 25 years after Belanger disappeared details investigative efforts in the case. The report was given to Perkins’ attorney in support of her effort to get a declaration of death for Belanger.
    On Nov. 28, 1975, police used the receipt for repair work found in the area and located a green 1965 Buick Special four-door sedan owned by Suspect B.
    Two wardens and a state trooper found a single hair from a deer on a hood ornament of the Buick. The interior of the car had recently been washed and “the complete rear seat and a portion of the head liner were missing,” the police report says.
    The vehicle was towed to the state police garage in Augusta.
    Three years later, police said a third man, Charles Christiensen Jr., told them he had been drinking with Suspect B, who said he had shot Belanger with a shotgun in the back seat of the car after a confrontation over the deer.
    Suspect B said the pair had been doing drugs when they picked up Belanger, according to Christiensen’s account to police.
    The police report does not indicate whether the man known as Suspect B was questioned again at that point. However, in early January 1985, during a meeting at the Attorney General’s Office, the report states, “It was decided that further investigation was necessary before the case could be presented to the grand jury.”
    Christiensen was dead by that time, and detectives began reinterviewing people and executed another search warrant on the same 1965 Buick Special. It was not clear where the car was at this point and why police waited another 10 years to search the car again. This time, police seized the two rear door panels, door and window handles and a speaker cover from the rear seat, but testing at the Maine State Police Crime Lab in Augusta did not find any presence of blood.
    Belanger’s widow, Linda Perkins, says she knows the names of the two suspects.
    “I didn’t know them, but I knew of them,” she said.
    She said Suspect B is still alive and living in Maine.
    Belanger’s family searched repeatedly for him, and some of his father’s relatives came from Quebec to help.
    “It’s been a very long time,” said Perkins, now 60. “We had three daughters. It was very hard. It was scary. I was young when I married and had children.”
    She was 20 when he disappeared.
    “I was 14 when I started going steady. I was 16 when I got married,” she said. “If he had lived, we would still be married.”
    She and Belanger and Belanger’s brother John had gone out early that day to hunt birds and rabbits. But it was cold, so the trio started home.
    “Ludge wanted to get dropped off on top of the hill,” she said.
    Deer season would be ending within a couple of days, and he wanted one.
    When Belanger didn’t return home as expected, Perkins began to worry. Belanger was familiar with those hunting grounds. Perkins went next door to tell her in-laws.
    The family organized a search in the afternoon of Nov. 25, 1975, heading out on snowmobiles on the fresh snow, taking the trails near Old County Road, stopping to holler his name, but getting no response.
    Game wardens joined the search almost immediately; a few days later, the state police weighed in. Initially there was a flurry of activity, but those efforts wound down as years passed.
    “At first, you know, they’d come around every month or so,” Perkins said. “Some divers would come around and ask if this wallet looks familiar.”
    Belanger’s three daughters – the youngest was just a few months old when he disappeared – grew up without their father.
    All eight of Belanger’s siblings are still alive.
    Belanger’s sister Pauline LaBelle-Weeks, 66, who lives in Whitefield with another sister, Roseanna Belanger, 67, continues to wonder what became of the brother who was one year her junior.
    She described Ludger as “a very decent guy. He was level-headed. He went to work every day, did his job and always came home to family. He wasn’t wild, not one to get into mischief.”
    LaBelle-Weeks had been working nights, and learned of the search when she came home.
    “I sat in the house with my mom all day long,” she said.
    She said her mother never got to bury her eldest son, although a headstone at Sand Hill Cemetery in Somerville bears Ludger Belanger’s name, dates of birth and death.
    Standing next to the gravestone in the rural Sand Hill Cemetery, Perkins said her first husband’s story has no closure.
    “You read the book, you get to the last chapter, and it isn’t there,” she said.
    She and family members went to the State House several months ago to support the plan to fund the dedicated cold case unit of the Maine State Police.
    “There are so many,” she said of the unsolved cases. “If they solve one, it’s worth it.”
    And more recently Perkins went to Portland to meet with people interested in filming a segment on Ludger Belanger as part of an unsolved mysteries show. A page on The Charley Project website offers details of his disappearance.
    Angel Matson was 23 months old when her father disappeared. Matson, of Oxford, said she prays that the case will be solved even after 40 years.
    “More than anything I want to know where he is,” she said. “What they did with him, where they put him.”
    Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ludger Belanger, 25, Somerville ME, 1975 - Hunter Likely Killed for Deer!

    Ludger and Linda Belanger

    Click image for larger version. 

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