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Newton, Kurt September 1,1975; Maine 4 YO
Topic Started: Aug 4 2006, 09:50 AM (1,668 Views)

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Kurt Ronald Newton

Left: Newton, circa 1975
Right: Age-progression to age 12 (circa 1983)

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: September 1, 1975 from Chain Of Ponds, Maine
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: June 28, 1971
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3'8, 45 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A navy blue jacket, a blue sweatshirt, multi-colored corduroy pants, mismatched socks and brown high-top shoes.

Details of Disappearance

Newton was camping with his family at the Natanis Campground in Chain Of Ponds, Maine on September 1, 1975. He was riding his Big Wheel tricycle near the family's campsite when he disappeared between approximately 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. He has never been heard from again.
An extensive search of the surrounding woods turned up no sign of Newton. His tricycle was found at a dump site eight-tenths of a mile from his family's campsite. Police theorized that he became confused while trying to get back to the campsite and went in to wrong directon.

The campground is in western Maine near the Canadian border; Newton's parents speculate that someone abducted him and took him across the border into Quebec. French-language missing child posters were distributed in Quebec with this theory in mind, but to no result. Newton and his parents and sister resided in Manchester, Maine at the time of his disappearance. They had gone camping with several other families for Labor Day Weekend when he disappeared. His case remains unsolved; there is very little evidence available to show what happened to him.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Maine State Police

Source Information
Child Protection Education Of America
Operation Lookout
Newspaper Archive

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

Last updated February 7, 2004.

Charley Project Home
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Age-progression to age 12 (circa 1983)
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The Old Heifer! An oxymoron, of course.
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"If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don't do that, you are wasting your time on this earth." The late, great Roberto Clemente.

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The Old Heifer! An oxymoron, of course.
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Kurt Ronald Newton
Missing since: 1975 from Chain of Ponds Township, near Coburn Gore
Age: 4
Height and weight: 3’8” 45
Hair: Blond
Eyes: Blue
Race: White
Clothing: Navy blue jacket, blue sweat shirt, multicolored corduroy pants, mismatched socks, brown shoes.
Contact: State police

Newton was camping with his family at the Nantis Campground in Chain of Ponds when he went missing on Sept. 1, 1975. He was last seen riding his Big Wheel near the family’s campsite before he wandered off and disappeared.

"If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don't do that, you are wasting your time on this earth." The late, great Roberto Clemente.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only.
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The Old Heifer! An oxymoron, of course.
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By Terry Karkos, Staff Writer
Published Sep 01, 2010 12:00 am | Last updated Sep 01, 2010 12:00 am

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Save CHAIN OF PONDS — Thirty-five years ago Tuesday, Ron and Jill Newton of Manchester lost their 4-year-old son Kurt while camping at the remote Natanis Point Campground in this wilderness township six miles below the Canadian Border at Coburn Gore.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the day the cute blond toddler was officially declared missing on Sept. 1, 1975.

He simply vanished without a trace between 10 and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31, 1975, while riding his Big Wheel tricycle down the campground road toward the site's dump. He was trying to catch up to his dad, who went to get firewood.

In what officials then termed the most massive search in Maine history, more than 3,000 people closely scrutinized 8 square miles of heavily wooded, rugged terrain in and around the campground until it ended at dusk on Sept. 12, 1975.

Pilots and crews in search planes — including a $10 million C-130H Air Force gunship used in Vietnam to find guerrillas in dense jungle with its infrared technology — and a Maine Warden Service helicopter, also helped.

Other than his tricycle, no trace of Kurt has ever been found. Not even the clothes he was wearing on that damp, chilly morning: a navy blue jacket decorated with baseball emblems, navy blue sweatshirt, speckled red and black corduroys, mismatched white socks, and dark brown shoes.

It's an enigma that retired Warden John Shaw of Wilton still carries.

“Every year I think about the poor parents having to go through life without knowing,” Shaw said at home on Tuesday. “And I'm sure most everybody else involved in that search does, too. It was difficult to accept that we couldn't come through with that one.”

At the time, Shaw, then a warden supervisor, called in every warden under his command and more. Thirty or so participated.

“It was a huge search,” Shaw said.

He added that state police were very involved in the search and investigation. A state police detective in Lt. Brian McDonough's Criminal Investigation Division is still assigned to the case, but could not be reached on Tuesday, and neither could Ron and Jill Newton.

“After running into a lot of dead-ends on the ground, we did some very extensive interviews with people,” Shaw said.

Even though Kurt Ronald Newton's disappearance has been classified as a non-family abduction on missing children websites, at the time, Shaw said foul play wasn't suspected.

“There was no indication to us that he had been abducted,” he said.

“On the opposite side, we found no evidence of him on the ground. He rode his little tricycle away from the campground up into an area where the campground owner was using for a dump. And we found no clothing and no tracks.”

Shaw said wardens started doing groundwork a few hours after the toddler vanished.

“Being a 4-year-old, it got into an intensive search fast,” he said.

Knowing that toddlers usually don't go very far, but are completely unpredictable, the search was initially confined to the immediate vicinity of where Kurt's tricycle was found.

“In my experience with children of that age, I would have not expected him to be very far, but our search area extended much farther than I would have thought, and it was thoroughly searched. It was gone over and over and over within a mile.

“We were running those searches hand to hand within the area where we felt he could be, checking off every hole in the ground and there were a lot of them. It's been my experience that it's very difficult to hide anything in the woods for an extensive period of time.”

Hunters, recreationists and animals eventually discover something hidden or lost in the woods, but not this time.

“In my experience — and I've had a lot of experience with searches — it seemed like we just about always found some evidence, like, you know, a track, a shoe or stuff,” Shaw said. “This never happened in this case. It was a frustrating search.”

Factors that didn't help were the terrain and below-freezing temperatures at night, fog and rain.

Although the campsite is on the shore of Natanis Pond, Shaw said they didn't believe Kurt ever entered the water. There was no evidence.

Still, the pond was searched by a skin diver volunteer and planes overhead.

Psychics were even used to no avail, because Shaw said they've had luck in the past using them.

“Governor (James) Longley even made a special trip up there. It was that involved.”

Longley ordered 50 National Guardsmen from the Rumford-Norway area to help with the search. After the mission was over, many returned on their own time to continue helping.

Wardens also investigated the possibility of a wild animal attacking the child, because there was evidence that black bears were feeding at the campground's open dump site. Shaw said he checked with officials in other states to learn what he could about confirmed black bear attacks on children.

“But we had nothing on the ground to support such a thing,” so it was discarded, Shaw said.

Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said “an incredible amount of state resources had gone to the area as well to search and there was not a trace of him.”

Many newspapers covered the incident and search. At the time Kurt vanished, McCausland said he was the news director of the radio station in Bath.

“It was a huge story,” he said. “I was working in radio at the time and I remember the news stories on it, and it was the first time that most people in the state had ever heard of Chain of Ponds; that is not the best known area in the state.

"Unfortunately, every time I hear that name, I always think of the little boy.”


"If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don't do that, you are wasting your time on this earth." The late, great Roberto Clemente.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only.
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The Old Heifer! An oxymoron, of course.
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Memories of missing children
The parents of Maine's vanished children say the passage of time – even decades – does little to ease their anguish or to address a need for closure.

By BEN MCCANNA Morning Sentinel

Claire Moulton is one of a handful of parents in Maine waiting for a missing child to come home.
click image to enlarge

Richard Moreau of Jay, whose daughter Kimberly vanished in 1986, still hangs fresh posters of her in Jay, clinging to hope that closure is possible someday.

Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel
click image to enlarge

Portland residents Claire and Lyman Moulton, holding a photo of their oldest daughter, Cathy Marie Moulton, at the age of 16, wonder “whether we’ll ever know what happened to her before we die,” Claire Moulton said. Cathy was last seen walking along Forest Avenue in Portland in the fall of 1971. Her parents are now in their 80s.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

She has been waiting for more than 40 years.

Moulton's daughter Cathy Marie Moulton was 16 years old when she was last seen on Sept. 24, 1971. Today, she would be 56. Every day, Moulton's mother is preoccupied with thoughts of her daughter.

"You never forget," she said. "I mean, every day I pray that somehow, somewhere, we'll find her."

There are six unsolved missing-children cases in Maine, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a nonprofit group, and Maine State Police. Four of the children disappeared in the 1970s, one disappeared in the mid-1980s and Ayla Reynolds of Waterville disappeared seven weeks ago when she was 20 months old.

Police have said they do not believe Ayla Reynolds was abducted, and that her father, Justin DiPietro, and others in the home the night she disappeared have not told investigators all they know about her disappearance.

Divers again searched Messalonskee Stream on Friday, but police said they found no clues. A $30,000 reward has been offered for information in the case.

Parents of three of the other missing children describe an unending ordeal that haunts their thoughts every day. Without closure, it's difficult to live a normal life, they said.

"It's a nightmare," said Moulton. "We've been living with this for a long time now."

Cathy is the oldest of the Moultons' three daughters. She was last seen walking along Forest Avenue in Portland, according to the Charley Project (www.charleyproject.org), an online database for missing-person cases.

In the early days after her daughter's disappearance, Moulton developed a ritual.

"Our house had a sun parlor on the front, and every day I used to go out in the parlor and look up and down the street expecting her to show up," Moulton recalled. "I just couldn't believe she wouldn't be coming home."

The ritual persisted for decades, she said.

"I kept doing it right up until a year ago when we moved. But I had not-as-high hopes in recent years," she said.

Moulton and her husband still live in Portland. They are in their 80s.

"At this point, we're concerned whether we'll ever know what happened to her before we die," she said.


Devorah Goldburg, public relations senior manager at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said the parents of missing children struggle with the uncertainty.

"It is very difficult," she said. "Parents tell us repeatedly that the worst thing is not knowing."

Goldburg said the center never gives up hope of finding missing children.

"No case is closed until we either find the child or learn with certainty what happened to the child," she said. "We work very hard to keep hope alive, and to remind communities that the child is still missing."

Carol Ross said her hope wavers.

In 1977, her son, Bernard Ross Jr., was 18 when he drove off in his aunt's pickup truck in Presque Isle. Ross was reportedly despondent when he left. The truck was later found, but Ross is still missing.

Today, he would be 53.

"I go from thinking he's out there somewhere -- maybe in a hospital or carrying on a new life," Carol Ross, 74, said. "Other times, I think he must be gone, because he would have called us."

Ross and her husband, Bernard Ross Sr., 76, live in Portland.

Recently, the Rosses got a glimpse of what their son might look like today after the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children developed an age-progressed image. The center combined the parents' and siblings' facial features with their son's high school senior portrait to show what a middle-aged version of Bernard Ross Jr. might look like.

"It's still kind of strange to look at it," the father said.

He added that news of missing children such as Ayla Reynolds stirs up old feelings.

"It brings up some pain, some grief and hope for that child," he said.


In addition to Ayla Reynolds, there are two unsolved missing-children cases in Maine that involve small children. The two young boys vanished in the 1970s in separate incidents.

On Sept. 1, 1975, Kurt Ronald Newton of Manchester vanished from Natanis Point Campground in Chain of Ponds in western Maine near the Quebec border. He was 4 at the time. Today, he would be 40.

Kurt was last seen riding a Big Wheel tricycle near his parents' campsite, according to the Charley Project.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said efforts to find Kurt were historic in scope.

"One of the largest searches of the decade was mounted up there to try to find him," he said. "All they found was his tricycle."

After the search concluded, Kurt's parents mailed missing-child posters with Kurt's photo to every school district in the United States.

His parents, Ronald and Jill Newton, declined to be interviewed.

Douglas Charles Chapman was last seen playing in a sand pile outside his parents' home in Alfred on June 2, 1971.

He was 3 at the time. Today, he would be 43.

A search dog followed Douglas' scent from the home, "through a field, past an apple orchard onto a farm, and down the driveway to the main road," according to the Charley Project.

The ensuing six-day search was one of the largest ever for a missing person in York County, according to a 1993 story by The Associated Press. It included about 3,000 volunteers, aircraft from the Navy and National Guard, and scuba divers.

Officials even pumped local wells dry to look for the boy, the story reported.

In 1993, the boy's father, Gary Chapman, successfuly pleaded with police to expand the investigation.

He said police had been convinced Douglas had wandered off, died and would eventually be found, but Chapman wanted investigators to consider abduction.

The boy's parents are divorced. His mother, Carole Allen, moved to New York, and his father to Waterboro. Neither could be reached for comment.

Someone has answers, Allen said in 1993.

"It doesn't make sense that a child should disappear and nobody saw anything," she said.

In 2001, Chapman told the Hartford Courant that his son's disappearance was difficult for the community to accept.

"People want to believe that these things don't happen and kids just don't disappear," he said. "Well, kids disappear way too often."

McCausland said police still get tips on both missing boys.

"We, from time to time, have received inquiries from people who either think they themselves could be Douglas or Kurt, or thought they recognized one of them," he said. "None of those leads have panned out."


Richard Moreau's daughter vanished nearly 26 years ago. Every day, he wonders what happened to her.

Kimberly Ann Moreau was last seen in May 1986 in Jay when she climbed into a white Pontiac Trans Am driven by a man she had met earlier that day, according to the Charley Project. She was 17 at the time. Today, she would be 43.

The driver of the car is considered a person of interest in the case, but he was never charged.

Richard Moreau, 69, said he and his wife knew right away that something was wrong when their daughter wasn't home by dinnertime. The next morning, the Moreaus reported their daughter missing, but police didn't get involved for another 48 hours, he said. When they did, police said the girl had probably run away.

Moreau and his wife didn't agree, so they performed their own investigation with the help of two family members. The Moreaus talked to people in the area, took statements and compiled a folder of evidence that they eventually turned over to detectives.

"We could not rely on anyone else to get it done," he said.

Four months later, state police took over the investigation, Moreau said.

"They realized this was something more than just a child that ran away, and they listed her as exploited and endangered, which, as far as I know, is how she remains listed today," he said.

Those initial years were difficult, Moreau said.

Soon after Kimberly disappeared, Moreau and his wife concluded that their daughter was dead. Within a year, Kimberly's grandfather died from what Moreau described as heartbreak. A year later, Kimberly's mother died of cancer.

"I had three years of what I classify as total hell," Moreau said. "Pardon my language, but that's the best way I know how to put it."

A few years later, in 1991, Moreau took matters into his own hands again after he was encouraged by private investigators to spread awareness of his daughter's disappearance.

Moreau began taping missing-child posters onto utility poles throughout the area, he said. Also, as a supervisor in the shipping department of International Paper Co., Moreau would insert missing posters into shipments. Those posters have been sent to cities in Asia, Europe and South America.

"She's basically been around the world," he said of his daughter's image.

Moreau estimates he has distributed more than 50,000 posters, and that number continues to climb.

As recently as last month, Moreau was hanging new posters in Jay, he said. Whenever posters deteriorate because of bad weather, Moreau replaces them with fresh copies.

Moreau said he hopes his daughter's remains will be found so she can be buried in the local cemetery next to her mother, grandmother and grandfather. He said he wants the opportunity to visit his daughter's grave and talk to her. He's imagined countless times what it would be like to have that kind of closure.

"It would be like taking 10 tons off my shoulders," he said. "I'd be able to go to bed at night, lay down and get a full night's sleep without ever waking up.

"I would be able to say, 'Darling, I know you're home, and I love you.'"

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Ben McCanna can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:


"If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don't do that, you are wasting your time on this earth." The late, great Roberto Clemente.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only.
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Heart of Gold
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Search continues for six missing Maine children on National Missing Children’s Day

Maine |
Saturday, May 26, 2012

PORTLAND, Maine — The parents of 6-year-old Etan Patz — who disappeared 33 years ago Friday after leaving his Manhattan home heading for the school bus — got the news this week that they have been dreading for decades.Their son is believed dead and a 51-year-old man has admitted to strangling the first-grader in 1979 when he himself was a teenager.

Cathy Moulton is seen at left in a 1971 picture. The teen went missing that year and has not been heard from since. At right is an age-progression image showing what she may look like today.

17-year-old Kimberly Moreau was last seen in Jay at about midnight on May 11, 1986 in the company of an individual she met earlier that day. She has not been seen since. Extensive searches have been conducted throughout the region. Foul play is suspected.

3 year old Douglas Chapman was reported missing by his mother at about 10:30AM on June 2, 1971. He was last seen playing by a sand pile 25 yards in front of his residence. His mother reported that she was in the residence talking on the phone and his father was at work.

Kurt Ronald Newton, missing since. Sept. 1, 1975 from Chain Of Ponds, Maine. (Photo courtesy of Doe Network)

“The pain of losing a child never dulls,” U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said Friday in Portland as he and other law enforcement officials marked National Missing Children’s Day. “For those thousands of families missing children today, like Etan Patz, whose case lingered unsolved for … years, we don’t give up.”

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared May 25 — the day Etan Patz vanished four years earlier — as National Missing Children’s Day, and the following year Congress passed the Missing Children’s Assistance Act, creating the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Toddler Alya Reynolds, who was 20 months old when she was reported missing on Dec. 17 from her father’s Waterville home, is one case that police continue to actively investigate, but she is not the only missing child in Maine.

“In Maine, there are currently six unsolved missing children cases dating back 40 years,” Delahanty said. “They are not all infants or toddlers.”

In addition to the Ayla Reynolds case, Douglas Charles Chapman, then 3, of Alfred was reported missing June 2, 1971; Cathy Marie Moulton, 16, of Portland was reported missing Sept. 24, 1971; Kurt Ronald Newton, 4, of Manchester was reported missing Sept. 1, 1975; Bernard Ross, 18, of Ashland was reported missing May 12, 1977; and Kimberly Ann Moreau, 17, of Jay was reported missing May 11, 1986.

Chapman was last seen playing by a sandpile about 25 yards from his home in Alfred, while his mother was inside on the phone and his father was at work, according to a Maine State Police website dedicated to missing Mainers.

Moulton had dyed red hair and was last seen in downtown Portland, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s website.

Newton wandered away from his family’s campsite at the Chain of Ponds Public Reserve Land near Coburn Gore on the Quebec border. He was last seen riding his tricycle at the campsite while his mother was out of sight washing muddy shoes.

Moreau was last seen in the company of an individual she met earlier in the day and foul play is suspected, the state police website states.

Two other teenagers who disappeared years ago also remain unaccounted for.

Bonnie Ledford, 19, of Dedham, who went missing in 1980, and Angel Antonio Torres, also 19, of the Saco-Biddeford area who was reported missing by his family on May 24, 1999 are listed on the state police website.

Foul play is suspected in both cases.

When children go missing or are abducted, time is of the essence, said Todd DiFede, the FBI’s senior supervisory agent for Maine.

“Every second, every minute and every hour counts in bringing a child home safely,” the veteran agent said.

To help parents keep vital information at their fingertips, there is a new app for smartphones that records a child’s height, weight, eye color and physical traits, as well as a photo, and can be instantly accessed, if needed.

“With the click of a button, the information is sent in an email,” DiFede said.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children also has several tips for parents when they discover their child missing.

The new smartphone app is “a tool all parents and grandparents should be aware of and make use of,” Delahanty said.

Parents should always be aware of where their kids and teens are and should know that criminals who take children come in all shapes and sizes, said Maine State Police Lt. Brian McDonough, director of the Major Crimes Unit.

“Predators are everywhere and they come from all walks of life,” said the lieutenant, who is the liaison to the National Center for Missing Children and Maine’s AMBER Alert coordinator.

The disappearance and 1932 murder of 20-month-old Charles Lindbergh Jr., son of the world-famous airplane pilot, drew worldwide attention and led to the Lindbergh Law, which allowed law enforcement to pursue kidnappers across state lines.

When little Etan Patz went missing in 1979, the media frenzy again put a national spotlight on abducted children. He was the first missing child to ever appear on a milk carton, a tool that is now commonplace, and the Missing Children’s Assistance Act led to the creation of the AMBER Alert, an early warning system issued by law enforcement to notify broadcasters and state transportation officials when children are abducted.

“There is no rest for a parent who has lost a child, and there should be no rest for any of us who are in a position to help,” Delahanty said, flanked by DiFede, McDonough, Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Tenuta, South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant, victim witness advocate Heather Putnam and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Neumann.

Delahanty said education for children goes a long way toward helping them protect themselves.

“We ask parents and guardians to take just 25 minutes to teach their children some safety tips that may save their lives someday,” he said, adding that educational tools are available online at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Take 25 campaign website, www.take25.org. “Twenty-five minutes for 25 tips.”

The tips include telling children never to accept rides from anyone unless they have parental permission, always walking with a friend or in a group, and knowing how to contact loved ones at home and work.

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Only after the last river has been
Only then will you realize
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