Details of Disappearance
Belanger lived in Washington, Maine with his wife of five years at the time of his disappearance. He worked as a heavy equipment mechanic and his wife had a job as a waitress. They had three daughters, one of whom was only four months old.
At 9:00 a.m. on November 25, 1975, his wife and brother dropped him off half a mile from their home on Route 105 so he could go deer hunting. He was carrying a .30-30 rifle. He said he'd be back by noon, but he never returned and an extensive search turned up no sign of him or his rifle. Authorities determined Belanger had shot a deer and dragged it to the roadside, where he was picked up by a passing motorist.
Belanger had a good home life and marriage at the time of his disappearance, and isn't believed to have left of his own accord. His wife thinks he was murdered, possibly over the deer he had shot. Authorities have two suspects in Belanger's disappearance. One of them died in an accident less than a year after Belanger went missing; the other, Danny Collins Jr., is still living in Maine.
Collins supposedly confessed the murder to a friend in 1977. He said he and the first suspect were under the influence of drugs when they picked up Belanger, and ultimately shot him to death in the backseat of the car. Collins's friend reported their conversation to the police. Authorities had examined the car shortly after Belanger's disappearance and noted the interior had been washed and the rear seat was missing. There was a single deer hair stuck to the hood ornament.
Both of Belanger's parents are dead, but all eight of his siblings are alive, as are his wife and children. His wife remarried after his disappearance but remains active in the search for him. His family still hopes for answers in his disappearance and hope his body will be recovered. His case remains unsolved.