Deceased: Part II

This is my second post in the series on deceased career criminal Victor Wonyetye Jr., and his ties to several missing persons cases.

For today, I'll focus on Wonyetye as a named suspect in the case of a missing third grader.

On November 13, 1984 at around 8 am, then eight-year-old Tammy Belanger was seen walking through town to Lincoln Street School in Exeter, NH.

She never arrived.

Unfortunately, no one realized she was missing until the end of the school day.

More than 200 volunteers then helped authorities search extensively for the missing girl, but she was not located.

Tammy Belanger has never been found.


Last week, I posted about the death of Victor Wonyetye Jr.,  who was formerly employed in Exeter and had served prison sentences in New Hampshire (for aggravated sexual assault involving a child) as well as Florida (for multiple counts of peeping into the bedroom windows of children and burglary-related offenses).

Police still consider Wontyetye Jr. a suspect in Tammy Belanger's disappearance, despite that he was never charged.


Obviously, not everything known by police will ever be released to the public, but here are a few details that attracted law enforcement attention:

  • Convicted Sex Offender: Wonyetye was on parole in New Hampshire after serving 5 years for the aggravated sexual assault involving a child. 

  • Just Relocated to Area: A couple of months after being arrested and serving 30 days for a prowling charge in Florida (he had been living with his parents there but had not notified the New Hampshire Department of Corrections), he moved back to New Hampshire and reestablished contact with his parole officer. 

  • Employed near the Scene: Eleven days prior to Tammy's disappearance, he began working at Brad's Custom Auto Body in Exeter, NH. The business was located within blocks from where the young girl went missing.

  • Took a Sick Day: On the day of Tammy's disappearance, Wonyetye called in sick to work. His shift started that day at 7 am, but he did not speak to his boss, Brad Bissell, until around noon.  Bissell told authorities that he assumed Wonyetye had overslept after a wild night on the town and told his employee, "Well I hope she was worth it." He remembers Wonyetye not saying a word and responding only with silence. 

  • Vehicle Search: Six days after Tammy's disappearance, authorities searched Wonyetye's car and found a sex toy, a chainsaw, a patch of carpet, stolen stereo equipment, and other items that were collected.

  • Room Search: A search of Wonyetye's motel room uncovered a scrapbook of magazine advertisements and photos of children around the age of 10 wearing underwear. 

  • Manager Statement: The manager of Wonyetye's motel, Marge Leathe, said that he wanted her to tell others that she saw his car in the parking lot for the entire morning when Tammy had disappeared. Leathe evidently refused saying that she didn't have a view of his space and that she thought he might have left the motel that morning, but she was not sure.  

  • Coworker Statements: Some of his coworkers (from a previous job in New Hampshire) had started calling him "Chester the Molester" due to the number of underage girls that he was seen with. 

  • Another Statement: A coworker said that Wonyetye previously talked about knowing how to dispose a body. 

Strangely, this will not be the last time that investigators recorded a witness statement involving Wonyetye and boasts that he could discreetly dispose of a corpse without being detected.


I'll continue next week with why Victor Wonyetye Jr. was considered a suspect in another unsolved case involving a missing 8-year-old: Christy Luna of Florida.

You can read my first post in this series by going here.

NOTE: Police had previously reported to the media that they believed they had recovered a photo of Tammy Belanger in the possessions of Wonyetye (during a search later in Florida).  This was widely reported as fact by several Internet sites, but authorities later clarified that the photo in question was not of Tammy, but someone who looked similar.

Also, since this is a blog and to save space, I don't list references, but would be happy to share those with anyone via email.


Miss Caitlin S. said...

WOW- so much circumstantial evidence potentially linking him to this. Awful. I can't imagine what it would be like not knowing. I hope somewhere, somehow this is solved- perhaps something else will come to light... I guess time will tell. Good of you to shed light on this.

And I liked that your wife is trying to pull you out of the 1980s, I think it's a Wifely duty bestowed upon many. :)

Pat Hatt said...

Damn, there is a ton of circumstantial evidence indeed. Too bad nothing would stick, but with so much it surely makes one wonder.

messymimi said...

It's sad, i'm sure, for authorities to be so close but yet so far.

Miranda Hardy said...

Christy Luna was a cousin of my ex husband. Tragic story.

lisa said...

So much circumstantial evidence! I'm sure the police are liking him for this crime as well as many others. Too bad he's smart enough to have not gotten caught yet. Sort of makes one long for the days of the vigilante justice of the wild west.

l said...

Too bad people just can't concentrate on their families and have others do the same. Lost children really make me sad.

Ciara said...

My stomach churned as I read this. it is so sad. I'm wishing we had a Vigalante like Arrow out on the streets. I know, he works outside the law and that's bad, but still.

Stephanie said...

These types of stories just make my heart ache. Ache.

ladyfi said...

A third grader?! How very very sad.

Maxi said...

It's stories like these that cause me concern when my granddaughter plays in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lives.

Brittany is 8yrs old.
Blessings ~ Maxi

Brian Miller said...

the hardest part is all of the circumstantial stuff makes you feel as if it should be solved but it is not that easy....hard stuff man...

Diane Estrella said...

So much possible evidence that put all together looks pretty reasonable. How do these things slip through so easily it seems at times.... ;O(

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I hate it when it looks like all of the pieces are there but for whatever reason, nothing can be done.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is probably why the schools where I live contact parents ASAP if the kid doesn't show up at school and no one has phoned in to report an absence or late entry. This kind of delay before it was realized that Tammy was missing is excusable.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

May this little girl rest in peace. And may her family find some peace - somehow.

Blond Duck said...

I think all child molesters should be shot.

BobKat said...

I agree with the many comments here - hard stuff to stomach. I'm assuming her body was never found? No evidence other than circumstantial to link him to her disappearance?

What did this guy have to loose in prison to divulge the truth? What motivates a person to withhold the truth in a case like this?

The problem is the same as with Brianna Maitland, no body, little real evidence of a crime. So the guy could be innocent, so he dies leaving those who care to grieve and continue to wonder.

Very Sad.

Crystal Donahue said...

You are right she is the reason they stared doing calling when no one called their child in

Crystal Donahue said...

Anyone having any info on this case or have an idea as to where they think Tammy's remains may be can contact me at I am currently investigating the Tammy Lynn Belanger case her family needs closure what used to be a very close family has been split up over the heartache they have endured to see the sadness in her fathers eyes is sometimes more than I can handle I feel like being so close to this case emotionally sometimes brings me to a road block I know there was talk of a link to a map where someone believed the remains of the girl(s) may be if you could send me that link that would be great