Tammy Belanger was born on the 24th of February 1976, in Exeter, New Hampshire.
On November 13th, 1984, Tammy – aged 8 – left her home on River Street, to walk to her school which was located on Lincoln Street. At approximately 8am, a neighbour saw Tammy cross Court Street.
Tammy had walked the 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) walk to school since she was in the first grade (6-7 years old).
Once it had reached 3:30pm, and Tammy had not returned home, her mother called the school. The school informed Tammy’s mother that Tammy had not been in a class that day. At the time, the school did not verify pupils’ absences by calling parents.
Once Tammy’s mother learned that she was not at school, she called the police.
In the days after, police and volunteers searched 6-8 square miles (16-21 km2) on foot, by helicopter and by boat. The state police and FBI also helped to investigate leads. A quarry near where Tammy disappeared was drained and searched, but nothing was found.
By November 20th, 1984, the lead investigator said he had little hope of finding Tammy alive.
In late December of 1984, WCVB-TV in Boston announced Victor Wonyetye as a suspect in Tammy’s disappearance. Wonyetye, who was 41 years old at the time, had been staying in a motel in Rye, New Hampshire which was close to Exeter, where Tammy disappeared.
Wonyetye had been convicted of sexual assault of a female minor, his 13-year-old step-daughter, and had served 4 years in jail before being paroled in July 1983. His parole was revoked on the 28th of December 1984, as he had left the state without informing his parole officer, and had also been convicted of a misdemeanour in Florida earlier that year.
Victor Wonyetye was also named a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Marjorie Christy Luna, who was also 8 years old when she vanished from Greenacres, Florida in May 1984.
Police say that Wonyetye car was spotted in the area where Tammy disappeared and that the day she went missing he had called in sick to work.
Wonyetye was arrested in 1992, for burglary and indecent exposure. He was sentenced to 75 years. Wonyetye was released from prison in April 2012 and died in December 2012.
Police do believe that Wonyetye was responsible for the disappearances and murders of Tammy and Christy Luna, however, they could never find any evidence to support this, so he was never charged.
At the time of this article, Tammy has been missing for 36 years. Her body has never been found.
True crime, missing, unsolved, children, USA, New Hampshire, missing child, missing person, unsolved case, disapperance, disappeared, cold case