By Angeljean Chiaramida STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News
---- — SOUTH HAMPTON — Police have identified the Seabook hunter who died Tuesday while on a hunting trip in South Hampton.
According to South Hampton police Chief Jonathon Dennis, Kevin Belanger, 51, of 114 Batchelder Road died of natural causes of what appears to be a massive heart attack. The body was found on one of the many land masses in the Powow River, Dennis said.
Dennis said Belanger’s brother called South Hampton police about 9 Wednesday morning after growing concerned for his brother’s whereabouts.
“Mr. Belanger hadn’t touched base with his mother, and he usually does, his brother told me,” Dennis said yesterday. “He worked for Safeway Bus Company and he missed his shift on Tuesday afternoon and hadn’t shown up for work Wednesday morning.”
Dennis said when Belanger’s brother found the canoe missing from the top of his brother’s car, since it’s muzzleloader hunting season for deer in New Hamphsire, he thought his brother might have gone hunting in the Tuxbury Pond area of South Hampton.
South Hampton was joined by law enforcement and firefighters from East Kingston, Kingston, New Hampshire Fish and Game agents and a trooper from the state police. In all, they had 18 men searching and three boats in the river, as well as the state police helicopter from Troop A to cover the many acres of wetlands, water and islands in the area.
“I’d say we found him around 1:30 or 2 on the shore of one of the islands or maybe a peninsula in the Powow River,” Dennis said. “It looked like he had canoed to the island. It appeared he had a massive heart attack. I believe he had some medical issues.”
Dennis called the office of the Rockingham county attorney and state medical examiner. Once foul play was ruled out, he said, the body was removed and taken to the Brookside Funeral Home in Plaistow.
According to Belanger’s obituary, he was born in Haverhill and raised in Plaistow, the son of Audrey Doucette and the late Ralph Belanger. He graduated from Timberlane Regional High School and prior to working at Safeway, he was employed by AT&T Technologies for 22 years.’
A sportsman, Belanger enjoyed hunting, canoeing and kyaking, as well as golf, hockey, skiing and cooking.
Along with his mother, he is survived by his brother, Glenn, and sister-in-law Maryellen Belanger of Haverhill. He was predeceased by his brother Daniel.