SEABROOK — The search for clues in the 8-year-old disappearance case of Venture Corp. security guard Curt Pishon is garnering fruit, with numerous tips pointing to Pishon's death at the hands of specific suspects.
In an interview with The Daily News, Seabrook police Lt. Michael Gallagher and Pishon family spokesman Nick Pishon confirmed the family's "Find Curt" campaign Web site and tip line have accepted dozens of tips since their launch in June. The reports provided by those calling and writing are grim and remarkably similar, Pishon said.
The then-41-year-old Curt Pishon vanished without a trace while working his security shift at Venture on July 5, 2000. No evidence has ever been found, and no charges have been pressed against suspects.
In their tips, a number of informants describe the same violent scenario they say led up to the killing of Curt Pishon due to foul play, as well as the grisly hiding of his remains.
Informants are even naming names, Nick Pishon said. The names given are consistent, but neither the family nor police are willing to release them at this time.
"What the family is prepared to say at present is that information we've received indicates that Curt was murdered the night of July 5," Pishon said. "And information we received also indicates that after his death, Curt's body was dismembered and buried, hidden, by those who killed him."
Not a fluke offered by one tipster, Pishon said of the dozens of tips received over the past months, about half stipulate his brother's body was dismembered and buried. Additionally, tips lead Pishon to believe his brother's remains are buried somewhere in Seabrook.
Gallagher has reviewed the evidence provided by the Pishon family.
"Nothing that the Pishon family has brought to us for review is inconsistent with the theory we developed from our own investigation and interviews with past Venture employees," Gallagher said.
In previous interviews, Gallagher has said three suspicious incidents took place at Venture on the morning Curt Pishon disappeared, which he believes were related to the disappearance.
First, Pishon's car was set on fire, then there was an attempt to break in and steal the money in vending machines at the plant, and finally, the padlocked door of a union office was kicked in.
Gallagher believes the fire was a diversion to draw attention away from a criminal act — the robbery of the vending machines — and Pishon was killed when he came across the crime during his rounds.
Initially hidden in the union office on the Venture site, Gallagher's believes Pishon's body was then removed from the site and buried somewhere.
Gallagher's scenario is identical to a tip received on the Find Curt tip line on Sept. 1, offered by a person who learned the story as it was passed down through two others who had spoken with the alleged perpetrator of Pishon's death.
"(Name withheld) was caught stealing at Venture on the night of Curt's disappearance," the caller explained on the tip line recording tape. "Curt caught him stealing, and (name withheld) hit him ... hit him or beat him, but eventually he was dead. (Name withheld) took care of the body by dismembering it and hiding it and burying it in the back of his yard. From what I was told, the body was decapitated and dismembered and spread all about. I hope this information helps you."
Although a list of "persons of interest" has been developed by Seabrook investigators, Gallagher is unwilling to divulge it at this time. Gallagher has said he believes those responsible for Pishon's death are still at large, known to many, and a threat to the public.
Although there is no statute of limitation on murder in New Hampshire, the statute of limitation has expired on any charges that could be lodged against those who were accessories to any alleged crime before, during or after the act, Gallagher said.
"The statute of limitations has run out on all the crimes except the homicide," Gallagher said. "So if people come forward now and help us out at this time, there could be no charges. Then Curt's family could have closure."
Neither Gallagher nor the Pishon family believe Pishon's death was anything other than an unintentional homicide, or manslaughter.
"We still think this was a very unfortunate incident that ended up with Curtis's death," Gallagher said. "If I had a chance to talk to the person who did this, I'd tell him if this was unintentional, it would be seen as manslaughter and carry about a five-year (jail) sentence," Gallagher said. "Then he would be done with it, Curt's family could bring him home, and Curt could rest in peace."
Nick Pishon said the fact that his brother's body could be close yet unattainable is heart-wrenching to the family.
"We have a place for Curt in the New Hampshire veterans cemetery in Boscawen," Pishon said. "We thank everyone out there who has helped us so far, but we need others to come forward. The family wants to bring Curt home so we can bury him."
The family offers a $6,000 reward for information that leads directly to the discovery and return of Curt Pishon's remains. Those with information are urged to contact the Pishon family Web site at www.findcurt.com, or call at 1-866-97-FINDCURT. Or, call the Seabrook police at 603- 474-5200 or its anonymous Crime Line at 603-474-2640.