Manhunt for Martin Carpentier Quebec missing man continues days after his two deceased daughters, Romy and Norah were found dead in a crashed abandoned car. Questions abound as Canada is gripped.
In a case that has unnerved Canada, police in Quebec have launched a manhunt to find the missing father of two young girls who were found dead in a wooded area days after all three vanished following a car crash last week.
The search for Martin Carpentier, 44, continued into Monday after the dead bodies of his young daughters Romy, 6, and Norah, 11, were discovered on Saturday in a wooded area of Saint-Apollinaire.
The girls were last seen shopping with their father on Wednesday, but one hour later Carpentier’s car was found wrecked and abandoned.
While authorities say the specifics of the case continue to be unclear, they told of not ruling any hypothesis out, including kidnapping. It was unclear if investigators suspected the father murdering his own two children. Autopsies are scheduled to determine the specific cause of the girls’ deaths.
#Breaking: Two bodies found lifeless in the woods in St-Apollinaire. Everything leads SQ to believe that they are those of the young girls missing since Wed. SQ searching for 44-year-old Martin Carpentier. They believe he is still in the area. #AMBERAlert is now over. pic.twitter.com/y1ETMVhW7Y
— CityNews Montreal (@CityNewsMTL) July 11, 2020
Objects found gave hope that the father was still alive & in the area
Finding Carpentier is a top priority for authorities and they believe he may still be in the Saint-Agapit, Saint-Apollinaire sector – but ‘don’t know exactly what state of mind’ he’s in.
‘We ask people not to take any chances. So if they have any information or if they see him, just call 911 and we will take charge of the situation,’ authorities said.
Objects found on Saturday during the police search may belong to Carpentier and the two girls, authorities told CTV.
‘We found some objects yesterday, but we can find a lot of different objects in the woods, so what we have to do right now is to be sure that those objects could be related to Martin Carpentier and his two daughters,’ said Sgt. Ann Mathieu.
Carpentier’s girlfriend, Cathy Gingras, who is not the children’s mother, pleaded for his return in a recorded message shared to Twitter.
‘Martin, we’re worried. We haven’t heard anything from you since the accident. We want to know if you’re okay, and the girls, Romy, Norah,’ said Gingras.
‘We want to know if they’re okay… if you’re okay. Give us some news, let us know, call your parents, whatever it is. The important thing is that you’re all alright.
A compromised search effort
The victim’s mother, Amelie Lemieux, shared photos of her daughters and made a plea on Facebook asking for help earlier this week.
Authorities have deployed canine squads, drones, an equestrian squad and a helicopter in the hunt for the family.
Around 100 residents from the Saint-Agapit, Saint-Apollinaire sector on Saturday joined police in the search, but it appeared to do more harm than good.
The large amount of people overwhelmed the scene and made the K-9 squad ineffective.
‘So that’s why we ask the people, we appreciate the work you want to do for us, we appreciate your goodwill, but doing so is not a good idea to help us. It’s not helping us,’ said Matthieu.
Instead, she asked residents to stay home and call authorities if they notice anything amiss.
‘I lock my doors at home as soon as I am alone.’
‘Stay home. Just look on your property. You’re the best person to know exactly if there’s something wrong on your property. If so, call us we’re going to do the verification about it,’ shes said.
Meanwhile, the international attention of the tragic deaths and manhunt has shocked residents who live in the small Quebec town of just over 6,000 people.
‘Seeing police everywhere, helicopters, you wouldn’t have believed it,’ said native Cedric Lambert, 23. ‘Then to know that they found the little girls here is stressful.’
His partner, Marie-Myriam Dion, added that she doesn’t feel safe with Carpentier on the loose.
‘I can’t wait for them to find him,’ said Dion, a mother-of-two. ‘I lock my doors at home as soon as I am alone.’
Gerald Rousseau, a resident of 40 years, lives about two miles from where police have started searching. He said there are a plethora of places to hide.
‘There are plenty of small chalets around there, cabins, sugar shacks, trailers,‘ Rousseau told CTV.
‘It’s a good place to hide … people come down on the weekends, but there aren’t a lot of people coming down given what’s happening, so there’s often food left behind inside.’
News that authorities found the deceased children sparked an outpouring of grief from both residents and public figures.
Was the missing man injured, armed, close to death, what of his mental state?
On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was ‘devastated’ by the turn of events.
‘…An incomprehensible tragedy for any parent. My heart breaks for the family and friends of Norah and Romy – I’m sending you my deepest condolences. Know that all Canadians are keeping you in their thoughts tonight,’ he posted on Twitter.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault called Norah and Romy’s deaths a ‘national tragedy’.
‘I am overwhelmed, without words. Losing two children, the most expensive thing in life, is incomprehensible. It’s a national tragedy,’ he posted on Twitter.
He even searched his own property, but didn’t find any sign of Carpentier.
Carpentier was last seen wearing a grey short sleeve sweater and jeans. He is listed as being 5’10” and weighing 130lbs.
Anyone who sees Martin Carpentier is asked not to attempt to intervene and to communicate with 911.
It remained unknown whether the father was indeed still alive, with authorities speculating whether the man had suffered acute injuries along with the natural elements. In the interim, the shifting of immediate surroundings gave authorities pause the man might still be alive told Sgt. Ann Mathieu, Quebec Police spokesperson via Global News.
In addition, any information that may allow him to be traced can be communicated, confidentially, to the Central Criminal Intelligence Service of the Sûreté du Quebec at 1-800-659-4264.