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Police suggest missing Quebec father may be alive and seeking shelter


ST-APOLLINAIRE, Que. — The father of two young girls found dead over the weekend southwest of Quebec City may be desperate and looking for materials to ensure his survival, Quebec provincial police said Thursday, on the eighth day of their manhunt.

Police said they found evidence Wednesday night Martin Carpentier was in a trailer in the area where police have focused their search since the bodies of Norah and Romy Carpentier, aged 11 and 6, were discovered Saturday.

Carpentier took items from the trailer, suggesting he may visit other barns, sheds or cottages in the region, police said in a news release.

"We are dealing with an individual who is probably desperate and who must be looking for equipment to ensure his survival," Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said in a pre-recorded audio message sent to reporters.

Police asked residents of Lotbiniere and surrounding areas west of Quebec City to check their cottages, trailers or buildings for signs of a break-in, such as missing or moved clothing, food, or equipment. Hunters who have set up cameras in the woods are also being asked to check their recordings.

Police are also suggesting worried citizens search in groups or with a police escort and to call 911 with any relevant information.

Sgt. Ann Mathieu, another provincial police spokeswoman, told reporters Thursday there's no evidence to suggest Carpentier poses a danger to the general population.

"It's an individual who is currently, if he is still alive — and the elements we have lead us to believe he is — is looking to ensure his survival and to hide," she said.

Investigators have said the girls and their father were believed to have been in a serious car crash on Highway 20 in the Quebec City suburb of St-Apollinaire July 8, but there was nobody inside the vehicle when they arrived on scene.

An Amber Alert was issued last Thursday but cancelled two days later after the bodies were found.

In recent days police have focused their search on a 50-square-kilometre wooded area around St-Apollinaire, where "items of interest" were found on Sunday.

Autopsies were performed on the two girls, but police said they won't reveal the cause of death until Carpentier is found.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2020.


The Canadian Press

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