The provincial police of Quebec believe to have found the bodies of two young sisters during a search for them and their father, in what Prime Minister François Legault called “national tragedy”.
Ann Mathieu, a police spokesperson, said she believed the bodies discovered Saturday in St-Apollinaire, Quebec, belong to 11-year-old Norah Carpentier and her sister, 6-year-old Romy Carpentier were last seen on Wednesday evening.
Mathieu said the police could not confirm the girls’ deaths.
“For the moment, everything leads us to believe that they are the two girls, but you will understand that we are still assessing the health of these little girls,” Mathieu told reporters Saturday afternoon.
She said an Amber alert issued on Thursday for the girls had been lifted and the police were actively looking for the girls’ father, Martin Carpentier.
Carpentier could still be in St-Apollinaire or in the nearby town of St-Agapit, Quebec, said Mathieu.
The girls and their father were allegedly involved in an accident Wednesday evening on Highway 20 in St-Apollinaire, a suburb of Quebec.
An orange alert was issued for them Thursday afternoon, and extensive police search has begun in the area.
This search had resumed on Saturday morning, the police deploying a helicopter, as well as canine units, ATVs and search teams on foot, in an attempt to locate the three people.
Bernard Ouellet, the mayor of St-Apollinaire, said that the police when they learned that two bodies had been found was extremely sad.
He said that the tragedy affects people across the province.
“Everyone has tears in their eyes,” said Ouellet in a brief interview on Saturday afternoon. “It’s not easy for anyone. ”
Although the police did not confirm whether the girls were dead, Prime Minister François Legault said on Saturday that, like all Quebecers, he was “devastated” by the news.
“In particular, I think of Norah and Romy’s mother – and all of their loved ones,” the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter. “All of Quebec is crying with you today. ”
A woman who said she was the mother of the girls posted their photos on Facebook on Thursday, saying, “We have to find my daughters and their father.”
Mathieu said police asked anyone who sees Carpentier to call 911 immediately.
Police said the 44-year-old man was wearing a gray t-shirt and jeans when he last visited. It is listed as measuring five feet ten inches and weighing 130 pounds.