Quebec provincial police explain the timeline that started with a car crash and led to the discovery of two girls’ bodies, then that of their father near Saint-Apollinaire, 40 kilometres southwest of Quebec City.
Two young girls found dead near Saint-Apollinaire, Que., on July 11 were killed by their father just hours after he took them out for an ice cream cone and didn’t return, triggering the longest Amber Alert in Quebec history, provincial police said Wednesday.
Sûreté du Québec Chief Insp. Guy Lapointe confirmed that a body discovered Monday evening was that of Martin Carpentier, the girls’ father.
Lapointe said the police investigation revealed that Carpentier’s daughters, six-year-old Romy and 11-year-old Norah, died due to blunt force trauma and that police are calling it a “double murder.”
He said the conclusion that Carpentier killed his daughters “puts an end to the criminal investigation,” since the police have determined that no one else was involved in the crime. Now, he said, the coroner’s office will take over the investigation.
Lapointe said he didn’t want to engage in speculation or theories about what might have motivated the killings.
“The reality is, the suspect has died and there are some things we will never really know,” he said.
But Lapointe said a crash on Highway 20 on the evening of July 8 seems to have been a “tipping point” for Carpentier.
Up until that moment, he said, Carpentier showed no signs of violent behaviour.
Lapointe said initially, after speaking with the girls’ family, police had no reason to suspect Carpentier would harm his children. He said this led to a delay in sending out an Amber Alert.
The accident investigation team said the crash did not appear to have been deliberate but was in fact an accident. But Carpentier left his cellphone in the car and fled the scene with his daughters.
Police say he then broke into a trailer for some supplies, and shortly after, he killed the girls in the woods.
Lapointe said police believe the three deaths occurred within 12 hours of the crash and that all three were dead by the morning of July 9.
Initial findings led police to conclude Carpentier died by suicide.
His body was found 5.5 kilometres from the initial crash site, but it took police more than 10 days to locate it.
Lapointe said dense tree cover in the woods and the fact that the three were already dead and couldn’t be found using heat-sensing cameras made the search difficult.