(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

Police say Quebec sisters were victims of double murder committed by their father

Tragic string of events began on July 8 when Martin Carpentier took his daughters for ice cream

A father who was the subject of an intense 10-day manhunt had killed his two young daughters with a blunt object and taken his own life before an Amber Alert was ever triggered for them, Quebec provincial police said Wednesday.

Chief Insp. Guy Lapointe said the tragic string of events began on July 8 when Martin Carpentier took his daughters Norah and Romy for ice cream. It ended with all three dead less than 12 hours later.

The “tipping point,” the police spokesman said, was a car crash, which is not believed to have been deliberate but seemingly caused Carpentier’s behaviour to veer from normal to erratic.

Police did not elaborate on a motive or what could have led to such a radical and swift change in Carpentier’s behaviour.

“The reality is that the suspect is deceased, so there are things we’ll never really know,” Lapointe told a news conference in Montreal.

But investigators are confident, he added, that by the morning of July 9, “all those sad events had already been played, and all three were already dead.”

He said that since the criminal investigation is complete, it’s now up to the provincial coroner to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The trio’s disappearance led to a search that only ended Monday night when Carpentier’s body was found.

The intense police search southwest of Quebec City lasted 10 days before being scaled back last weekend. It included two visits to the wooded property where Carpentier’s body was eventually discovered.

Carpentier was last seen crossing the highway with his daughters after abandoning the damaged vehicle, leaving behind his cell phone and a melting ice cream.

Norah, 11, and Romy, 6, were injured in the car crash, but they died from blunt force trauma inflicted by their father, investigators concluded.

The girls’ bodies were found July 11 in a wooded area in St-Apollinaire, Que., two days after the Amber Alert had been triggered.

Police said the Amber Alert wasn’t issued until the day after the crash because there was no immediate indication Carpentier would have abducted his daughters.

“There was worry, but you have to understand they were implicated in a car crash, so it was a worry in regards to their status or health following the car crash,” Lapointe told reporters in Montreal. ”It wasn’t a worry that the father would do anything to the daughters, and that’s exactly what we were getting from the family.”

Police said the crash was not deliberate, and there were signs Carpentier tried to regain control of the vehicle. But the accident was the moment when things began to change, Lapointe said.

“Every behaviour that was noted … prior to that moment, is behaviour that is normal, that fits what we would expect from that individual,” he said. “Except that from that point on, following the crash, it’s everything else that doesn’t add up to what we would call normal behaviour.”

Investigators believe Carpentier made his way to a trailer within the search perimeter, where he took items including a shovel and a lighter. While the girls were believed to be alive at that point, only Carpentier’s DNA was found inside.

The girls’ bodies were found about 750 metres from the trailer, and Carpentier’s body was found about 5.5 kilometres from the crash site.

Lapointe said that while the outcome of the investigation is unsatisfactory, police are confident they did everything they could to find the girls based on the information available to them.

He said police had visited the property where Carpentier was found on July 10 and 17, but it was outside the area being searched on foot and with dogs. At the time of the visits, the property owner had not noticed anything missing, although a ladder was later found in the area where the body was found.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

One of the greatest Christmas traditions in Oliver is the Oliver Fire Department Christmas Carol Truck that goes around neighbourhoods, sharing Christmas cheer. (OFD photo)
Oliver fire hall siren to signal for holiday lights tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Oliver would normally be celebrating Light Up, but the fire hall is starting a new tradition

Grand Forks’ Roly Russell met with The Gazette after he was named Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development Thursday, Nov. 26. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
NDP’s Roly Russell named secretary for rural development

Russell formerly represented rural Grand Forks on the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s elected board

Phil McLachlan file photo
Serious crash closes highway in Oliver

Highway 97 was closed in both directions overnight

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Leighton Allen Labute faces charges of animal abuse and allegedly has a string of social media accounts depicting disturbing content.
Accused Kelowna hamster killer has trial date set for 2021

Leighton Labute’s three day trial is scheduled for Aug. 16, 2021

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(File)
Christmas break extended for UBCO students

Move made to support mental health of students, accommodate ‘overload’ of work

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Gas prices take a hike in Vernon on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Gas going up in North Okanagan

Prices jumping more than 10 cents at some stations

Kelowna firefighters on scene of an apartment fire on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
Firefighters tend to apartment blaze along Gordon Drive

Two dogs were found safe inside the unit

RCMP are investigating after a witness reported seeing two individuals breaking into and removing items from a mailbox in Armstrong Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Thieves break into, steal items from North Okanagan mailbox

Police investigating after items were taken from a community mailbox on Van Kleeck Avenue Thursday

Most Read