(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

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Creston RCMP detachment. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston RCMP Report: 61 calls for assistance from Jan. 18 to 25

On Jan. 24, police were called to the Kingsgate port of entry after an American driver was suspected of being impaired after crashing his truck into a cement barrier.

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer near Argenta in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read