(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

A masked statue of Billy Barker sits on top of his namesake casino in downtown Quesnel. As we head into the weekend, Northern Health is urging residents to follow all provincial health orders, which include mandatory masks inside all indoor spaces. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
A masked statue of Billy Barker sits on top of his namesake casino, eight months to the day it was closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Owner Brad Kotzer said they won’t be opening in 2020. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Northern Health urges residents to respect COVID-19 rules

The number of COVID-19 cases has been growing, and Northern Health saw 35 new cases from Nov. 26-27

Coralee Oakes won 48.42 per cent of ballots in the Cariboo North district in the October election, en route to winning a third term as MLA. (Photo Submitted)
Cariboo North MLA sworn in, despite technical difficulties

Coralee Oakes began her third term as the region’s MLA but couldn’t attend the virtual ceremony

Dr. Richard McAloney, an adjunct professor in the school of business at the University of Northern British Columbia, is the founding director of the new Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North. (University of Northern British Columbia Facebook Photo)
New innovation hub aims to bridge the technology adoption gap northern B.C.

The Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North is hosted at UNBC

The Quesnel RCMP detachment will be donating the goods collected for the holiday season to four local charities. (Quesnel RCMP)
Quesnel RCMP hoping to ‘stuff a cruiser’

Items donated on Dec. 6 and 7 will be given to four local charities

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

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)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

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

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

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

Most Read