MONTREAL—Provincial police say two young sisters found dead after an Amber Alert near Quebec City this month were murdered with a blunt object by their father, who then took his own life.
All three deaths occurred within a 12-hour period following a July 8 car crash, police said Wednesday, updating the public on the case that gripped the province. Police had searched an area around a Quebec City suburb for 10 days before ending ground operations last weekend.
“We believe on the morning of the ninth of July, sadly, all those sad events had already been played and all three were already dead,” police spokesman Guy Lapointe told reporters.
Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy, 6, were injured in the car crash but were killed by blunt force trauma by their father.
The girls’ bodies were found July 11 in a wooded area in St-Apollinaire, southwest of Quebec City, two days after an Amber Alert had been triggered. Their father, Martin Carpentier, who took his own life, died the same day as the girls, but was only discovered 12 days after the three disappeared.
Police said the Amber Alert wasn’t sent until the day after the crash because there wasn’t immediate concern about the girls’ safety.
“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 car crash was not deliberate and there were signs Carpentier tried to regain control of the vehicle. But the crash was the moment where 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.”
The three were last seen alive in the minutes following the crash, crossing the highway and heading into the woods. Investigators found Carpentier’s DNA inside a trailer within the search perimeter.
The girls’ bodies were found about 750 metres away from the trailer and Martin Carpentier’s body was found Monday night about 5.5 kilometres away from the crash site.
Police said when the Amber Alert was launched, the girls had already been killed earlier that morning. Lapointe said police were working with the information they had and are confident they did everything they could to find the girls.
Lapointe said the criminal investigation is complete, and the province’s coroner will now investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths.