Search for toddler resumes in Gaspé's Sainte-Anne River after man's body recovered

Rescue workers have resumed the search for a two-year-old girl who was swept into the Sainte-Anne River in Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula and is still missing after the body of her mother's 37-year-old partner was pulled from the waters.

Mike Gagnon, his partner who survived and her daughter, 2, were in car that swerved into river Sunday

Mike Gagnon, 37, was from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Que. Gagnon's body was pulled from the Sainte-Anne River in Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula on Monday, a day after a car swerved into the waters. (Facebook)

Rescue workers have resumed the search for a two-year-old girl who was swept into the Sainte-Anne River in Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula and is still missing after the body of her mother's 37-year-old partner was pulled from the waters.

Over a period that saw parts of Quebec hit by heavy rain and flooding, Mike Gagnon, his partner and her daughter were in a car Sunday, driving along a road that provincial police said had been closed off due to flooding.

Parts of Quebec have been hit with heavy rain in recent weeks, causing flooding in nearly 200 municipalities.

Rescuers searched for the man and toddler for several hours. Late Monday afternoon, they pulled the body of Gagnon, 37, of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts from the waters.

Rescuers resumed the search Tuesday morning for a toddler still missing and believed to be in the Sainte-Anne River. (Radio-Canada)
"I told him not to cross there. I told him to stay. He crossed anyway," Jacques Gagnon, Mike Gagnon's father, told Radio-Canada.

Car started to float

According to provincial police spokesperson Claude Doiron, "At a certain point, the car started to float and there was a loss of control of the vehicle, which was taken away by the current."

Gagnon's partner, whose name has not been released, swam to safety after water buildup on the road near Sainte-Anne-des-Monts on Sunday caused the vehicle to swerve into the river around 6 p.m. ET.

The three took refuge on the roof of the vehicle as it sank. Rough waters then caused the car to flip, sending them into the water. 

Sgt. Christine Coulombe said Gagnon and the two-year-old were lost in the currents.

"A lady had managed to hang on to a branch and escaped from the river," said Coulombe.

The woman was taken to hospital, and Coulombe said she is expected to survive. 

With files from Radio-Canada