Montreal

Boy found unharmed, father arrested after 5-day Amber Alert ends in Quebec

The suspect in a five day-long Amber Alert across Quebec has surrendered to police, and his three-year-old son has been found safe, according to Quebec provincial police. 

Boy, 3, is now in the care of his mother; father surrendered to police Sunday

A police operation is still underway on Chemin de la Coulée-Carrier in Sainte-Paule, Que., in connection with the case. The SQ is urging people to avoid the area. (Radio-Canada)

The suspect in a five-day-long Amber Alert across Quebec has surrendered to police, and his three-year-old son has been found safe, according to Quebec provincial police.

In a tweet, the Sûreté du Québec said the boy is now in the care of his mother, while the suspect, his 36-year-old father, has been arrested.

They say the boy is unharmed and that the suspect is meeting with SQ investigators.

"He is doing well, that's the good news," SQ spokesperson Sgt. Claude Doiron said of the three-year-old.

"We are going to wait and see if he needs any other care ... but he has no apparent injuries and he was quite happy to see his mother."

Police ended the Amber Alert on Saturday evening, after they found the pair inside a home in Sainte-Paule, Que., where the Amber Alert was first issued on Tuesday. It is also where the search had been focused.

Quebec provincial police said in a news release on Sunday that they located the boy and his father in a house on Chemin de la Coulée-Carrier at about 4 p.m. on Saturday.

They began a negotiation process with the father that lasted until about noon on Sunday, when they say the man was taken into police custody.

"We can confirm that the three-year-old child was inside the residence and that he was not injured," the release said.

The SQ issued an Amber Alert for the boy on Tuesday after they believed his father abducted him from Sainte-Paule, which is located on the Gaspé Peninsula about 630 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Claude Doiron says the three-year-old boy was happy to see his mother. (Radio-Canada)

At the height of the search, the alert applied to all of Quebec and New Brunswick. It was one of the longest-lasting Amber Alerts to have taken place in Quebec.

More than 100 people from different organizations were deployed on the ground on Saturday to participate in the search.

The SQ had deployed several police units, which included officers on horseback and the K-9 unit, as well as heavy equipment, including an armoured truck.

'We're not immune to these kinds of situations'

The town's mayor, Pierre Dugré, said the heavy police presence had unnerved some residents and that anyone experiencing distress can call the municipality for psychological support.

"We watch TV and think, 'This could never happen here,' but then you realize that even if we're a small municipality, we're not immune to these kinds of situations," Dugré said.

Sainte-Paule Mayor Pierre Dugré says community members are worried for the boy's well-being. (Catherine-Poisson/Radio-Canada)

Police had previously said the pair could have been in the woods near the town on the Gaspé peninsula, adding that the man was known to have wilderness survival skills and may be using materials gathered from nearby chalets and trailers.

On Friday evening, police discovered personal belongings of both the father and son with traces of the pair's DNA. This confirmed police were searching in the right area, a dense forest near the town, and suggested the two were alive, said Hélène St-Pierre, a spokesperson for the SQ.

Dugré said the home where the two were found is in a more secluded part of the quaint municipality. The mayor said he did not know the family personally but that the suspect had recently moved back to the area.

With files from Radio-Canada

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