Montreal

Cédrika Provencher: Quebec provincial police get 200 tips from public

Quebec provincial police say they are making progress on their investigation into the death of Cédrika Provencher, the young girl whose remains were found eight years after her disappearance.

More than 200 officers search wooded area where remains were found Dec. 11

Visitors have left hundreds of messages and stuffed toys at the site where Cédrika Provencher's remains were found on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (CBC/Morgan Dunlop)

Quebec provincial police say they are making progress on their investigation into the death of Cédrika Provencher, the young girl whose remains were found last Friday, eight years after her disappearance.

Sgt. Guy Lapointe told reporters Thursday police have received more than 200 tips from the public since the girl's remains were found. 

Lapointe offered few details about what police have uncovered so far, saying he didn't want to compromise the investigation. 

"Our absolute priority is to make an arrest, make charges and ultimately get a guilty verdict," he said. 

He said they are "satisfied with the search" underway.

He also confirmed that police are still interested in the driver of a red Acura that was seen near where the girl disappeared in Trois-Rivières, Que., in July 2007.

Back in September 2007, police said they were looking for a white male between 30 and 40 years old driving a red Acura. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
Two months after Cédrika disappeared, police announced they were searching for that car and its driver, a French-speaking man of medium build between age of 30 and 40.

Police believe she was approached by an adult who asked for help to find a missing dog. 

No suspect has ever been publicly identified and no one has been arrested in connection with her death.

Snow blankets crime scene

Police ramped up the search for new evidence after the remains of the girl, who was nine years old at the time she went missing, were discovered Dec. 11 by hunters in a wooded area near Trois-Rivières.

Investigators have set up a command centre at the edge of the woods and have dispatched a crew of specially trained officers to the area.

More than 200 officers were dispatched to search the area for clues in the wooded area where Cédrika Provencher's remains were found Dec. 11. (Radio-Canada)

Lapointe said police will continue to scour the area in the coming days, possibly through the holiday season.

Police intensified the search earlier this week in an effort to gather information while the ground was still clear of snow. 

By Wednesday morning, a thin layer of snow had blanketed the crime scene, but Lapointe said the weather wasn't preventing investigators from doing their job.

François Doré, a retired Sûreté du Québec officer who worked on the case, said the discovery of the remains marked "a major step" in the investigation.

He said improved DNA identification methods could help police build a case.

Cédrika was last seen outside near her home, searching for someone's lost dog on a July evening in 2007.

Police say she was approached by an adult who asked for help to find a missing dog. She was never seen again.

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