Hundreds turn out at Montreal funeral home for 2 children

Hundreds of friends, family and members of the public showed up Sunday afternoon at an east-end Montreal funeral home to pay respects to two young children who died late last month.

Hundreds of friends, family and members of the public showed up Sunday afternoon at an east-end Montreal funeral home to pay respects to two young children who died late last month.

The visitation for five-year-old Olivier Turcotte and his three-year-old sister Anne-Sophie Turcotte took place Sunday at Complexe Funéraire des Trembles.

Visitors, some of whom waited outside the funeral home for almost an hour before the viewing began, expressed regret about their short lives and left messages of support for the family.

"It's terrible," one visitor told reporters outside the building. "When you hear about it on the news, you can't help but be touched."

The children's bodies were found in their Piedmont, Que., home the morning of Feb. 21 by police. The authorities were contacted by worried relatives who had not heard from their father in some time.

The children's father, Guy Turcotte — a 36-year-old cardiologist — was found in the home in need of medical attention because of a self-inflicted drug overdose, police said. He was taken to the St-Jérôme health and social service centre in Quebec's Laurentians region, where doctors recognized him as one of their colleagues.

Hospital director François Therrien confirmed Turcotte was having marital problems with his wife, who is also a doctor at the St-Jérôme hospital. She was out of town on a ski trip when the incident occurred.

At Sunday's viewing, the children's great-uncle said the family is rallying around the mother and giving her support.

"She has phenomenal strength," Yvan Gagnon said, "much stronger than mine."

Guy Turcotte has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. His next court appearance is April 30.

Piedmont is about 60 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

With files from the Canadian Press