Quebec provincial police believe they have found Martin Carpentier's body
Carpentier went missing with his 2 daughters on July 8, triggering an Amber Alert
Quebec provincial police say they believe they have located the body of Martin Carpentier, who was wanted in connection with the deaths of his two young daughters, about 30 kilometres south of Quebec City.
Carpentier, 44, went missing with his daughters on July 8, triggering an Amber Alert.
The girls' bodies were discovered three days later in a wooded area near Saint-Apollinaire, a rural community surrounded by forest and farmland not far from the St. Lawrence River.
Police said on Twitter that they located a body in the Saint-Apollinaire area at 7 p.m. ET after police received a tip from a citizen.
"Everything suggests that it is Martin Carpentier," the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) said Monday evening. "According to initial findings, he took his own life."
The SQ says it will not comment further for now.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Recherches?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Recherches</a> Martin Carpentier| À la suite d’une information reçue d'un citoyen, le corps d’un homme a été trouvé dans le secteur de Saint-Apollinaire vers 19h. Tout porte à croire qu’il s’agirait de Martin Carpentier. Selon les premières constatations, il se serait enlevé la vie.—@sureteduquebec
This news comes on the same day that a funeral was held for the two girls, six-year-old Romy Carpentier and her 11-year-old sister, Norah.
The funeral was held in Lévis, Que., just south of Quebec City. Friends and family gathered to remember the brief lives of Romy and Norah.
Several neighbours gathered near where the body was found on Monday evening to discuss the situation and take solace in the fact that the search was over after the full-scale manhunt gripped the community for nearly two weeks.
One neighbour, Nadia Chabot, said she'd hoped police would find Carpentier alive, but is relieved regardless.
Now, she said, the community, especially the kids, can finally relax.
"We can finally sleep in our own rooms tonight," said Chabot, who is sure she spotted Carpentier recently.
"I am 95 per cent sure it was him who I saw," she said. "That confirmed what we have heard over the last three nights."
Bernard Ouellet, the mayor of Saint-Apollinaire, said nobody wanted the 12-day search to end with a body, but they were all eager for it to conclude.
"Unfortunately he was found dead and that's difficult for people who wanted to know what happened," said Ouellete. "However, for those who were scared, it may be funny or strange to say, but this is good news."
Now, he said, people can get back to the life they had before the manhunt began.
"We will stop thinking about it," Ouellet said. "We will stop living in fear. We can finally go out on our land in peace."
Over the weekend, after days of searching the dense forest, provincial police said they were suspending the search for Carpentier in the woods around Saint-Apollinaire in order to pursue other leads.
Area residents had reportedly become frustrated with the lengthy, fruitless search, according to local media.
WATCH | Mourners honour Quebec sisters found dead in forest:
Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault defended the SQ's handling of the investigation on Monday.
"Everything was done in order to reach the objective," Guilbault said at a news conference.
"We were in contact throughout the process to make sure that everything went according to the rules, that things were going well and that they had the resources they needed."
With files from Radio-Canada