Montreal

Air Force will end search for missing Quebec businessman and his son

The Royal Canadian Air Force will gradually reduce its search for a missing Quebec businessman and his son before handing the case over to the Sûreté du Québec.​​​​​​​

Sûreté du Québec will take over missing persons investigation

Canadian Forces Griffon helicopters similar to this one, shown in a file photo, have been involved in the search for Quebec businessman Stéphane Roy and his son. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The Royal Canadian Air Force will gradually reduce its search for a missing Quebec businessman and his son before handing the case over to the Sûreté du Québec.

Stéphane Roy and his 14-year-old son Justin were reported missing on July 11 after failing to return home from a fishing trip in Lac-De La Bidière, in the upper Laurentians west of La Tuque, Que.

The pair were aboard Roy's Robinson R44 helicopter.

Roy is the founder and owner of Les Serres Sagami Inc., which produces greenhouse-grown tomatoes and other produce under the Sagami and Savoura brands.

Maj. Christian Labbé said air rescuers will fly over "high probability areas" on Saturday looking for the pair and will do so again on Sunday.

"There is always the possibility that we'll come back," he said. "Because we have a mandate, 365 days a year, for aerial search and rescue in Canada. So we're always on call and we're always available."

Stéphane Roy is president of Sagami, a greenhouse company. A release from the company said that Roy is an experienced pilot who has many hours of experience flying the helicopter in question. (Radio-Canada)

A statement from the air force stated it will relinquish the case to the provincial police as a missing persons investigation.

Labbé said air force rescuers had been flying slowly and at low altitudes looking for the missing father and son, but a thick forest canopy and highly dangerous terrain hampered search efforts.

The initial search area was about 20,000 square kilometres, but rescuers used cellular data to narrow the search zone to about 2,200 square kilometres.

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