2 men charged with 1st degree murder after woman's body found in field near Trois-Rivières
René Kègle and Francis Martel appeared in court in Trois-Rivières Friday
Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Ophélie Martin-Cyr, whose body was found by a farmer in a field in Yamachiche, Que., west of Trois-Rivières Wednesday.
René Kègle, 38, and Francis Martel, 31, were arrested Thursday and appeared in the Trois-Rivières courthouse Friday afternoon. Kègle has been charged with the first-degree murder of Martin-Cyr and also faces a charge of attempted murder of an unnamed person by discharging a restricted firearm.
Martel has been charged with the first-degree murder of Martin-Cyr and being an accomplice after the fact.
Both men have existing criminal records. Kègle was found guilty of assault in 2017 and was sentenced to five months in jail, ultimately serving 15 months' probation. He was also convicted of assault in 2006.
Martel has a number of weapons and drug charges on his record dating back to 2005. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer. He also pleaded guilty to breaking conditions in May 2018.
2 other bodies found in torched car
Quebec provincial police say they believe Martin-Cyr's death is also connected to the deaths of two people found in a torched car in Trois-Rivières the night before her body was found.
Martin-Cyr was last seen alive Tuesday night by a 21-year-old woman police described as her friend. Police say the friend called police after fleeing from a moving vehicle. It's unclear whether Martin-Cyr was in the car as well.
Martin-Cyr was reported missing Wednesday morning. Her body had signs of violence on it when it was discovered.
Friends of 19-y-o Ophélie Martin-Cyr wait outside Trois-Rivières courthouse to greet the two men accused of killing her. <a href="https://t.co/jdZthQNARR">pic.twitter.com/jdZthQNARR</a>—@TurnbullJay
After Martin-Cyr went missing, the torched car containing the remains of two people was found in Sainte-Marthe-du-Cap, 35 kilometres east of the town where Martin-Cyr's body was found.
Police are still analyzing the car and say they have yet to identify the two victims.
Roommate talks of 'toxic' acquaintances
Martin-Cyr's roommate, Gabrielle Bouchard-Lamy, said she is devastated by her longtime friend's death.
"I keep telling myself, 'If only I'd gone to get her that night,'" Bouchard-Lamy told Radio-Canada.
Bouchard-Lamy said she and her roommate hung out with the same crowd, but she'd recently decided to stop seeing some of those people, concluding they were "toxic" and "unpredictable."
She said she feels guilty now that she didn't persuade her friend to do the same.
"I wonder why she didn't call, why she went back to those people."
Martin-Cyr had recently gone back to school, studying to become a paralegal at Collège Ellis in Trois-Rivières.
"Her death is such a loss to the people who knew her," Bouchard-Lamy said. "She was always there to make you feel better. She was always smiling. She didn't deserve this."
- With files from Radio-Canada