New Brunswick

Police go through timeline of search for missing 14-year-old Bathurst girl

Bathurst Police Chief Stéphane Roy updated the public on the search for missing 14-year-old Madison Roy-Boudreau during a livestreamed news conference on Thursday.

Madison Roy-Boudreau hasn't been seen since May 11

Madison Roy-Boudreau was last seen getting into a grey Ford Ranger in Bathurst on May 11. (Bathurst Police Force)

Despite long days and valiant search efforts, Bathurst Police Chief Stéphane Roy said they've been unable to find Madison Roy-Boudreau. 

The 14-year-old Bathurst girl was last seen getting into a grey Ford Ranger pickup truck on May 11. 

During a live-streamed news conference on Thursday afternoon, Roy said police found and seized the Ford Ranger, and spent several days meticulously searching the area where the truck was believed to have been seen after Madison's disappearance. 

Roy gave a detailed step-by-step account of the investigation, including a mention of the arrest of 42-year-old Steven Laurette of South Tetagouche, a small community west of Bathurst. 

Laurette was arrested and charged with failing to comply with a court undertaking. The police objected to his release and he remains in custody, said Roy. 

But he wouldn't say why he mentioned Laurette. He was asked whether Laurette was "a person of interest" in Madison's disappearance, whether he owned the Ford Ranger, and whether Madison's family knows him. Roy declined to provide more details, saying only that Laurette's arrest coincided with the investigation. 

Asked why Laurette's arrest made it into the timeline, Roy said, "because the public knows that he's been arrested and they had questions about why he was arrested in the same time period." 

Roy said Madison was reported missing by her father at 11:18 p.m. on May 11. Her father said the last time he saw her was at about 7:30 that morning as she headed off to school. 

By the next day, police were told that Madison was seen getting into a grey Ford Ranger

"Quickly and with the assistance of the public, officers were able to identify and locate the truck in question," Roy said. "Police immediately searched the residence and property where the truck was located in an effort to locate Madison."

He said officers "maintained surveillance on the truck and residence until the following day." 

On May 13, officers arrested the driver of the truck and took him into custody. Police got a warrant and seized the vehicle. 

Roy said Laurette appeared in court on May 14 and was charged with failing to comply with the conditions of a court undertaking. 

That same day, Roy said, police received information that the truck had been seen near a quarry at 2100 St. Anne St. He said police, along with the help of a police dog and a drone, searched the area. 

On May 16, based on information received, police searched a "specific location" in the LSD of South Tetagouche with the help of a police dog. With the owner's permission, police searched the house and property but didn't find Madison, said Roy.

On May 19, a group of about 30 searchers, including ground search and rescue teams, and an RCMP canine unit, returned to the quarry to begin a carefully-plotted search of the area. 

"Volunteers worked tirelessly for 12- to 16 hour-days for three days," said Roy. 

Because of extreme heat, fatigue and rain in the forecast, Roy said he made the decision to suspend the search over the weekend.

Roy said he explained the situation to Madison's father, who "understood the rationale and thanked the volunteers for their relentless work." 

That search resumed on Monday, but Roy said, "Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to locate Madison."

Roy also explained his inability to share certain details of the investigation, saying there was a difference between conducting a search for a missing person and a "criminal investigation into a missing person's report." 

He said Bathurst police are conducting a criminal investigation "and as such, we are not at liberty to disclose pertinent information to what could eventually be for a criminal proceeding, this for fear of jeopardizing or compromising the integrity of the investigation."

Roy asked anyone whose vehicle has a video camera, and who happened to be driving around Bathurst between 7 and 11 a.m. on May 11, to contact them. 

Madison is five foot four inches tall and weighs 119 pounds. She has brown eyes and medium-length brown hair. She was last seen wearing a grey sweater, camouflage pants and silver shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bathurst Police Force at 506-548-0420 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Urquhart is a journalist with CBC New Brunswick, based in Saint John. She can be reached at mia.urquhart@cbc.ca.

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