(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

Police say Quebec sisters were victims of double murder committed by their father

Tragic string of events began on July 8 when Martin Carpentier took his daughters for ice cream

A father who was the subject of an intense 10-day manhunt had killed his two young daughters with a blunt object and taken his own life before an Amber Alert was ever triggered for them, Quebec provincial police said Wednesday.

Chief Insp. Guy Lapointe said the tragic string of events began on July 8 when Martin Carpentier took his daughters Norah and Romy for ice cream. It ended with all three dead less than 12 hours later.

The “tipping point,” the police spokesman said, was a car crash, which is not believed to have been deliberate but seemingly caused Carpentier’s behaviour to veer from normal to erratic.

Police did not elaborate on a motive or what could have led to such a radical and swift change in Carpentier’s behaviour.

“The reality is that the suspect is deceased, so there are things we’ll never really know,” Lapointe told a news conference in Montreal.

But investigators are confident, he added, that by the morning of July 9, “all those sad events had already been played, and all three were already dead.”

He said that since the criminal investigation is complete, it’s now up to the provincial coroner to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The trio’s disappearance led to a search that only ended Monday night when Carpentier’s body was found.

The intense police search southwest of Quebec City lasted 10 days before being scaled back last weekend. It included two visits to the wooded property where Carpentier’s body was eventually discovered.

Carpentier was last seen crossing the highway with his daughters after abandoning the damaged vehicle, leaving behind his cell phone and a melting ice cream.

Norah, 11, and Romy, 6, were injured in the car crash, but they died from blunt force trauma inflicted by their father, investigators concluded.

The girls’ bodies were found July 11 in a wooded area in St-Apollinaire, Que., two days after the Amber Alert had been triggered.

Police said the Amber Alert wasn’t issued until the day after the crash because there was no immediate indication Carpentier would have abducted his daughters.

“There was worry, but you have to understand they were implicated in a car crash, so it was a worry in regards to their status or health following the car crash,” Lapointe told reporters in Montreal. ”It wasn’t a worry that the father would do anything to the daughters, and that’s exactly what we were getting from the family.”

Police said the crash was not deliberate, and there were signs Carpentier tried to regain control of the vehicle. But the accident was the moment when things began to change, Lapointe said.

“Every behaviour that was noted … prior to that moment, is behaviour that is normal, that fits what we would expect from that individual,” he said. “Except that from that point on, following the crash, it’s everything else that doesn’t add up to what we would call normal behaviour.”

Investigators believe Carpentier made his way to a trailer within the search perimeter, where he took items including a shovel and a lighter. While the girls were believed to be alive at that point, only Carpentier’s DNA was found inside.

The girls’ bodies were found about 750 metres from the trailer, and Carpentier’s body was found about 5.5 kilometres from the crash site.

Lapointe said that while the outcome of the investigation is unsatisfactory, police are confident they did everything they could to find the girls based on the information available to them.

He said police had visited the property where Carpentier was found on July 10 and 17, but it was outside the area being searched on foot and with dogs. At the time of the visits, the property owner had not noticed anything missing, although a ladder was later found in the area where the body was found.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Victoria for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

(Courtesy Saanich Police Dept.)
Police hope boot search will help find missing Saanich man

Sean Hart is known to walk for miles, with or without his boots

A Colwood couple has set up over 140 Christmas inflatable decorations around their property at 555 Girdou Rd. The home is lit with Christmas music playing from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Colwood house decorated to the nines with Christmas inflatables

Display on Girou Road open to spectators from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday

Shopping in the evening in downtown Victoria can be a good time to go, with relatively few people in store and plenty of room to physically distance, as this photo from Government Street shows. (Don Descoteau/News Staff) 
Shopping in the evening in downtown Victoria can be a good time to go, with relatively few people in store and plenty of room to physically distance, as this photo from Government Street shows. But thanks to a new program from the Downtown Victoria Business Association, many downtown businesses will soon be able to provide free delivery for customers across the region. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Downtown Victoria businesses offered free delivery for regional customers

DVBA launches ‘Downtown Delivers’ program Dec. 7

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read