Man arrested in violent killing of teen girl in the Laurentians
Quebec provincial police have arrested a 51-year-old man in Montreal in connection with the murder of a teenage girl on Wednesday in the Laurentians.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) announced the arrest on Thursday afternoon, saying they wanted to share the information quickly to reassure the public.
A passerby found the body of 13-year-old Océane Boyer of Lachute on Wednesday morning near Horrem Road and Berlin Street in Brownsburg-Chatham, about 90 km away from Montreal.
Officers responded to a 911 call. She was quickly transported to hospital, where her death was confirmed.
According to the SQ, there were traces of violence on the girl's body.
Boyer was last seen at her home on Wednesday morning. It was a school day, but police cannot confirm if she intended to go to school or not. Her parents reported her missing later in the day.
"A family reported someone missing. Rapidly we were able to connect the two events. So, we were able to tell the family that the body of a young victim was found and we were able to confirm later on that it was a homicide," said SQ spokesperson Marc Tessier.
The suspect is being interviewed at SQ headquarters and is likely to appear in court on Friday. Police would not reveal if the man knew the victim.
Investigators interviewed people near the site of the crime, as well as people who knew the victim. A CSI unit was also at the scene.
Tessier said SQ investigators are in touch with the school board, but Thursday is a snow day.
A crisis centre will be set up at the school to help students and staff on Friday. Some people have brought flowers to the centre where Boyer was a member.
The mayor of Lachute, Carl Péloquin, noted it was a devastating time for the community.
"As a mayor, you're always responsible -- you feel responsible for the security of your citizens," he said, adding his son had gone to elementary school with Boyer. "It's pretty hard to observe those kinds of incidents."
The girl's parents gave an emotional interview to TVA on Thursday, describing her as having a big heart.
Her parents said she was found partially clothed. She had left for school that morning, but didn't return home.
They made a plea to the public to come forward with any information to help with the investigation.
Police have asked anyone with information to call the SQ at 1-800-569-4264. All calls will be treated confidentially.