Martin Carpentier's body found, showing signs he died by suicide, police say
MONTREAL -- Quebec provincial police say they've located the body of a man that appears to be Martin Carpentier, the subject of a manhunt lasting nearly two weeks after his two young daughters were found dead.
Indications are Carpentier died by suicide, police said in an announcement on Twitter.
"Following information received from a citizen, the body of a man was found in the Saint-Apollinaire sector at around 7 p.m.," tweeted the Surete du Quebec.
"All signs suggest that it's Martin Carpentier. According to initial findings, he took his own life."
They said they would not be releasing a further statement at the moment.
Carpentier, 44, was sought after he disappeared along with his two daughters, Norah and Romy, ages 11 and six, on July 8.
The two girls' bodies were found in the same wooded area July 11. Their funeral was held today in Levis.
Police spent nearly two weeks exhaustively searching a 50-square-kilometre area for signs of Carpentier and asking local residents to search their property.
They said Carpentier had broken into a trailer at one point and appeared to be scavenging for food and supplies to survive.
For Saint-Apollinaire locals, it was a relief to hear the search was over, their mayor told CTV News on Monday.
The small town, which is about a 20-minute drive south of Quebec City, had been inundated by police and it had been hard on everyone, said Saint-Apollinaire Mayor Bernard Ouellet. More than that, they were living in fear, he said.
"Even though it's bad news this individual has died, for the population it's very good. Their worries can start to ease," said Ouellet.
"They've been really scared of this man -- we didn't know if he was dangerous or not."
In another sense it was a shame he was found dead, Ouellet said.
"For the family, it's different," he said. "For the family, the mother... unfortunately they won't have a full explanation. That's awful."
Police had spent the last few days warning the public not to expect Carpentier to be found alive.
On Saturday, they called off the ground search, saying today they believed there was very little chance he could have survived this long given the conditions.
“Since July 8, the date on which we found Martin Carpentier's damaged vehicle, we have received, processed, validated and analyzed more than 1,000 reports,” police said at the time.
“We have searched over 700 addresses, outbuildings, cottages and other places to locate or find clues.”
Police have said Carpentier and his daughters were seen in their hometown of Levis, Que., and about an hour later, they were believed to be involved in a serious car crash on Highway 20 in Saint-Apollinaire.
But when police arrived, no one was inside the wrecked vehicle and an Amber Alert was triggered the following day for the missing girls.
-- With files from The Canadian Press