Over 200 police on scene as Cedrika Provencher investigation continues
Published Saturday, December 12, 2015 11:19PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 19, 2015 2:13PM EST
More than 200 police officers continue to scour the wooded area near Trois-Rivieres where the remains of Cedrika Provencher were found on Friday.
But as the investigation continues, the Surete du Quebec has said they will not be commenting further, saying only they hope to make an arrest soon and don't want to hinder efforts to find clues.
The girl’s body was found by a group of hunters on Friday. The remains were deep in the woods, only 15 kilometres away from where Provencher disappeared. She was last seen on July 31, 2007, asking people in her neighbourhood if they had seen a lost dog that did not belong to her.
Cédrika’s bike was found not far away from where she was last spotted, leaned up against a fire hydrant.
Police believed the driver of a red Acura, a man in his 30's, was somehow involved in the disappearance
On Sunday, hundreds of people from Trois-Rivieres, some of whom helped in the initial search for nine-year-old Provencher when she first went missing, have come to drop flowers and pay their respects to the grieving family.
"The family and the people were hoping we'd find her alive, but the reality came up very fast yesterday," said Trois-Rivieres Mayor Yves Levesque.
Tests confirmed the remains belong to the girl, who was 9 years old when she went missing.
"We can finally begin our grieving process," said Martin Provencher, Cedrika's father, who on Sunday thanked everyone involved in the search in a note on Facebook.
Filmmaker Stephane Parent, who for the past year and a half has been working on a documentary about Cedrika’s disappearance, said crime labs didn’t find anything in the red Acura, and the driver, who can’t be identified, did not cooperate with investigators.
Frustrated, Parent decided to work with the girl’s family to help find her.
“We always had hope that we would find Cedrika alive, especially her dad. News she was dead was devastating,” he said.
Even police officers who worked the case for years said they were feeling emotional. Many officers had Cedrika's photo on their desk.
“It was personal for them because most of them are fathers and mothers in there, so when a crime makes a kid victim, it's something special when you're a police officer,” said retired SQ officer Francois Dore.
Her disappearance spurred the creation of the Cédrika Provencher Foundation, founded in order to make sure the little girl's story wouldn't be forgotten, and to prevent what happened to her from happening to others.
"This is devastating news for a family that's been holding onto hope of seeing their daughter alive," said Pina Arcamone of the Missing Children's Network, who have worked with Cedrika's family since she went missing in 2007. "I know it's been eight long years for this family. Martin mentioned not long ago that he was tired to go on every day, not knowing where Cedrika was and he needed answers."
The SQ says the investigation into her disappearance, and now her death, is ongoing. The police force says anyone with information related to the investigation can contact them at 1-800-659-4264.