The grieving mother of two young girls found dead in woodland after vanishing with their father has shared a poignant photo as a manhunt is launched.
The bodies of Amélie Lemieux’s daughters Romy, six, and Norah Carpentier, 11, were discovered on Saturday bringing a devastating end to the three-day missing persons search.
Police are still desperately looking for their dad Martin Carpentier, 44, who was last seen shopping with the girls at 8.30pm on Wednesday.
His car was later found abandoned after being involved in a crash in Saint-Apollinaire in Quebec City, Canada.
Ms Lemieux – who is separated from Mr Carpentier – initially posted a plea on Facebook saying: “Need to find my girls and their daddy” accompanied with snaps of the trio.
And yesterday she shared a heartbreaking image of a burning candle with her daughters’ names underneath.
Thousands of heartfelt messages are being left on the mum’s Facebook as people are united in grief at the death of the young girls.
Police believe Mr Carpentier is still alive but warned “we don’t know exactly what state of mind” he’s in.
A spokesman added: “We ask people not to take any chances. So if they have any information or if they see him, just call 911 and we will take charge of the situation.”
An Amber Alert was first issued for the trio on Thursday in Saint-Apollinaire before being stood down on Saturday afternoon following the devastating discovery.
Sgt. Ann Mathieu said of the discovery of the bodies: “Currently, everything leads us to believe that these are the two young girls.
“The important thing currently, in mobilising the population, is to be vigilant because we are actively looking for Martin Carpentier who could be in the Saint-Agapit, Saint-Apollinaire sector.”
SQ officers searching the Saint-Appollinaire area for the two girls and their father found some objects that may be connected to them on Friday, police confirmed.
“We found some objects yesterday, but we can find a lot of different objects in the woods, so what we have to do right now is to be sure that those objects could be related to Martin Carpentier and his two daughters,” Mathieu told CTV.
Mr Carpentier’s girlfriend, Cathy Gingras, who is not the mother of the girls, recorded a desperate plea to him on Friday morning, shared by the SQ on Twitter.
“Martin, we’re worried. We haven’t heard anything from you since the accident. We want to know if you’re okay, and the girls, Romy, Norah,” she said.
“We want to know if they’re okay… if you’re okay. Give us some news, let us know, call your parents, whatever it is. The important thing is that you’re all all right.
“We just want to know you’re all right.”
Premier of Quebec François Legault has described the two girls’ deaths as a “national tragedy.”
He tweeted: “Like all Quebecers, I am overwhelmed, without words. Losing two children, the most expensive thing in life, is incomprehensible. It is a national tragedy.
“I have a special thought for Norah and Romy’s mother. For all their loved ones too. The whole of Quebec is crying with you today.
“If you need help: say so. Professional resources exist, such as the Parent Line at 1-800-361-5085. There is no shame in seeking support and listening.”