After a manhunt that stretched over 12 days, it appears Martin Carpentier has been found dead.
The Sûreté du Québec said it had found the body of a man in the area of Saint-Apollinaire around 7 p.m. Monday evening “following information given by a citizen.” The land search for Carpentier had been abandoned by the police over the weekend.
“Everything leads us to believe that it is Martin Carpentier. According to a first analysis, it appears he killed himself,” the SQ announced on Twitter. The police force said it will hold a press conference in the coming days and would not give any further details.
#Recherches Martin Carpentier| À la suite d’une information reçue d'un citoyen, le corps d’un homme a été trouvé dans le secteur de Saint-Apollinaire vers 19h. Tout porte à croire qu’il s’agirait de Martin Carpentier. Selon les premières constatations, il se serait enlevé la vie.
— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) July 21, 2020
The body was reportedly found on the grounds of a private residence, near an area where police had carried out several searches, according to a neighbour who preferred to remain anonymous.
“The searches were very intense, but there are so many places to hide in the area — abandoned huts, hunting camps, shelters,” the neighbour told Presse Canadienne. “There are plenty of places where he could eat or drink, maybe he had a drink in the small stream behind.”
He reported an intense rotting smell in the last few hours near where the body was found.
“I passed there yesterday, there was a smell of dead animals and it struck me, but odours of dead animals in the area are frequent,” the man added.
The 44-year-old Lévis man had been missing since the evening of July 8, with his two daughters, Romy, 6, and Norah, 11.
Their car was found damaged in an accident on Highway 20, then an Amber Alert was issued the next day. The bodies of the two children were found a few days later in a wooded area of Saint-Apollinaire. The SQ confirmed their deaths, without revealing the cause.
The family of the deceased held a funeral for the two girls on Monday in Lévis.
On Thursday, provincial police said Carpentier, 44, had broken into a local property to obtain supplies to ensure his survival.
However, Chief Inspector Guy Lapointe said before the body was found on Monday that if Carpentier was still alive, he would have been low on supplies and wouldn’t be able to last much longer. Police also suspected he might have been injured and incapable of making rational decisions.
Lapointe said the SQ had received, examined and verified more than 1,000 tips and searched more than 700 residences while searching for Carpentier, who was the only suspect in the deaths of the two young girls.