Her we go again
Quebec man to be charged after his son's 17-year-old girlfriend found dead
July 30, 2008 - 17:45
By: Nelson Wyatt, THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL - A search for a missing 17-year-old girl turned into a homicide investigation Wednesday after Quebec provincial police found her body in a wooded area.
The father of the girl's boyfriend is to be arraigned in Sorel on Thursday in her death but the exact charges have not yet been determined by the Crown, said Sgt. Marc Butz.
Melissa Beaudin of Montreal vanished early Wednesday morning, prompting the police dragnet in the tiny farming community of Yamaska, 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal.
After hours of intense police activity, a coroner's van was seen entering the search perimeter set up by police as canine units recruited to aid the investigation pulled out.
"We found the body of the adolescent in question," said a grim-faced Sgt. Joyce Kemp as she emerged from the cordon to address reporters.
"The scene is protected now and there is a lot of work for the investigators to do. It was a violent death and there will be an autopsy on the body."
The case, which dominated all-news channels in Quebec, came on the eve of the first-year anniversary of the disappearance of Cedrika Provencher.
The 10-year-old girl vanished from nearby Trois-Rivieres last July 31 after she told someone she was helping a man look for a dog. The massive search for her grabbed headlines nationwide but she has never been found.
Kemp would not comment on how Beaudin might have died, saying that would be determined by the autopsy.
"I can say the death was not through the use of a gun or a knife," Kemp said. She also said it was too early to say if Beaudin had been sexually assaulted.
The discovery of the body came shortly after police released a photo of the missing girl, who had long dark hair and piercings in her left ear.
Police had been tight-lipped about the case but by early afternoon were interviewing one man, had impounded a small grey car for forensic analysis and set up a perimeter around a local house.
Kemp said the son of the 44-year-old accused was also interviewed.
The father was stopped by police in his car shortly after the alert went out for the missing girl.
"The information that we received around 2 a.m. was to the effect that the young girl was seen for the last time with the father of her boyfriend," Kemp said. "Using the description of (his) car, police were able to locate and intercept him."
"The mother alerted the police that her daughter was missing."
Soon after, police called in search dogs and requested the help of a helicopter at daylight.
The search was complicated by the fact the rural community is surrounded by thick woods and large fields.
About 90 minutes after the alert went out for the girl, police intercepted the grey car belonging to the boyfriend's father on a road in the community. It sat for several hours at the side of the road, its driver's door open, with cruisers parked beside and behind it with their emergency lights flashing.
The car was put on a flatbed tow truck and taken away to be scoured by crime scene investigators.
Curious townsfolk came to watch the police operation from the edges of the perimeter and many expressed shock that such an event had happened in their normally peaceful village.