Missing U.S. couple found in Magog, Que. and were likely abducted: provincial police

A New York couple in their 70s who went missing were found in Quebec on Tuesday -- and provincial police (SQ) think they were abducted. 

Five suspects aged 36 to 75 -- all residents of Quebec -- have been arrested in connection to the case. The SQ said two are from Montreal, two are from Akwesasne, and one is from Magog. 

According to SQ Sgt. Claude Denis, four of the suspects are due in court on Wednesday. One has been released, but the force hasn't said which. 

"These people should appear in Quebec today, but it is not known for the moment where, and they should face charges related to kidnapping and possibly other charges," Denis said Wednesday morning. 

Prior to being found, James Helm Sr. and Sandra Helm -- who reside in Moira, New York -- were last seen last Sunday night and police said there were concerns for their safety.

James Helm has been the Moira highway supervisor for 11 years, according to Moira town supervisor, Justus Martin. He said Moira officials began to worry about Helm's whereabouts when he didn't show up for work on Monday morning. 

"He’s very committed to his job. This whole situation has been a lot to process,” Martin said, adding that Helm is an American citizen, who might not have even travelled to Canada before. 

In a message posted to Twitter, Quebec police confirmed they found the couple safe and sound on Tuesday. Police reportedly found them in the Magog area around 5 p.m. 

Le couple de disparus de l’État de NY a été retrouvé sain et sauf par nos policiers vers 17h dans le secteur de Magog.
Cette disparition est considérée comme un enlèvement l’enquête a été confiée au Service des enquêtes sur les crimes contre la personne. 3 individus sont détenus

— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) September 29, 2020

The Crimes Against the Person Investigation Department is treating this case as a kidnapping. The United States Federal Police (FBI), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), New York State Police Department, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Department and various municipal police forces also participated in the investigation.

Nos enquêteurs poursuivent les démarches avec les autorités américaines pour la suite du dossier. Soulignons la collaboration du F.B.I, de la GRC, du New York State Police, du Akwesasne Mohawk Police et de différents corps de polices municipaux.

— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) September 29, 2020

With files from The Canadian Press. 


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