Police find items linked to missing three-year-old Quebec boy; search now in fifth day
In their ongoing search for an abducted 3-year-old, Quebec police say they’ve uncovered numerous objects used by the boy and his alleged kidnapper, his father.
Traces of the father and son's DNA were found on the objects, confirming that the pair “were indeed in the search area since the Amber Alert was issued,” according to a Friday night press release from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
Police continued to search the Sainte-Paul area overnight, where the boy was last seen around 1 p.m. on Aug. 31, using loudspeakers in an attempt to communicate with the father.
The boy has short brown hair. He weighs 30 lbs (14 kilograms).
He was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt with a six or nine graphic in blue camouflage, as well as silver stripes on the sleeves and bottom of the shirt.
He was also wearing dark blue jeans and beige boots.
His father, 36, is 5'7" (1.70 metres), has brown hair and blue eyes and weighs 180 lbs (82 kilograms).
He was last seen wearing a dark sweater with a black logo as well as black army-style pants.
The Amber Alert had been extended province-wide and into New Brunswick on Thursday, where it is no longer in effect.
The RCMP had also alerted residents of the Madawaska, Restigouche and Gloucester areas of northwestern New Brunswick to notify police should they see the missing boy or his alleged kidnapper.
The Ambert Alert remains in effect in Quebec. Throughout Friday night — the fourth night of the search — officers and specialized teams will continue to sweep the region, which is about an hour east of Rimouski.
POLICE SAY ALLEGED KIDNAPPER LIKELY HIDING WITH SON NEAR QUEBEC CITY
Quebec provincial police said Thursday the father is hiding with the child in a densely forested area about 400 kilometres northeast of the provincial capital.
The SQ has deployed numerous officers on foot, on ATVs, as well as in a helicopter.
"This is all with the goal of finding [the boy] as fast as possible," said Claude Dorion, SQ spokesperson in the region. "The Sainte-Paule municipality is situated in the mountains at the south of the city of Matane, so it's forest. It's very big. It's a vast territory, so it's taking a lot of effort to do our work."
Police say they did find a grey (hand painted), dirty all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in the area where searches are taking place.
"As a result, the suspect and his son could now be travelling on foot or by vehicle," the SQ said. "We are asking citizens and motorists to pay attention to the physical and clothing description of the pair, but not to venture near Sainte-Paule in order to avoid hindering the search, confusing the dog handlers or risking getting lost."
Police warn that the father could be armed and is likely to "act on impulse." Officers are asking anyone who sees him to not approach him.
The SQ says the investigation has led them to believe the father "has in-depth knowledge of the forest environment, and that he has the ability to organize himself quickly for survival in the forest."
"It is therefore possible that he moved on foot to chalets and/or outbuildings in the area."
Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call 911.
Quebec Alert Ready- SQ- AMBER ALERT for Bas-Saint-Laurent area. On August 31 at 1 P.M., Jake Côté, 2 years old, was adbducted in Ste-Paule by David Côté , 36 years old. Looking out for a tout terrain, grey. If seen, call 9 1 1. #AmberAlert https://t.co/3a8JR8yQcW— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) September 1, 2021