Suspect faces second-degree murder charges in two children's deaths in Wendake, near Quebec City
The suspect in the deaths of two children in Wendake, Que., a Huron-Wendat First Nation near Quebec City, faces second-degree murder charges, provincial police say.
Michael Chicoine, 30, turned himself into Quebec City police on Sunday in relation to the deaths.
The two children, reportedly brothers who were six and two years old, were found dead in a home in Wendake. A judge issued a publication ban prohibits media from publishing the children's names or any information that could help identify them.
Provincial police say they received a call from Wendake police at around 2 a.m. Sunday about the discovery of the two bodies.
"We are talking about two young children and we are not ruling out that it is a family tragedy," said SQ spokesperson Ann Mathieu on Sunday.
Early Monday morning, the SQ said it had questioned Chicoine on Sunday night and that he would remain in custody until legal proceedings, which are scheduled for Tuesday.
He faces two counts of second-degree murder, said spokesperson Louis-Philippe Bibeau.
Provincial and Wendake police are both involved in the investigation.
Outgoing grand chief of the Wendat nation Konrad Sioui said the two children were brothers.
"It's a day that forces us to reconsider our approach to mental health," he said. "There are people who suffer in silence. It is not acceptable that little angels like that are the object of so much violence."
Sioui said his community does not have enough resources and infrastructure to deal with mental health problems.
Sioui indicated that the mother of the children was transported to a hospital.
"There are no words to describe her pain, she was transported quickly for treatment," he said adding that the family, originally from Sept-Iles, had just moved to the Wendake.
Forensic investigators will analyze the scene on Sunday, she added, and autopsies are expected to be conducted on the children early this week.
On Monday, Quebec's newly named Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ian Lafreniere tweeted his support for the community of Wendake.
Nous sommes de tout coeur avec la communauté de Wendake. Mon collègue @CarmantLionel et moi avons offert notre appui et notre soutien au Grand chef Sioui et à toute son équipe.— Ian Lafrenière (@IanLafreniere) October 12, 2020
Quebec Premier Francois Legault offered his condolences to the entire Huron-Wendat Nation on Sunday and said his heart was broken by the news of the children's deaths.
"All of Quebec is devastated this morning by this unspeakable tragedy," Legault tweeted.
The province's new Indigenous affairs minister tweeted his condolences to the children's loved ones.
"My first thoughts go out to the loved ones and the family of these two young children," Ian Lafreniere wrote.
"There are no words to describe such a tragedy. As a father, my heart is shattered."
Mes premières pensées vont aux proches et à la famille de ces deux jeunes enfants. Il n'y a pas de mot pour décrire un drame semblable. Mon cœur de père est bouleversé. La SQ fera la lumière sur les événements.https://t.co/e8hbeWUbil— Ian Lafrenière (@IanLafreniere) October 11, 2020
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 11, 2020.