Provincial police are investigating the death of a woman that they say is related to the abduction of a six-year-old boy in Saint-Eustache, Que., northwest of Montreal.
An Amber Alert for Louka Fredette remains in effect.
Police say the boy is with his 41-year-old father, Ugo Fredette, who is believed to be driving a white Ford F150 or F250 pickup truck with licence plate FLK5965.
Police on search for 6-year-old Quebec boy1:49
Police say the truck has the word “Axon” on the side in red.
The boy went missing around 5:35 p.m. ET Thursday, police say.
A Sûreté du Québec spokesperson said the discovery of the body of a woman at a house on Antoine-Séguin Boulevard in Saint-Eustache is what led to the Amber Alert being issued.
Louka Fredette. (Sûreté du Québec)
Police have not revealed the identity of the woman or her connection to the boy and his father, but Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said “there is a link between the woman and [Ugo Fredette].”
Bilodeau said Amber Alerts are only issued when there is concern for a child’s safety. To date, all 12 Amber Alerts issued in Quebec have resulted in the safe return of the children concerned.
Police said their priority right now is to find the boy and his father and added that most police departments in Quebec are involved in the search.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911.
Provincial police released a photo of the pair that they said was taken around 7 p.m. at a local Walmart in Saint-Eustache.
Family, acquaintances appeal for boy’s safe return
Louka’s aunt, Annie Ricard, said the family is in shock and hoping police find the boy quickly.
She said Fredette had a habit of taking the boy camping in the United States, but they could be anywhere.
“They could be hiding in the woods … He could be telling the boy they’re going to have fun, to go camping,” she told Radio-Canada.
According to Radio-Canada, Fredette was the producer on a documentary about Cédrika Provencher, a nine-year-old girl from Trois-Rivieres, Que., who vanished near her home in 2007. Her remains were found by hunters close to Highway 40 in Saint-Maurice in 2015.
The girl’s family stopped the film from being released.
In a Facebook post Thursday night, Cédrika’s grandfather, Henri Provencher, implored Fredette to release his son unharmed.
“Knowing you, I’m appealing to your father’s heart, do not do anything irremediable,” he wrote.
“Hand your son over to police without delay.”