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2 girls missing in Quebec believed to have been abducted by father, police say

Quebec provincial police are asking for any witnesses to come forward as they continue to search for two missing girls near Saint-Apollinaire, Que., about 40 kilometres southwest of Quebec City.

Norah Carpentier, 11, and her six-year-old sister, Romy Carpentier, were last seen with their father on Wednesday night.

An Amber Alert was issued at 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Norah is five-foot-two-inches tall and thin, wearing a white hat and white Nike sandals. 

Romy is described as three-feet tall, wearing a pink shirt and heart-shaped earrings and has on red nail polish.

Police are also searching for their father, Martin Carpentier, who is considered a suspect.

He is described as five-feet-10-inches tall and 130 pounds, with thinning hair. He was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt and jeans and may be wearing glasses. 

Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Louis-Philippe Bibeau said investigators have reason to believe the girls were abducted by their father after interviewing witnesses and the children's mother.

Carpentier and the girls were last seen at around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, in a convenience store in the Saint-Nicolas neighbourhood of Lévis, Que., where the girls are from. 

At 9:30 p.m., Carpentier's vehicle crashed about 15 kilometres west of that location on Highway 20.

When police got to the scene, no one was inside the car, Bibeau said.

At first, police believed there had been an accident. But after interviewing witnesses, they realized the girls were missing and issued the Amber Alert, Bibeau said.

Quebec provincial police deployed helicopters, canine units and officers on the ground Thursday night. The search for the missing girls continued Friday. (Radio-Canada)

Investigators are exploring multiple hypotheses, including a theory that the girls were not in the car at the time of the crash. 

They are now trying to figure out what happened in the hour between those two events, Bibeau said. 

"We're still looking for witnesses, people that can help us to understand what happened in that hour," he said in an interview Friday morning. 

Need public's help

Pina Arcamone, director general of the Missing Children's Network, said Friday that with the girls now missing for more than 24 hours, it's crucial people in the area stay on the lookout. 

"We have good descriptions of the girls," Arcamone said. "We're working toward finding these two little girls alive and bringing them back to safety."

Police believe the missing girls and their father are in the Saint-Apollinaire area.

Authorities are asking residents in surrounding regions to search their barns, sheds and trailers for signs of the missing family.

Officers set up a command post and combed the area all night Thursday and are expected to continue searching on the ground throughout the day Friday. 

Bibeau said canine units and ATVs have been dispatched in Saint-Apollinaire. 

Anybody with information is encouraged to call 911. 

For details, visit www.alert.gouv.qc.ca or stay tuned to social and local media.

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source https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/police-search-for-2-girls-near-saint-apollinaire-quebec-1.5644666?cmp=rss

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