Quebec boy found safe in Ontario, father taken into custody
A Quebec boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert has been found safe by police in Ontario.
Ontario Provincial Police arrested the boy’s father, Ugo Fredette, 41, after the pair were found near Griffith, Ont., around 75 kilometres east of Bancroft.
“Little Louka is safe,” Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Lt. Martine Asselin told reporters late Friday afternoon.
Police used a spike belt to disable the Honda CR-V Fredette was driving, and arrested him after a brief chase on foot.
Asselin said police are now searching for 71-year-old Lachute resident Yvon Lacasse, who is connected to the SUV that Fredette was driving at the time of his arrest.
Lacasse is described as bald with brown eyes. He is five feet four inches tall and weighs around 155 pounds.
Police said Lacasse could have been dropped off by Fredette along his route from Lachute, which took him through Maniwaki and Rouyn-Noranda before entering Ontario.
Asselin said police are concerned for Lacasse’s safety and they are asking for the public’s help to find him.
Louka Fredette, 6, went missing around 5:35 p.m. ET Thursday.
The Amber Alert was issued for the boy after his mother, Véronique Barbe, 41, was found dead at a house on Antoine-Séguin Boulevard in Saint-Eustache.
Police have classified her death as a homicide, but did not release any details.
Ugo Fredette’s white pickup truck was found abandoned in the early morning hours of Friday at a roadside rest stop in Lachute, Que., northwest of Montreal.
Fredette stayed at a motel in Rouyn-Noranda at some point Thursday night, police said.
He was driving a grey Jeep Cherokee that he abandoned there, said the SQ’s Asselin.
Provincial police worked with other police departments in Quebec in the search for Louka.
Police were at two scenes Friday morning: one in Lachute, at the rest stop where the truck was found, and the other in Saint-Eustache, where the woman was found dead.
A team of police divers and a canine unit were involved in searching the Lachute scene and the Rivière du Nord that runs through the area.
‘Spare no expense’
Police had originally issued a photo around 7 p.m. Thursday showing a man and young boy, pulled from surveillance video at a Walmart in Saint-Eustache.
They were identified as Ugo and Louka Fredette, but on Friday, police said they no longer believe the father and son were in the photo.
Yanick Chouinard has known both parents since they were all in high school and said the relationship was tumultuous at times.
He said he didn’t sleep much last night, adding that the situation was “hard to believe.”
Fredette was the producer on a documentary about Cédrika Provencher, a nine-year-old girl from Trois-Rivières, 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.
On Friday, Cédrika’s grandfather, Henri Provencher, said they only met a handful of times, while Fredette was making the film.
On one occasion, Provencher said Fredette told him that if something like what happened to Cédrika happened to his child, “he didn’t know what he would do.”