Quebec coroner and lawyer Sophie Régnière has been assigned to shed light on the deaths of two young sisters who provincial police say were murdered by their father, who then took his own life.
The bodies of Norah and Romy Carpentier, 11 and 6, were found in a wooded area in Saint-Apollinaire, southwest of the province’s capital, on July 11. They were the subject of an Amber Alert after they were last seen with their father on July 8.
Quebec provincial police discovered the body of Martin Carpentier, 44, on Monday after 12 days of searching. Guy Lapointe, director of communications for the Sûreté du Québec, said Carpentier took his own life shortly after killing his two young daughters with a blunt object on July 9.
The case — which gripped the country as police scoured the woods and properties during an intense manhunt — is now being handed over to the province’s coroner’s office. Lapointe said the criminal investigation is complete.
The office said in a statement Friday that coroners “cannot rule on a person’s civil or criminal liability” and work with many different partners throughout their investigation.
“The aim of their investigation is not to lead to a trial, but to provide answers on the elements that led to the death, with the task of prevention,” the office said.
Régnière is tasked with shedding light on circumstances surrounding the girls’ and Carpentier’s deaths, which police have ruled a double murder and suicide.
“It should be noted that certain facts stated during the press briefing of the Sûreté du Québec on July 22, including the assessment of the date of the three deaths, are based on preliminary analysis and that they could be reviewed depending on the elements brought to light during the coroner’s investigation,” the office said.
The coroner’s office adds that the investigation is confidential until the final report, which will be made public, is complete. In Quebec, a coroner’s report is published, on average, about 11 months after a death takes place.
— With files from the Canadian Press