Despite cold and rainy weather dampening the the search for a three-year-old Quebec boy believed to have been abducted by his father, police say they have found signs that the pair is alive and in the area.
Quebec provincial police believe 36-year-old David Côté abducted his son, Jake, on Tuesday from the area of Sainte-Paule, Que., located on the Gaspé Peninsula about 630 kilometres northeast of Montreal.
Sûreté du Québec (SQ) spokesperson Sgt. Hélène St-Pierre said on Friday evening that they have located items belonging to both father and son. Police are not saying what those items were, but confirmed the pair’s DNA was found on the objects.
This shows that police are searching the right area, a dense forest near the town, she said.
Police haven’t ruled out accomplice
Nearby residents can expect police to search throughout the night, using megaphones to call out to the man and child, St-Pierre said. She said people should call police immediately if they see any signs of father and son.
Police have said they are not ruling out any possibility, including that Côté has an accomplice. Police have been using helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to search the area throughout the day.
Côté has wilderness survival skills and could be using materials gathered from nearby chalets and trailers to survive with his son, police said.
“He is a guy who knows the forest environment well, who would be able to survive if necessary,” SQ Sgt. Claude Doiron said.
Frigid, wet conditions Friday made the search more challenging. Environment Canada had issued rainfall and wind alerts for various areas in the Gaspé region, which are seeing heavy downpours and gusting winds due to remnants of Hurricane Ida.
“Despite the particularly difficult weather conditions here, with rain and cold, police officers are working tirelessly today on the ground,” Doiron said.