Quebec provincial police have again expanded their search for a missing three-year-old boy who is the subject of an Amber Alert. Police say the boy, Jake Côté, was abducted by his father.
Jake was last seen with his father David Côté, 36, on Banville Street in the community of Sainte-Paule at 5:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Sainte-Paule is about 630 kilometres northeast of Montreal, police said.
The boy was last seen wearing a red T-shirt with a black sweater over it. He was also wearing jeans and beige boots. He weighs 30 pounds.
Police say Côté is five feet, seven inches tall and 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
They say he could be armed and are advising anyone who sees people matching the descriptions not to attempt to intervene, but instead to call 911.
By Wednesday afternoon, the Amber Alert had expanded to cover all of Quebec and parts of northwestern New Brunswick.
The pair could be travelling on foot or in a vehicle, police said earlier, after locating a grey all-terrain vehicle that had been linked to the suspect.
Police find ATV
Police are asking people “not to venture near Sainte-Paule so as not to interfere with searches, confuse the tracks of dog handlers or risk getting lost.”
The original Amber Alert was triggered within an east-west radius of about 300 kilometres around Sainte-Paule. It later went provincewide and expanded again into New Brunswick.
Sainte-Paule has fewer than 300 residents and is about 140 kilometres northwest of Campbellton, N.B.
Police have been searching the wooded areas around the town since Tuesday night and brought in a helicopter to help Wednesday morning.
The area is located between Matane and the Matapédia valley, where cellular reception is poor, making communications a challenge.
In an interview, Sainte-Paule Mayor Pierre Dugré said his is a small town where everyone knows their neighbours and that the community is deeply impacted by this incident.
“Everyone is in shock,” he said. “Everyone’s hoping the situation ends well.”
“We’re asking the residents to stay vigilant, if they see anything unusual, they should call 911.”
Pina Arcamone, director of the Missing Children’s Network says it’s crucial for anyone who has any information to come forward.
“We need to get some answers before a second night,” she told CBC News.
“We’re quite concerned for the safety of this little boy. We don’t know if the dad brought along any snacks, food, water, any money. In what state of mind is the dad as well?”