In March 2018, the Montreal borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville was struck by terrible news: young Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, only ten years old, had disappeared.
The story grabbed media attention at the time, but since then, investigators say no new information has come to light.
After their son disappeared while on his way to a friend’s house in Cartierville, Ariel’s family never gave up, suspecting an abduction — police believe it was an accident, as Ariel was seen on the riverbank at Parc des Bateliers shortly before he disappeared.
The river had been searched from top to bottom, under the ice, in the vicinity of Parc des Bateliers, but no clues were found.
The borough had also prepared a thousand buttons as well as large posters posted along busy streets, such as Sauvé Street and Henri-Bourassa Boulevard. At the end of March, a poster was still in place on Henri-Bourassa West, near L’Acadie.
A mural honouring his memory was painted in 2019 in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough.
FAMILY HASN’T GIVEN UP
Ariel’s parents, who also have a daughter and two other sons, have been clinging to a slim hope for just over four years.
The mayor of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Émilie Thuillier, has also kept in touch with Ariel’s parents. She spoke to them a few months ago.
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) said the file is still being treated by the investigators of the SPVM’s Major Crimes and remains active to this day.
– This report by The Local Journalism Initiative / Journal des voisins was first published in French on April 7, 2022