Missing girl found safe
Canadian Press

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Megane Ladouceur is seen in this undated police handout photo. Police say Sophie Cayer, 30, fled with her daughter late Friday night.(CP/HO)


An off-duty provincial police officer's intervention ended an Amber Alert Sunday after he saw a four-year-old girl walking along a roadside with her mother and grandmother.

The officer noticed the trio as he ended his shift at about 7:30 a.m. in Drummondville, Que., about 100 kilometres away. Megane Ladouceur was found safe with her mother, 30-year-old Sophie Cayer and her grandmother, 58-year-old Huguette Lareau.

"They're all well," said Jean-Pierre Gignac of the Longueuil police. He said Cayer was found with a non life-threatening wound to her arm.

Cayer was being treated in hospital while Lareau was placed under arrest.

Longueuil police were sent to Drummondville to conduct the investigation and interview the two women.

"It's too soon to say if there will be charges, or what they may be," said Gignac.

An Amber Alert was issued after Cayer fled with her daughter and her mother late Friday night, police said.

Police spokesman Gaetan Durocher said Saturday that Cayer had left letters in the family home that threatened suicide and possible harm to her daughter. The girl's parents were going through a divorce and custody battle.

Authorities say they received dozens of tips after issuing the alert, but have not provided details of how they found the girl.

It's the second time the family has been in the news this year.

In May, the girl's father, Eric Ladouceur, lost a leg after a bomb placed in his car exploded when he turned on the ignition. Police said at the time that the computer worker, 40, had complained of being threatened. Investigators have made no arrests.

Ladouceur has no criminal record and was not known to police.

Police said they are treating the car bomb and kidnapping as separate.

"It's too soon to make a link between these two events," Durocher said.

Eric Ladouceur is still recovering from his injuries in a Longueuil hospital and is under 24-hour police protection, Durocher said.

Police gave no details on his reaction to his daughter's kidnapping.

The public had called in over 100 tips by late Saturday afternoon.

Durocher did not say how police were alerted to the girl's disappearance.

The Amber Alert system is used across North America when police suspect a child has been abducted. The alert quickly disseminates information to highway billboards, broadcasters and newspapers.


 Canadian Press 2004