Mom, daughter in suspected murder-suicide

Wed, October 27, 2004

POINTE-FORTUNE, QUE. -- Residents of the tiny village of Pointe-Fortune were in shock yesterday after a mother and her six-year-old daughter were found dead Monday in what appears to be a murder-suicide. "At this point, the investigation shows that the woman ended her daughter's life before ending her own, but the investigation is not complete," Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Manon Gaignard said last night.

Police said the young girl, Valerie Clavet, suffered injuries that appeared to have been caused by a knife or other cutting instrument.

While police wouldn't confirm what caused the death of her 31-year-old mother, Anik Leclerc, there is some indication she might have hanged herself.

Not unfamiliar to hardship, Leclerc had lost her first child seven years ago. Her partner was killed in a snowmobile accident five years ago, leaving her alone to raise their little girl.

Leclerc worked as a housekeeper and dog groomer and neighbours, said she was seeing a man who has two children.


Her boyfriend made the grisly discovery Monday afternoon at the family home at 425 Nantel St. in Pointe-Fortune, about 100 km east of Ottawa on the Ontario-Quebec border.

"I spoke with her Wednesday. She was good, very good," said Denise Gagnon, whose daughter was friends with Valerie. "She didn't seem depressed. She said she had a new client. Things were going well."

She groomed my dog. She was very nice ," added Lise Clement.

"I haven't stopped crying since yesterday. We would never have expected this."

Roger Cardin, a neighbour on Nantel St., said no one could have predicted the tragedy.

"She seemed to really love her little girl. This surprises me. It's a shock," he said.

Teachers and students at Saint-Francois school in Rigaud, where Valerie went to school, were visited by psychologists yesterday.

Leclerc's mother refused to comment yesterday.