'Suspicious' deaths

Body of woman and a baby boy found in Gatineau home


Sat, February 23, 2008

Gatineau Police are calling the deaths of a woman in her mid-30s and a baby boy found at a home in the Hull sector yesterday afternoon "suspicious."

Police were contacted at 1:45 p.m. by a woman who said she hadn't heard from her friend in two weeks.

Officers arrived at a residence at 145 Mont Bleu Blvd. and found the bodies.

Police haven't confirmed the identity of the woman or the boy or their relationship. They would only confirm that a mother and a son live at the address.

A neighbour identified the residents as Martine Fortin and her one-and-a-half-year-old son Mathis Fornier.


Last week, Fortin didn't drop off her son at the daycare run by Maria des Lourdes Gonzalez. The daycare is just up the street from Fortin's home.

"I thought she was sick," said Gonzalez of the boy not showing up nine days ago to the daycare.

On Monday, she found it strange that Fortin hadn't been in touch with her.

Gonzalez knocked on Fortin's door yesterday but no one answered. It didn't appear that anything was wrong at the residence but she contacted Fortin's friend who called police.

Gonzalez also noted the buildup of mail in the black mailbox, which was still filled last night as two bodies were wheeled out of the house at around 7:30 p.m.

"Martine is a marvellous person," Gonzalez said last night.

Gonzalez said Fortin has separated from the boy's father, Robi Fornier.

She said Fortin has been working for a children's agency in Gatineau.

"She's an excellent mom," Gonzalez said, adding that the father is also a loving parent.

Gonzalez described Mathis as a "very intelligent" boy with curly hair.

The bodies showed no obvious signs of violence and police found no evidence of forced entry or a struggle in the house, said Gatineau Police Lieut. Pierre Parent.

"Everything looks normal," said Parent of the interior of the house where the bodies were found.

There were people renting an apartment in the basement of the home, neighbours said.

Few neighbours knew Fortin, but said they would see her with her son walking along the street.

"I saw her about 10 days ago," said Gilbert Lefebvre. "We talked about the amount of snow we've been getting." He estimated she was 35 years old.

Lefebvre, who has lived on the street for 40 years, said something like this has never happened in what he described as a quiet residential area.

"We're in shock. You always think this happens in other countries."

There was a male tenant living in the downstairs apartment, he said.


Jim Dorion, a neighbour across the street, said he noticed Fortin's silver Volkswagen Jetta was still parked in the driveway, covered in snow and had not moved since Monday or Tuesday.

"We never saw anything suspicious though," he said.

As police took the bodies out of the house, another man wearing a football jacket walked down the driveway, got into his car and drove away.

"No interviews," he said in French before leaving in his car.

Investigators remained at the scene late yesterday night.