Amber Alert case ends in arrest
Son, 6, found safe, but father arrested as a suspect in the murder of boy’s mother
MONTREAL— Ugo Fredette has worked on films dealing with unsolved crimes and a 2007 child kidnapping that captivated Quebecers and broke their hearts when the remains of Cedrika Provencher were discovered two years ago.
But his own true-crime drama, which had police in two provinces looking for the 41-year-old from StEustache, Que., and his 6-year-old son, Louka, came to an end Friday when he was caught in a police dragnet in eastern Ontario.
“Happily, we had the ending that everyone hoped for,” Sûreté du Québec (SQ) spokesperson Martine Asselin told reporters shortly after the 5 p.m. arrest.
Asselin said that Ontario Provincial Police officers near Griffith, Ont., used a nail belt to blow out the tires of the Honda CRV that Fredette was driving in with his son, who was unharmed after the ordeal. They arrested the man after a brief foot chase.
Fredette is suspected in the murder of his spouse, Véronique Barbe, who is the mother of Louka Fredette as well as three other children from a previous relationship. The couple had reportedly separated on several occasions, but had recently reunited, according to French-language broadcaster TVA, that spoke to Barbe’s brother.
The arrest brought an end to a 24-hour manhunt that had police searching across a vast area of western Quebec. The Amber Alert was triggered at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday with the boy’s disappearance. Quebec police confirmed a short while later that they had discovered a dead body at a home in St-Eustache that they believed was related to the case.
Early Friday morning, police discovered the white Ford pickup truck belonging to Fredette parked and apparently abandoned at a highway rest area in Lachute, Que. Asselin said investigators believe Fredette got access to the Honda CRV in Lachute that is registered to 71-year-old Yvon Lacasse.
Asselin said Lacasse’s identity was not revealed during the manhunt because of fears it could put him in personal danger or complicate any possible intervention.
“We had to confirm first of all that Mr. Lacasse was there. Also, if he had been taken hostage or anything like that, it might have compromised his security,” she said.
The SQ are now trying to locate Lacasse. They are considering the possibility that he was dropped off somewhere along the road as Fredette was fleeing and they consider him to be a missing person.