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‘Family tragedy’: Two children dead in Laval; father facing 1st-degree murder charges

"They were a normal family," says a neighbour of the two Laval children, north of Montreal, killed prosecutors explain at the hands of their father Monday night. Felisha Adam reports.

By News Staff and Felisha Adam

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A 45-year-old father has been arrested and is facing two counts of first-degree murder after his two children died in Laval’s Sainte-Dorothée district on Monday night, north of Montreal.

The Crown prosecutor says the man is facing two charges of first-degree murder. He’s also being charged with assault on his partner, for alleged strangulation.

The accused remains in hospital. He was unable to be formally charged in court on Tuesday; it was postponed until Wednesday afternoon.

Police called it a “family tragedy” on social media.

A 13-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were found in a home on Lauzon Street.

It seems to have happened just before 6 p.m.

“A family tragedy took place earlier this evening on Laval territory, in Ste-Dorothée,” police tweeted at 9:19 p.m. “Our police officers and investigators are hard at work to elucidate this event. The SPL offers its sincere condolences to the families of the young victims.”

Another family member, who was in the home at the time, was reportedly treated in hospital for shock.

 

A neighbour – who asked CityNews not to be named – said it was a “normal” family.

“They moved here not long ago, I think four or five months ago. Everything seemed fine. A week ago they had a party… There were a lot of people there. It was like a big family.

“When we found out, were were shocked.

“They lived next door, we would see them play and feed the birds. When we heard about the death of the kids, we couldn’t believe it. It’s really hell.”

The neighbour described Monday night’s scene as chaotic.

“I couldn’t sleep because there were cops everywhere, a lot of movement. And then I saw the news, and the kids…”

Linda Basque of Info-Femmes says it’s hard to comprehend when a parent takes their child’s life.

“We cannot understand how a person would resort to that ultimate gesture to take the life of their own children,” said Basque. “You can’t put yourself in the mind of this person because it’s not something that we ourselves can fathom, that we can necessarily understand.”

Basque says it’s not about the person losing control, but the opposite.

“The offender needs to control everything, whether it be with the the spouse or the children,” she said. “So any time they step out of that control, then the person will intensify and it can come to the unfortunate conclusion that we’ve seen here.”

Laval Mayor Stéphane Boyer offered his condolences in a tweet Monday night.

“All of Laval is in mourning,” he wrote. “Our teams (Laval police) are mobilized to shed light on this event.”

 

For Basque, it’s about working towards prevention and raising awareness.

“The people who work with the victims and the people who work with the offenders, we need to work together to be able to react quickly when we see when these red flags come up,” she said.

Just over three weeks ago, a mother and her two children, ages two and five, were killed in Brossard – and the father and partner in that case was charged with their murders.

“We need to stop this at its root,” said Basque. “Until we do that, unfortunately, we’re going to hear more of these stories.

“We must keep hope that we can change things, that as a society we can keep talking about this and keep putting things in place to protect these women and these children.”

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