The Surete du Quebec (SQ) is calling on the public to help with the ongoing search for Antoine Paquin, a 22-year-old man who disappeared more than six months ago, during a fishing trip on the Lake of Two Mountains.
In an operation aimed at informing and preparing citizens who frequent the waters that border the shore of Kanesatake, the SQ returned to the area on May 22 to solicit the help of boaters and continue to raise awareness about the tragedy that occurred in mid-November of last year.
On Saturday, the authorities deployed three boats and two watercraft to criss-cross the waterways starting off the north-west tip of the Montreal Island.
Sergeant Marc Tessier explained that this effort was organized in-line with the return of boats on the waters in the area.
“We knew that several marinas and docks were opening that day,” said Tessier. “We took advantage of that to go meet as many boaters as possible to signal to them what had happened and ask them to keep an eye out.”
Approximately 200 boaters and citizens were approached by the police officers who began patrolling the region at 8 a.m.
“There are people who are in the area with their boats, who don’t necessarily come from the region,” pointed out the SQ sergeant. “This is why it’s important to make them aware of the event that took place.”
Paquin and Dylan Auger were reported missing on November 14, 2020, after the two 22-year-olds from Mascouche did not return home from their trip the day prior. Their boat was found empty and submerged on the shore close to the Kanesatake First Nations Paramedics building on the day their disappearance was signalled.
On April 19, ten days after search operations resumed following the end of winter when ice finally melted, the body of Auger was retrieved in a dam in Laval. The discovery unfolded just over five months after the event that claimed the lives of the two young men.
“The body of the first victim was found 50 KM away from St. Placide, which is why we had different boats so that we could move around and reach as many people as possible,” explained Tessier, adding that patrollers departed from Oka, St. Placide and even Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
Although the effort of last weekend was primarily intended at raising awareness, the SQ sergeant expressed that additional search operations could be initiated if new information were to come in.
In the meantime, citizens are asked to keep a lookout for any fishing equipment, pieces of clothing or other personal items that may have washed up on the banks. Anyone with any tips is also reminded to inform local authorities.
Laurence Brisson Dubreuil, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door