BATHURST, N.B. — The family of a 14 year-old-girl who disappeared in May is devastated after news last week that she'd been killed, and they just want to bring her home, a close family friend said Tuesday.
Maggie Lavigne is a longtime friend of Jason Boudreau, Madison Roy-Boudreau's father. Jason Boudreau confirmed to the Canadian Press on Tuesday that he authorized Lavigne to speak on the family's behalf.
"He's still out every day on his four-wheeler, he gets on there and he's in the woods, still searching," Lavigne said of Boudreau. "We're not giving up hope. Even though they say it's a homicide, we still — I don't know. It's just hard to believe."
She added: "We would love to see her walk through the door, but deep down we know it's not going to happen."
Boudreau last saw his daughter Madison on the morning of May 11th as she walked to her school bus stop near her home in the northern New Brunswick town of Bathurst. She never came home.
After several ground and aerial searches of the community and surrounding areas, Bathurst Police Chief Stéphane Roy said in a video posted to Facebook last week that Madison was the victim of a homicide and her disappearance was being investigated accordingly. "As this is an active homicide investigation, we cannot name the primary suspect," he said in the video.
Sgt. Julie Daigle confirmed Tuesday that underwater searches around the community of Middle River, N.B., were ongoing. Otherwise, Daigle said she couldn't say if anyone was in custody or provide any further information.
Police have said Madison got into a grey Ford Ranger pickup truck the morning she vanished, and they seized the truck and arrested its driver on May 13. Two weeks later, Roy led a press briefing about Madison's disappearance during which he mentioned the arrest of 42-year-old Steven Laurette of nearby South Tetagouche and his May 14 court appearance as part of the timeline of events in the case. Laurette was charged with failing to comply with the conditions of a court undertaking, and police objected to his release.
At the time, Roy was asked whether Laurette was a "person of interest" in the investigation, whether he was the owner or driver of the Ford Ranger and whether he was an acquaintance of Madison's father. Roy declined to provide additional details.
Lavigne said Madison's family is devastated and distraught. "They don't really sleep much," she said. "It's a lot of tossing and turning, it's a lot of crying behind closed doors, that people don't see. There's just a lot of different mixed emotions that are running through all of our heads right now."
Madison was a beloved, happy-go-lucky "jokester" who loved music and singing, Lavigne said. "Everybody loved Madison," she said. "Her smile was infectious, like if you weren't smiling and she smiled at you you were guaranteed to smile. I will never forget her singing, she started singing as soon as she started talking."
All her family wants now, Lavigne said, is to bring Madison home.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2021.
-- By Sarah Smellie in St. John's, N.L.
The Canadian Press