The city of Lévis has unveiled a memorial to commemorate the lives of Norah and Romy Carpentier, more than a year after the two young girls, aged 11 and 6, were killed by their father in Saint-Apollinaire, Que., in July 2020.
"Your joy of living will forever remain in the hearts of the Lévis population," the stark black monument reads.
It is also engraved with a tribute from the girls' mother, Amélie Lemieux: "You are not here anymore, yet you are everywhere. A soft breeze that brings me your soft kisses, a butterfly that comes and brings me a glimmer of hope, and the wind that murmurs to my ear: 'I love you mom.' Because love never ends, I always carry you in my heart."
Lemieux told Radio-Canada she didn't think the monument would be as big as it is. "I'm happy, it's beautiful," she said.
The memorial was first presented to the girls' family during an intimate ceremony with Lévis Mayor Gilles Lehouillier, on Aug. 27.
It was erected at the Chutes-de-la-Chaudières park near a pavilion where the public installed a makeshift memorial after the bodies were discovered. Many people had come there to drop off stuffed animals and mourn. Lehouillier promised at the time to install a permanent memorial to the girls.
Another ceremony is planned in October to unveil the Romy and Norah garden set up by Deuil-Jeunesse, an organization that helps youth and families deal with grief.
Answers to the tragedy expected this fall
Norah and Romy were subject to one of the longest Amber Alerts in Quebec history last year, after their father Martin Carpentier took them out for ice cream and never returned with them.
The girls' bodies were found in a forest near Saint-Apollinaire, Que., on July 11, 2021 — two days after the Quebec provincial police issued the alert.
Carpentier's body was found nine days later, on the same day of the sisters' funeral. Police say he took his own life.
Some sources close to the investigation have criticized how long it took police to send out the Amber Alert, telling Radio-Canada that the girls' outcome might have been different if police had triggered the alert earlier.
Quebec Coroner Sophie Régnière is expected to release a report containing details of what happened this fall.