Quebec provincial police say two girls believed to have been abducted by their father have died.
The bodies of Norah Carpentier, 11, and her sister Romy, 6, were found Saturday afternoon, after a three-day search in Saint-Apollinaire, southwest of Quebec City, but police had not immediately released their conditions.
Police lifted the Amber Alert, first issued Thursday afternoon, and have intensified the search for the father, 44-year-old Martin Carpentier.
A Sûreté du Québec spokesperson said police believe Carpentier is still alive and on the run.
"We don't know exactly what state of mind is facing Mr. Carpentier at the moment," Sgt. Ann Mathieu said.
"We ask people not to take any chances. So if they have any information or if they see him, just call 911 and we will take charge of the situation."
Premier François Legault tweeted his condolences to the girls' family, calling their deaths a national tragedy.
"Like all Quebecers, I am devastated, without words. Losing two children, what we hold dearest in life, is incomprehensible," he wrote.
Autopsies on the bodies are expected to take place shortly.
The sisters were last seen at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday with their father in a convenience store.
About an hour later, Carpentier's vehicle crashed about 15 kilometres west of the store, on Highway 20, said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Louis-Philippe Bibeau. Nobody was found when officers arrived, police said.
Bibeau said after interviewing several witnesses and the children's mother, investigators had reason to believe the girls were abducted by their father.
The partner of Martin Carpentier released a video pleading for him to reach out to family.
The video was published by Quebec provincial police at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday. In it, Cathy Gingras addresses Carpentier through tears, saying, "We just want to know you're OK."
Carpentier is five feet 10 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. He has thinning hair and was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt and jeans. He may be wearing glasses.