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Young girl rescued in Kahnawake

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It took only six minutes from the issuing of an Amber Alert for an eight-year-old girl from Repentigny to be found safe at a gas station in Kahnawake last Sunday, February 4. Her rescue came thanks to a security guard there, who spotted the vehicle matching the description in the alert in a parking lot. 

The Amber Alert was issued at 6:30 a.m. that morning, saying the eight-year-old was believed to be with her father. The security guard working at the Harnois gas station on Highway 132 called 911 just four minutes later, saying he saw what he believed to be the father and girl asleep in a parked car, said Kahnawake Peacekeepers’ spokesperson Kyle Zachary. 

Three separate Peacekeepers hit the road immediately after the call came from dispatch, he said, arriving there by 6:36 a.m.

“This is a testament to how efficient the Amber Alert system can be. It only took six minutes to locate this child from issuing the alert to the actual rescue,” Zachary said.  

“This one came at 6:30 in the morning, so I know it annoyed a lot of people and woke them up,” he said. “We’re thankful for the happy ending.”

The Amber Alert was issued from Repentigny, about 55 kilometres away from Kahnawake.

The 51-year-old man cooperated with the arrest, Zachary said. The major crimes unit for the provincial police also then arrived on scene, taking both the father and child in custody.

A manager who answered the phone at the gas station said their cashier also immediately noticed the car in the parking lot matched the description in the alert, also calling 911. The father and daughter had been in the parking lot several hours already before the alert was issued, said the manager, who didn’t want to share his name. 

He watched through seven hours of security footage that the gas station later shared with authorities, saying it showed them walking into a Tim Hortons and a convenience store before later returning to the car.  

The father appeared at the Joliette Courthouse via videoconference the same day of his arrest, where he was charged with abduction in contravention of a custody order.

miriam@easterndoor.com

This article was originally published in print on February 9 in issue 33.06 of The Eastern Door.

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Miriam Lafontaine is a reporter with the Eastern Door. Her work has appeared in Le Devoir, CBC Montreal, CBC New Brunswick as well as the Toronto Star.

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Miriam Lafontaine is a reporter with the Eastern Door. Her work has appeared in Le Devoir, CBC Montreal, CBC New Brunswick as well as the Toronto Star.