Blue Line

Police dog handler tells Quebec inquest he had trouble getting scent of girls, father

February 15, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Feb. 15, 2023, Quebec, Que. – A provincial police dog handler who arrived at the scene of a car crash involving two young Quebec girls and their father in July 2020 says he had difficulty doing his job because the scene had been contaminated by first responders who’d already been searching.

Stephane Ranger, a provincial police canine unit member, says due to multiple people at the scene searching for Martin Carpentier and his daughters Romy and Norah, his dog had trouble getting a scent on them.

After crashing his car on Highway 20 on the night of July 8, Carpentier fled the scene and the next day killed 11-year-old Norah and six-year-old Romy in the woods near St-Apollinaire, Que., southwest of Quebec City. He then killed himself.

Ranger told coroner Luc Malouin today that he couldn’t blame police and firefighters for conducting an exhaustive search around the vehicle, but it complicated his job.


He said the work of a police dog is not as depicted on television, where the dog smells an article of clothing and starts to search.

Ranger says the dog searches for a human scent, but if there are too many present, it won’t know which direction to go.

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