The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) has released new updates on its search for Jake Côté, the subject of a recent amber alert issued in Quebec and New Brunswick. The child's father, David Côté, 36, is suspected of abducting the 3-year-old boy.
"The discovery of the ATV used by David Côté and the ongoing investigation lead us to believe that the suspect could be looking for equipment to ensure his survival and facilitate his travels," the SQ said in a statement sent to MTL Blog on Thursday evening.
"The investigation shows that the individual has a thorough knowledge of the forest environment, that he has the ability to quickly organize himself for survival in the forest."
#AMBERAlert | We ask the population of the area to immediately notify the SQ by calling 911 if they notice any sign… https://t.co/8dnFCReH96
It's possible the suspect moved on foot to chalets or outbuildings, like garages, sheds or barns, "in order to ensure his survival and that of his child," said the SQ's statement.
The SQ asks the public to notify them by calling 911 if they see any traces of breaks and enters or signs of missing or "displaced objects," such as tools or food, that Côté could be using to stay alive.
They also ask the public to contact them if they see anyone matching the physical description of David or Jake Côté or their clothing.
Since the SQ believes the suspect could be armed and that he could "act impulsively," it does not want the public's help searching and asks people not to venture into an area where they may be at risk.
The SQ plans to continue its ground and air search for the child and his father overnight.
Officers have located the all-terrain vehicle thought to have been used by the suspect and said Wednesday night that he and 3-year-old Jake could now be travelling on foot or in a different vehicle.
The SQ also said Wednesday that the suspect is potentially armed. They've implored the public to report any sightings or suspicious activity by dialling 9-1-1 and to avoid the sector of Sainte-Paule, Quebec, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent to avoid inadvertently impeding the search.
An updated physical description of the child was also released early Thursday morning.
Police believe the child is wearing a "blue T-shirt with silver stripes on the sleeves and the bottom with an inscription of the number 6 or 9 in a blue camo pattern," dark blue jeans and beige boots.
"We are asking people to focus on the physical and clothing descriptions of the persons being sought," the provincial police force said on Twitter.