January 27, 1978 seemed to be a day like any other for the two sisters, Chantel and Manon. Around 7:30 p.m., they were returning from the parking lot of the caisse populaire where they had gone sliding with friends. Their house was only three blocks away. That evening, 7-year-old Chantel walked a little faster than her 10-year-old sister, Manon. When Chantel turned around to call Manon, only silence answered her. The two sisters were then near Saint-Joseph school, at the corner of Craig and Union streets in Sherbrooke.
The police were immediately contacted and quickly published a bulletin with Manon’s photo. A team with two dogs searched a nearby wooded area, and several volunteers on snowmobiles searched the area. The mother of the two girls, Jeannine, received various calls and most of the time, the person hung up when Jeannine answered. However, she also reportedly received a call asking for $25,000 for the safe return of her daughter. Jeannine had just received about $20,000 from her recently deceased husband’s insurance. The police therefore believe that this call was a hoax.
On March 24th, the partially frozen remains of the child were found by two young boys. She was in the freezing waters of a small stream in Massawippi, 30 miles south of Sherbrooke, where she was last seen. Manon was still wearing her winter clothes: a navy blue ski suit, a salmon pink scarf and toque, red mittens and a pair of brown boots. Only a red mitten was missing. The girl had a gash on her forehead and a source mentions that the autopsy revealed that Manon had suffered a major skull fracture. Several sources mention that the exact cause of her death could not be determined and that the girl was not sexually assaulted. It is believed that the girl would have died and placed there soon after her disappearance, since her last meal was still in her stomach.
Any information related to this murder can be reported anonymously to the Sûreté du Québec info-crime line at 1-800-659-4264.
You can also communicate anonymously with Meurtres et Disparitions Irrésolus du Québec at 819-200-4628 and [email protected].
Translation from French