1705100667 Murder of Cedrika Provencher Jonathan Bettez remains the number

Murder of Cédrika Provencher | Jonathan Bettez remains the number one suspect for the police –

Despite the years that pass, despite a judge's criticism of his work, despite a lawsuit for $10 million in damages, the Sûreté du Québec persists and signs: Jonathan Bettez, a 43-year-old resident of Trois-Rivières, remains the main suspect in the murder of little Cédrika Provencher, who disappeared in 2007.

Posted at 5:05 p.m.


“To this day, Jonathan Bettez remains the primary suspect in the disappearance, kidnapping and murder of a nine-year-old girl,” police lawyers wrote in new documents submitted to the court.

Murder of Cedrika Provencher Jonathan Bettez remains the number


Jonathan Bettez in 2016

The documents were filed as part of a civil dispute between Mr. Bettez and authorities. Mr. Bettez and his family are suing the police and the government, seeking $10 million in damages. They claim police ruined Mr. Bettez's life by falsely portraying him as the person responsible for a tragedy that touched all of Quebec.

Before the case is judged on the merits, Quebec's attorney general requested that part of the preliminary hearings in the damages claim take place behind closed doors to protect his investigative powers. To this end, police lawyers have just officially confirmed that Mr. Bettez remains the main suspect. They add that the investigation remains active.

“It raises doubts”

Excerpts from the preliminary interrogation of an investigator from the Sûreté du Québec were also submitted to the court. This leads to the reasons that lead the police to suspect Mr. Bettez to this day.

With the help of witnesses, investigators were able to determine that before her disappearance, Cédrika Provencher had been approached by a man who said he was looking for a dog. The man was driving a red Acura with several options. Only six people owned a similar vehicle. Five provided a verifiable alibi.

“There is only one owner who cannot give an alibi. And the owner of this Acura is Mr. Jonathan Bettez,” explained investigator Chantal Daudelin.

Mr. Bettez also refused several times to undergo a lie detector test, the famous “lie detector.”

“The fact that he refuses does not prove that he is guilty, I am very aware of that, but it does raise doubts,” she added.

“That's what we do, the security just asks to remove Mr. Bettez, but they don't give us the opportunity to do that,” she complains.

Eyewitnesses would have ruled out Bettez

The officer said she saw similarities between Mr. Bettez's face and a sketch created based on the memories of witnesses who saw the man in the red Acura. Bettez's lawyers categorically deny any similarity.

“The composite portraits and the physical descriptions of the eyewitnesses of the event do not match Jonathan Bettez,” claims Me Jessy Héroux, the Bettez family’s lawyer, in a document filed with the court.

Me Héroux even announces that he will attack this argument in the civil case. “Eyewitnesses dismissed Jonathan Bettez during an identification parade, stating that he did not match the person they had seen,” he said.

“A composite portrait remains a composite portrait, but there are similarities, even similarities,” says investigator Daudelin in her preliminary survey.

She adds that the description of the clothing worn by the man who approached Cédrika Provencher resembles golf clothing and that Mr Bettez claims to have been playing golf that day.

A deviation that raises doubts

It also returns to one of the most controversial aspects of the investigation into Mr Bettez. Since Mr. Bettez was the only Acura owner in 2015 who could not provide an alibi, the police came up with the idea of ​​checking whether he was consuming child pornography.

Investigators claim to have discovered that the IP address of a computer used by Mr. Bettez used child pornography file-sharing platforms during the hours he had access to it. They also said they discovered traces of files suggestive of child pornography that had been deleted from the computer media in his possession.

As a result of this discovery, Mr. Bettez was arrested and charged in 2016 in connection with child pornography. The police evidence clearly showed that the investigators' actions were linked to the murder of Cédrika Provencher. Mr. Bettez's name and photo circulated around Quebec. He says he has been unable to return to a normal life and has suffered enormously from the labels that were placed on him.

In 2018, a judge acquitted Mr. Bettez, ruling that the evidence was insufficient and accusing police of abusive actions and a “fishing trip.” Mr Bettez and his family subsequently filed a claim for damages, accusing the police of their actions of “incredible cruelty”.

“The Sûreté du Québec wanted to harm Jonathan Bettez because, despite the lack of good reasons, it was convinced that he was responsible for the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher,” specifies the prosecution.

But in her preliminary questioning, police officer Daudelin explains that the issue of child pornography seemed to be relevant in connection with the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of a ten-year-old child.

“It is clearly a deviation that justifies Mr. Jonathan Bettez and casts even more doubt on him,” she said.

Different than the others

“All of these elements are elements that result in Mr. Jonathan Bettez still being a suspect in this investigation to this day. A suspicion that we always wanted to rule out. We checked everything, everything, everything. “He is by no means the only suspect investigated in this case,” emphasized the police officer.

“The difference between Mr. Jonathan Bettez and everyone else is that everyone else was able to corroborate his version, and if not, they agreed to take a lie detector test,” she explained.

The case will be heard again in court on January 22nd.

The story so far

  • 2007: Cédrika Provencher, 9 years old, disappears in Trois-Rivières. The Sûreté du Québec is launching an investigation. The child's bones were found years later in a wooded area.
  • 2015: After years of unsuccessful investigations, the police decide to investigate whether the only suspect without an alibi, Jonathan Bettez, is consuming child pornography, which could be harmful to him.
  • 2016: Jonathan Bettez is arrested and charged with ten counts related to the possession, distribution and access of child pornography.
  • 2018: A judge acquits Mr. Bettez of all child pornography-related charges, accusing the police of a “fishing operation” and abusive investigative approaches.
  • 2019: Jonathan Bettez and his family file a lawsuit against the authorities, demanding 10 million in damages for destroying his life and tarnishing his name.