Six weeks after the disappearance of Ernest Rochon, his vehicle was pulled out of the Chateauguay River last Monday afternoon. Chateauguay police confirmed that Rochon’s body was found Inside.
Two Chateauguay residents made the macabre discovery. On Sunday afternoon, Salaberry North resident Donald Benn wanted to install his quai at the edge of the river with his friend Benny Lombardi. « We wanted to install the poles in the mud, but they did not go down, » said Benn. We saw something in the water. We thought it was a picnic table. » The two men finally realized that it was a red vehicle. They quickly made the connection with Ernest Rochon as they knew personally this 79-year-old man who had been reported missing for the previous six weeks.
« I have been installing my poles in the river for 10 years and I wasn’t expecting that, » Benn attested. In shock following this discovery, the two men say they were relieved for Rochon’s family which had been living in anguish since April 3.
One week before his disappearance, Lombardi had had a drink with Rochon. « Yes, he was 79, and he was sick, but nothing indicated that he wasn’t feeling well, » Lombardi said.
When Surete du Quebec divers went to the scene at noon Monday, they confirmed that there was indeed a corpse in the Kia Sedona mini-van at the bottom of the river. The vehicle was pulled out of the river that afternoon. A member of Rochon’s family confirmed the identity of Rochon who was found Inside the van. A Chateauguay police spokesman indicated that an autopsy will be done by the laboratory of judicial science and legal medicine. A mechanical inspection will be done on the vehicle.
Resume of events
- Rochon left his house on the morning of April 3. Surveillance cameras captured him putting gas in his van at a Petro-Canada station in Montreal. The family was worried about his health because he was a diabetic who had not taken his medication with him.
- On April 6, Chateauguay police published a notice of his disappearance and asked for the public’s help.
- On April 21, a $3,000 reward was offered by Jeunesse au Soleil and an anonymous donor for all information which would enable police to locate Rochon.