NEWS

Missing girl's foundation launches international day

07/31/2012 07:50 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT
Five years after her disappearance, the foundation named in Cedrika Provencher's honour announced an international day to prevent child abduction.

Cedrika, then nine years old, was last seen in a park near her home in Trois-Rivières. Witnesses said she was approached by a man who said he was looking for his dog.

Her disappearance launched a massive search by police and people in the community who were touched by her story.

Pina Arcamone with Quebec's Missing Children's Network, a non-profit organization that assists families searching for their missing children, said Cedrika's case has already spurred changes in child abduction cases.

Arcamore said it took several hours for the search for Cedrika to begin. She said authorities act faster now.

"She brought about change. That we have to intervene rapidly when vulnerable children go missing. We know how crucial those first few hours are," said Arcamone.

Abner Rigaud, with the Cedrika Provencher Foundation, said the foundation hopes to do even more by launching an international day of prevention against child abductions. The foundation is also working on a program that will help parents reduce the risk of their children being abducted.

"There are many children all over the world, in France, in Germany and all over Africa who are being abducted every day. This event is a way to keep Cedrika, as well these children, in the minds of the world," said Rigaud.

As they've done every year since her disappearance, Cedrika's parents will attend a church service and candlelight vigil in Trois-Rivières Tuesday night to mark the day they last saw their daughter.

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