NEWS
09/20/2017 15:08 EDT | Updated 09/22/2017 18:48 EDT

Suspect in Quebec Amber Alert still hospitalized, case put off one week

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — A Superior Court justice ordered a medical evaluation on Wednesday of the suspect who fled authorities last week with his six-year-old boy and who was later charged in the slaying of the child's mother.

The 41-year-old man has been in an Ottawa hospital since Saturday after what police alleged was a suicide attempt.

Justice Martin Castonguay put off the man's scheduled court appearance until next Wednesday and said he expected a detailed medical report ready by that time.

Quebec police issued an Amber Alert for the boy after they discovered the body of the child's mother last Thursday night in Saint-Eustache, Que.

The suspect was arrested Friday by Ontario provincial police and his son was located in a stolen vehicle in eastern Ontario.

The car belonged to a 71-year-old man named Yvon Lacasse who had been missing since it was stolen Thursday night in Lachute, Que.

Sgt. Claude Denis of Quebec's provincial police said officers found a body Wednesday in Arundel, Que. they believe is that of Lacasse.

"All signs point to it possibly belonging to Mr. Lacasse," Denis said. "But there will be an autopsy and the body's identification has to be done to the satisfaction of the coroner."

Quebec police had for days been retracing the journey made by the suspect for in order to find the missing 71-year-old.

Defence lawyer Pierre Gauthier said he needed an order from the Superior Court for the Ontario hospital to perform an evaluation on his client to determine if he was fit to appear.

Gauthier said he didn't have much information on the condition of his client, who had reportedly been in a coma since the suicide attempt.

"I don't know much," Gauthier told reporters outside the courtroom in Saint-Jerome, Que., regarding the suspect's health. "I'd like to know, I need to know, and I will. But for the moment I have no information."

He added his client would be in court next Wednesday if his health permitted.

Crown prosecutor Aryanne Guerin said she was told the suspect has started to move his hands and feet and has opened his eyes.

The suspect was charged on Monday with one count of second-degree murder, but has been unable to appear in court due to his hospitalization.