A 25-year-old woman from Shawinigan who was reported as missing on Monday has been located by police along with her former boyfriend, who was sought on a warrant alleging he assaulted her during the past weekend.
Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Éloïse Cossette issued a statement Wednesday saying Véronique Vennes and Hugo Tousignant were found at 10:30 a.m., after they left an island on the St. Maurice River in Shawinigan.
“They were together, safe and sound,” Cossette wrote, saying SQ investigators in Shawinigan “took charge” of both Vennes and Tousignant. They were both riding in a Ford Escape the SQ referred to while they were searching for Tousignant.
Late Wednesday afternoon, another police spokesperson said investigators met with Vennes to find out what happened to her since Monday and that Tousignant might appear before a judge at the Shawinigan courthouse as early as Thursday to be formally charged with the accusations on the warrant.
On Saturday, Vennes filed a complaint against Tousignant alleging he had assaulted her. According to the Journal de Montréal, she had been dating him since April, but she filed the complaint after he pointed what she believed was a firearm at her head.
The SQ sought to arrest Tousignant during the weekend, but they could not locate him.
On Monday, Vennes’s family reported her as missing and the SQ reported that her relatives “fear for her safety.”
As the search for both continued this week, the SQ reported they were certain Vennes had gone to a business in the Mauricie region Tuesday night.
“She was alone and she did not ask for help,” Cossette said.
Tousignant, 33, faces two assault charges involving alleged conjugal violence in the warrant. He was also accused in another warrant of having failed to comply with a probation order.
At the time the warrants were issued, Tousignant was serving a sentence he received on July 3, 2019 after he pleaded guilty to several charges involving conjugal violence against two different women. The charges included assault, mischief, making harassing communications, breaking and entering and uttering threats.
In one case, Tousignant had only been in a relationship with the woman for a matter of months when he began to abuse her. It started after he argued with her because she refused to lend him her car.
Shortly after they argued, the woman arrived at her home and she found that her telephone line had been cut and that Tousignant had vandalized one of her lamps by drawing penises on it. As she examined the damage, Tousignant suddenly entered her home. The woman grabbed a baseball bat for protection, but he took it from her, grabbed her by the throat and threatened to kill her with the bat before he left.
While he was charged with that assault, Tousignant ignored a court order that he not be anywhere near the woman. He broke into her home, threatened to kill her and held her against her will while he stayed overnight. The woman went to work the following day, but her colleagues convinced her to call the police.
In the other case, he sent text messages to another woman he had been dating and threatened to kill her.
When he was sentenced in July last year, he received an overall sentence of 36 months, but with time served factored in, he was left with a 14-month prison term.
Tousignant’s criminal record dates back to 2006 and includes convictions for theft and armed robbery. During the summer of 2013, he carried out armed robberies in a convenience store and at a credit union in Shawinigan.