MONTREAL - Police divers were on standby as officers used sonar equipment to search for a car carrying two aspiring Quebec firefighters who mysteriously vanished last week.
Investigators probing the disappearance of Vincent Lamoureux and Hugo Pereira were led Tuesday to the shoreline by the Viau Bridge after traces of car debris were found by the riverbed.
That discovery kicked off a search for the missing vehicle in the frigid waters north of Montreal.
Police focused their search on the Laval, Que., side of the bridge, which connects the suburb to the island of Montreal.
"The investigators have found what appeared to be parts of a vehicle that are from an Acura," said Const. Daniel Lacoursiere.
Police used sonar aboard a Zodiac boat, with divers waiting for the go-ahead to jump in.
"We'll figure out first if the car is in the water and then we'll figure out what trajectory it might have taken to come off the bridge," Lacoursiere said.
Friends and family members held a vigil on the shore.
They had planned to distribute photos of the missing men Tuesday night in front of Le Diable Vert bar, where they were last seen exactly a week earlier.
They had tried to raise public awareness about the missing men through posters plastered around town, and also used the social networking site Facebook.
Roommates Lamoureux, 20, and Pereira, 22, shared a home in Laval but were last seen in a bar in Montreal's trendy Plateau neighbourhood on Feb. 3.
Neither of the men, both firefighters-in-training, has been heard from since an exchange of cellphone text messages after a night at the bar.
Their phones have been off since the disappearance.
Also missing was Pereira's car: a black, four-door Acura TL 2007.