They were hoping to celebrate his 66th birthday next week. Now, all they're hoping for is to see him alive again.
The family of a former parliamentarian missing in Haiti was given that sliver of hope, only to see it cruelly taken away. Reports ex-federal MP Serge Marcil had been found in Haiti were declared premature.
One day after the Quebec government announced Mr. Marcil had been found alive, Premier Jean Charest's office backtracked Friday, saying it received faulty information.
The former Liberal MP remained missing after an earthquake pummelled Haiti, Mr. Charest's office said Friday.
On Thursday, the Premier said Mr. Marcil was to be transported to Miami for medical treatment.
Mr. Marcil's wife, Christiane Pelchat, even travelled to Florida to reunite with him, according to a La Presse report.
A Charest spokesman said the false information came from Haiti, where a UN employee in Port-au-Prince mistakenly told Mr. Marcil's family that he had been found in the devastated city.
The UN employee later informed the family of the error, spokesman Hugo D'Amours said.
Mr. Marcil's son works in Charest's office.
"Obviously, the family is sad at that news but keep hope that Mr. Marcil can be found, and some other living survivors can be found, and that the search will go on," Mr. D'Amours said.
"Obviously they're disappointed, but they keep hope that the searchers and rescue teams will find Mr. Marcil."
Loved ones turned to Facebook on Friday, pleading for people to continue the search for Mr. Marcil.
"We are looking for SERGE MARCIL (65 years old), he's a french canadian," Pascale Duval wrote on a Facebook page created for people still searching for those who had been staying at a collapsed hotel frequented by foreigners.
"He was at the Montana hotel. Contrary to what was said earlier, Mr. Marcil was not found and transferred to Miami. If someone have seen him or has any information about him, please send me an e-mail on my facebook. Thank you!"
Mr. Marcil's birthday is next Wednesday.
He was a Liberal member of Parliament from 2000 to 2004, and before that was briefly a provincial labour minister in the cabinet of Liberal premier Daniel Johnson.
His wife Pelchat, also a former member of Quebec's national assembly, is the president of the provincial women's group, Conseil du statut de la femme.
Zoom in and out on parallel images of Port-au-Prince to view the magnitude of the destruction. On the left is the 'before' image. Use buttons under the image to navigate, or click on the picture and drag with your mouse.