The RCMP have laid charges in the deaths of Terry Blanchette and his daughter, two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.
Derek James Saretzky, 22, has been charged with First Degree murder in both cases, and was taken into custody on Tuesday while an Amber Alert was active as police searched for Hailey.
Her body was found in a “rural area” near her hometown of Blairmore, Alberta, where had disappeared from a day earlier. Her father, Terry, 27, was found dead in his home on Monday morning. The Amber Alert had extended to B.C., Saskatchewan, and Montana, and was called off after the toddler’s body was discovered.
The RCMP said Saretzky also faces on charge of ‘Indignity to a Body’ in relation to Hailey’s death.
His first court appearance will be on September 23 in Lethbridge.
Body of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette found
(Update: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 9:30 p.m.)
The RCMP has located the body of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, who had been the subject of a now-cancelled Amber Alert in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, and Montana.
The girl’s body was discovered on Tuesday afternoon in a “rural area” near her hometown of Blairmore, Alberta. Her family has been notified of today’s news.
“The RCMP extends its deepest condolences to Hailey’s family,” said Alberta RCMP Superintendent Tony Hamori, in a police press release issued Tuesday evening.
“This is a sad day for the citizens of Blairmore and all Canadians who have held this little girl in their thoughts and prayers since Monday. We can’t say much about the investigation at this point, other than to thank the public and the media for helping us find Hailey.”
The Amber Alert was issued Monday and had been in place for just over 24 hours before the search was concluded.
On Tuesday, the RCMP said they had arrested a male suspect in the homicide of Hailey’s father, Terry Blanchette (more details below), and that the man remains in custody for questioning over the father’s death and the daughter’s disappearance.
The RCMP are also still trying to locate the “white van” that had been included in the Amber Alert, and are asking for the public’s help in that endeavour.
The van “was seen near the Blanchette home in the early hours of Monday morning.”
Suspect arrested in homicide of Terry Blanchette
(Update: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.)
The RCMP have made an arrest in the homicide of 27-year-old Terry Blanchette, who was found dead in his home in Blairmore, Alberta on Monday morning.
The force made that announcement on Tuesday. They didn’t release the suspect’s name but said he is 22 years old and “a resident” of Blairmore.
The RCMP (in Alberta) are holding the suspect for questioning in Blanchette’s murder, as well as the disappearance of the deceased’s daughter, 2-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette (sic). Police say Hailey was abducted from her father’s house on Monday morning at 3:30 a.m.
“The investigation into the child’s whereabouts is ongoing. Police have located a white van in the Blairmore area and are in the process of determining if it is related to the incident under investigation. It is too soon for police to know if this is the van that was reportedly seen near the Blanchette home early Monday morning.”
Amber Alerts expire after 24 hours, but the RCMP says it will be renewing the alert for Hailey at 2:14 p.m. on Tuesday.
They will ask for the Amber Alert to be renewed in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Montana, as well.
Amber Alert issued in B.C. for abducted Alberta girl
(Update from Jeff Nagel, Black Press – Monday, September 14, 2015)
An Amber Alert has been issued after a child adbuction in Alberta has been extended to B.C.
Crowsnest Pass RCMP say two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette was abducted early this morning in the southwest Alberta community of Blairmore by an unknown suspect who drove away at high speed in a newer model white van.
The vehicle had a large rear antenna with a flag attached.
Hailey is described as white, with light brown straight hair, with bangs, and brown eyes.
Anyone spotting the suspect is urged to call Crowsnest Pass RCMP at 403-562-2866 and not approach.