Sad end to search for Taliyah

Five-year old Taliyah Leigh Marsman was found deceased on Wednesday.

  • Jul. 15, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Taliyah Leigh Marsman is missing from Calgary and an Amber Alert has been issued.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Five-year old Taliyah Leigh Marsman was found deceased on Wednesday.

“There’s also lots of work to still do,” a sombre Insp. Don Coleman told reporters late Thursday at a news conference where he announced the slaying of little Taliyah Leigh Marsman, whose mother, Sara Baillie, 34, was found dead in their home on Monday.

Searchers combing through a rural property near Chestermere, Alta., found the body near a road beside a field. No effort had been made to bury the girl.

Coleman said the investigation has concluded that Taliyah was already dead by the time police had been called: “There was nothing we could do before we even got involved.”

Edward Delten Downey, 46, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Coleman said it’s believed Baillie was the primary target of the crime. The cause of Taliyah’s death was not known but an autopsy will be held today.

“It’s disappointing,” said Coleman. “We were hoping for a different outcome. The family is devastated, clearly.”

Taliyah had last been seen by her relatives on Sunday, and security cameras captured her and her mom at a Dairy Queen later that day.

The next morning, a girl matching Taliyah’s description — and carrying a suitcase — was seen near the family’s home with a man. Baillie’s relatives called police when she didn’t show up for work.

After officers found her body Monday night, they issued an Amber Alert for the little girl.

On Wednesday, a suspect was taken into custody at a strip mall. Coleman said he was giving “zero co-operation” to investigators, though he later amended that to “limited” co-operation.

Coleman also said the suspect was known to police and had an extensive criminal background with some violence.

Downey, who also goes by the last name Simmons, appeared before a judge late Thursday. Police said it’s believed he was known to both parents and the child.

There had been a “limited” history of domestic violence in the family, but police said Taliyah’s father, Colin Marsman, co-operated with the investigation and issued his own plea for his little girl to be returned.

Police Chief Roger Chaffin said over the last three days, there were 100 officers working around the clock.

“Unfortunately they are completely devastated by the loss, as am I,” he said.

The heartbreaking end to the search prompted an outpouring of grief from those who knew the mother and daughter, as well as strangers who had hoped for the best.

“This is so heartbreaking,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wrote on social media. “My condolences to the family of Taliyah and Sara — may they rest in peace.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi simply said: “Our hearts are all broken.”

Montreal Alouettes player Nik Lewis, who was a friend of Baillie’s, said he was struggling to understand the tragedy.

“They say everything happens for a reason, but there is no reason to ever take the life of anyone, especially a child. My heart hurts,” the CFL player wrote on social media. “I was at the airport for 30 min and looked for u last week, as I always did when I was there _ 11 years wasn’t long enough.”

 

Just Posted

RCMP investigate multiple dog deaths linked to Cranbrook forest

One veterinarian said ‘you can’t help but draw that conclusion’ that deaths parallel 2016’s story

Blackmore took ‘calculated’ risk: Crown

Polygamous leader should have pursued legal validation, not assurances from government officals.

Adittional terrain to open at Kimberley Alpine Resort

The main run, along with several others, will be open this weekend

Kimberley Nature Park launches new video

The Kimberley Nature Park Society has launched a new video, an Introduction… Continue reading

Month

Dancer of the Month December 2017 Sienna Fooks Sienna is 11 years… Continue reading

News recap: Kimberley

Watch: A quick recap of the top news stories this week in Kimberley.

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

Most Read