Crowsnest Pass RCMP Supt. Tony Hamori speaks to the media at a press conference in Blairmore

Man charged in Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette murder

Derek James Saretzky faces two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father Terry Blanchette.

Crowsnest Pass RCMP has charged a 22-year-old man in the murders of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father, 27-year-old Terry Blanchette.

Derek James Saretzky of Blairmore, Alta. is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of indignity to a human body in relation to Hailey’s death.

At a press conference in Blairmore on Sept. 16, RCMP Supt. Tony Hamori said Saretzky has been in police custody since Sept. 14 when he was arrested in Blairmore as a suspect in the death of Hailey and her father. The accused will remain in custody until his first court appearance on Sept. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at Lethbridge Provincial Court.

Hamori said the RCMP has determined Saretzky and Blanchette were acquaintances but said he couldn’t elaborate on that detail.

“Now that Mr. Saretzky has been charged, our first priority is protecting the integrity of the investigation to date and to ensure he receives a fair trial. For this reason, the RCMP has limited ability to discuss any of the details but we will try to tell you what we can.”

Blanchette was found dead in his residence at 11:15 a.m. on Sept. 14, and an Amber Alert was issued shortly thereafter for his missing daughter.

Hailey’s body was found in a rural area near Blairmore on Tuesday afternoon during a police search based on information received in their efforts to locate her.

“Information related to what we found will not be released in the interest of the investigation,” Hamori said. “The scene has been secured and will be released upon completion of the investigative work now underway at that location.”

The exact location could not be discussed at the time of the press conference, as search of the area is ongoing.

Hamori said with respect to the white van involved in the investigation, it was located and was determined to be the vehicle that was reportedly seen near the Blanchette home in the early morning hours of Sept. 14.

The superintendent said the Amber Alert program was “critical to resolving this situation in Blairmore”, adding the program is a “critical tool when it’s established a missing child might be vulnerable to harm”. In the case of Hailey, Hamori said it took RCMP only three hours to establish that to be the case with Hailey.

“In that three hours, significant steps were underway to find Hailey and rule out other scenarios. This is required in order for us to protect the Amber Alert criteria, which is based on sound investigative principles.”

The Amber Alert was issued in Alberta two hours before being issued in neighbouring jurisdictions of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Montana, he said.

“There was no undue delay in notifying the public whose trust in the Amber Alert system is critical to its effectiveness in helping us find missing children.”

Anyone with information that might assist in this investigation is still asked to call the tip line of the Crowsnest Pass RCMP detachment at 403-562-2866. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers with information at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Just Posted

RCMP busy with thefts, mortar discovery, assault, arrests, more

Submitted Cst. Debra Katerenchuk, Media Relations Officer, Elk Valley RCMP The Elk… Continue reading

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Elk Valley coach sets sight on all girls hockey team

Statistics from BC Hockey show fewer girls are signing up to play… Continue reading

Proposed Hosmer intersection set to improve safety

A proposed intersection in Hosmer aims to improve the safety of those… Continue reading

Maiden Lake flood mitigations to be completed in full

The City of Fernie will forge ahead with all required flood mitigations… Continue reading

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Canada Day fireworks cancelled in Fernie

Fireworks will not feature as part of Canada Day celebrations in Fernie… Continue reading

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Most Read